Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37 000 students and about 4 700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. And the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is what it is all about. But also about delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. This is simply where the future is built.

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The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University invites applications for a PhD position developing dynamical models for the study of climate impacts on northern lake ecosystems. The position will start on May 1, 2017, but this can be negotiated. Application deadline is March 9, 2017.

Project description
The effects of climate change on ecological communities are expected to be particularly strong in the North. The collaborative project “Climate change induced regime shifts in northern lake ecosystems” addresses two climate-dependent drivers of northern lakes: (i) altered thermal regimes and (ii) increased input of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (tDOM). In several work packages we will use experimental, comparative, paleo-ecological and modelling approaches to study the impact of temperature and tDOM on lake productivity, food web, and greenhouse gas dynamics. We expect responses to these drivers to be nonlinear.

Tasks and supervision
The PhD student will work in a team that integrates multiple processes (carbon and nutrient dynamics, primary production, food web interactions) into dynamical models describing lake ecosystem responses to climate change. Emphasis is put on spatial processes linking pelagic and benthic habitats, size-structured population interactions, and model comparison with data.

The position is financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Principal supervisor will be Professor Sebastian Diehl and co-supervisor will be Associate Professor Åke Brännström.

Qualifications and admission requirements
We are looking for a candidate with a background in either project-specific subjects (e.g. ecology and evolution, physical geography, environmental science) or quantitative subjects (e.g. computer science, physics, mathematics). A combination of both is particularly advantageous. Strong merits are: experience with mathematical modelling, good knowledge of community and ecosystem ecology, aquatic biogeochemistry, physical limnology, and/or theoretical ecology. The candidate should have a good ability to write and speak in English, be curious and creative, take initiative, be independent and have good social skills.

The recruitment procedure follows the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen Chap. 5 and 7). Prerequisites include 240 ECTS credits of higher education studies of which 60 should be on an advanced (Master) level, or equivalent competence. Admission to PhD studies in ecology requires at least 120 ECTS credits (2 years) in subjects relevant for ecology including at least one course on an advanced level plus an independent project of at least 15 ECTS credits. Admission to PhD studies in computational science requires at least 90 ECTS credits in computationally intensive courses from relevant fields (e.g. mathematics, statistics, computer science, ecology) of which at least 30 ECTS are at an advanced level. Requirements should be met at the time of acceptance to doctoral studies, not at the time of submission of your application.

Evaluation and Application
Evaluations will be based on the application letter, the applicant’s educational background, the relevance and quality of the master’s thesis and other publications, references,  interviews and a writing test.

You apply through our recruitment system. Log on to the system and apply via the button on the web page on March 9, 2017 at the latest.

The application should include the following documents in English or Swedish:

  1. A short (max 2 pages) description of why you are interested in the position
  2. CV
  3. Copies of certificates from higher education
  4. List of completed university courses and grades
  5. Copy of publications/degree thesis
  6. Contact information of 2-3 reference persons

Documents sent electronically should be in MS Word or PDF format.

For more information contact Professor Sebastian Diehl,

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science ( carries out research and education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 28 PhD students.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment May 1, 2017, but this can be negotiated
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-141-17
  • Sebastian Diehl,, 090-786 5738
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 26.Jan.2017
Last application date 09.Mar.2017 11:59 PM CET

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