Jobba Statligt

Two PhD Positions in Natural Science, specializing in Biology

  • Yrkesroll


  • Anställning

    Heltid, 6 månader eller längre

  • Lön

    Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön

  • Publicerad

    15 november

  • Sök jobbet senast

    15 december

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 Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg, and at the marine research station-Kristineberg. The current position is placed at the Gothenburg Botanical garden.

Project description

Climate warming is happening faster in Arctic and alpine regions than anywhere else on the planet, yet we are only beginning to understand the consequences of this rapid change for tundra ecosystems. The overall aim of this PhD project is to understand how environmental change, particularly climate warming, will impact tundra plant communities and the functioning of tundra ecosystems. The specific focus of the research will be developed together with the supervisor, but could include (1) understanding the relationship between temperature and plant traits (e.g. canopy height, leaf nutrient content, the timing of leaf green-up and flowering) across scales, from an individual plant to the entire tundra biome, (2) exploring the potential for phenological and functional traits to predict a species’ response to temperature change, (3) linking plant traits to ecosystem functions such as carbon and nutrient cycling, and/or (4) exploring the biotic and abiotic limits to species’ range shifts in the face of climate warming. The project will likely involve a combination of field work at one or more Arctic or alpine locations as well as data synthesis using the Tundra Trait Team ( and ITEX ( databases.

The student will be hosted in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Anne Bjorkman. There will be ample opportunity for collaboration with other scientists in the Biological and Environmental Sciences and Earth Sciences departments at the University of Gothenburg, as well as at the University of Edinburgh, Aarhus University, and the University of Colorado. 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. Specific research topics, tools and techniques associated with the research project include:
  •  Plant community ecology, functional ecology, and/or evolutionary ecology in tundra ecosystems – understanding factors that influence the composition and diversity of plant communities across spatial and temporal scales.
  •  Global change ecology – attributing aspects of tundra vegetation change to specific drivers (e.g. climate change) using long-term monitoring and experimental methods, including new data collection at Arctic field sites.
  •  Ecosystem ecology – investigating the consequences of change in plant communities for tundra ecosystem functions such as carbon cycling.
  •  Quantitative ecology – using quantitative methods to appropriately handle large, hierarchical datasets (e.g. Bayesian hierarchical modeling) in R (preferred) or another programming language; version control and code-sharing using GitHub.
Training will be provided but the student should be keen to learn any new skills required. At least one summer (and likely more) will be spent doing field work at an Arctic or alpine location in northern Sweden, Greenland, Canada, or another country.

We are seeking two motivated persons for PhD studies in biology with an emphasis on plant ecology.

For more information 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.