Jobba Statligt

PhD Position in Natural Science, specialising in Biology

  • Yrkesroll


  • Anställning

    Heltid, 6 månader eller längre

  • Lön

    Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön

  • Publicerad

    13 november

  • Sök jobbet senast

    20 januari

Om jobbet

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 47 500 students and 6 400 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The department is placed at three different localities: in the Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg, and at the marine research station Kristineberg. The current position is placed at the Botanical garden.

Project description

This PhD project is within the research field of plant ecophysiology. Its aim is to explore how warming and drought affects the functioning, competitiveness and survival of different tropical montane tree species. Key overall questions addressed by the project are: (i) How do warming and drought affect the water use and functioning of tropical trees? (ii) What are the key traits predisposing tropical trees to drought- and/or heat-induced mortality? The specific questions and focus of the research will be developed together with the supervisor. The project is primarily based on field research on multi-species plantations established at different sites along a tropical elevation gradient in Rwanda. Sites differ in climate and each site additionally includes experimental manipulation of water supply (irrigation and/or rainout shelters) and nutrient availability (unfertilized, fertilized). Field measurements will particularly focus on traits that potentially predispose trees for drought- and/or heat-induced mortality, including tree hydraulics, gas exchange, structure and biochemistry.

The student will be hosted in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences under the supervision of Prof Johan Uddling. The project includes collaboration with scientists and PhD students from the University of Rwanda, as well as other international researchers that share an interest in understanding and predicting how tropical trees and forests respond to climate change. The research group has ongoing collaboration with leading ecosystem and climate modellers through which the large- and longer-scale implications of key findings can be explored. Development research and capacity building are important components of the research collaboration with the University of Rwanda.

The project is linked to the strategic research area BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate;, which also hosts a research school that will be open for the recruited PhD student: ClimBEco (

Job assignments

The main task is to conduct the PhD thesis work under supervision, which includes development of the PhD student’s methodology experience, analytical skills, and theoretical depth and breadth. Data collection will be conducted mostly through field work, but some lab work will also be included. Quantitative data analysis is an important part of the work and may include components of modelling/programming.

Specific research topics, tools and techniques that may be included in the research project include:
  • Plant ecophysiology, including the regulation of plant water use, photosynthesis, leaf energy balance, carbon allocation and growth
  • Processes controlling tree mortality under dry and/or hot conditions
  • Tree water transport (hydraulics), considering the entire soil-plant-atmosphere continuum
  • Plant–atmosphere gas exchange, i.e. transpiration, photosynthesis, stomatal regulation
  • Tree carbon allocation and carbohydrate status under heat and/or drought
  • Mathematical analyses of collected data to quantitatively describe tree functioning and ecosystem processes (hydrology, carbon budgets), possibly including collaboration with ecosystem modellers
Training will be provided but the student should be keen to learn any new skills required. A few periods (one to two months each) will be spent on field work in Rwanda.

For more infromation about the position and how to apply
In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.