PhD position in Grassland biodiversity processes 12 views

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG), Umeå University, Sweden invites applicants for a PhD position in “Grassland biodiversity processes” to perform a large-scale field experiment and test the relevance of community assembly theories for biodiversity in grassland restoration.

The starting date for the position is August or September 2020. Application deadline is May 1st, 2020.

Project description and working tasks
It is estimated that 21% of the plant species globally are threatened with extinction, which seriously threatens ecosystem functioning and services. Better insights in the processes that drive plant community assembly in natural outdoor systems will help combat the loss of biodiversity. Early arriving species (e.g. after restoration) will have better access to resources and gain so-called ‘priority effects’. However, the limited spatial setup of previous studies hampers our understanding of the ecological relevance of priority effects in nature, such as their importance for higher trophic levels and belowground processes.

This project aims to unravel the ecological relevance of priority effects in natural ecosystems with large scale field experiments at three locations across Sweden. The project further includes greenhouse studies and a literature review. Understanding the role of priority effects will aid biodiversity conservation now and in the future, especially since climate change can lead to mismatches between otherwise synchronized events. More details about the project can be found on

The successful candidate has strong quantitative skills and interest in plant community ecology in terrestrial ecosystems. To be eligible for this position you should have a Master of science degree, or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent. A completed MSc research project in plant or soil ecology, restoration ecology, botany or a similar field is required.

The successful applicant should further have documented good abilities to communicate (scientifically) in English, both orally and written, as well as creativity, power of initiative, independence, interpersonal skills and good ability to collaborate. Strong merits are demonstrated experience with field experiments, macroinvertebrate identification, meta analysis and statistics. A driver’s license is required.

We offer
More than 4 300 employees and 33 000 students have already chosen Umeå University as it is dedicated to provide creative environments for learning and work. The department of EMG has about 150 employees, about 30 of whom are PhDs’. Further, we offer a supportive workplace with great employee benefits; and an international staff support that can help you relocate;

The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the student is thus to be part of the research education, which includes participation in research but also taking relevant courses. Teaching and other departmental activities (up to a maximum of 20% time) are typically included as well. Employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students.

The full application should include:

• A personal letter including a short summary of previous research experience, and your vision and ideas for the project (max 2 pages).

• CV including list of publications, if applicable

• Copy of degree certificate and other relevant certificates

• Names and contact information of three reference persons

• Other documents wished to be claimed (e.g. master thesis)

You apply through our recruitment system on 1st of May 2020 at the latest. The application should be written in English or Swedish. The documents should be in MS Word or PDF-format.

If you have questions regarding the employment, please contact Judith Sarneel

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