PhD student in Marine Ecology Ref. No. SU FV-0983-17

PhD student in Marine Ecology Ref. No. SU FV-0983-17
at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Stockholm University
Closing date: 2 May 2017

At the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University research and education are conducted in an international environment. The subject areas are marine and plant ecology, ecotoxicology, plant physiology and plant systematics. Some of the research has direct environmental and societal relevance and the approach is often broad and interdisciplinary. About 140 people are working at the Department, of which ca. 35 are teachers and researchers and 50 are PhD students.

Project description
The Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences invites applications for a four-year PhD position part of the project “Food web connectance and stability in Baltic benthic ecosystems”.

How species interact with each other is central to ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem service and are the basis of interaction networks (e.g. food webs). Understanding food webs architecture and their structural mechanisms is crucial to predicting their response to disturbance. Despite their importance, a lot more work has been done in investigating biodiversity in an ecosystem than in understanding and assessing species interactions, mainly due to the methodological limitations related to identifying and quantifying food web relationships and their structural mechanisms. DNA techniques, particularly DNA barcoding provide opportunities to address some of these limitations and provide for highly resolved webs.

This is particularly important for benthic invertebrate food-webs which are dominated by detritivores. Most of our knowledge of these food webs rely on macrobenthic species interactions with a large trophic flexibility. We today, know very little about how the smaller more selective benthic metazoan and eukaryotic species and how they interact in food webs. The central aim of this project is to advance our knowledge of the topology and structure of marine benthic food webs and understand the role of trophic flexibility and omnivore in mediating connectance and stability of benthic ecological networks. In addition, this project will investigate how food webs mediate effects of anthropogenic disturbance on benthic ecosystems.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of marine ecology stipulates, that applicants must have completed at least 30 higher education credits in the second cycle in the subjects biology, geological sciences and chemistry, and 30 credits from a project in ecology. Applicants may also have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. The primary assessment criteria in appointing a doctoral student should be the capacity to benefit from the training.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ subject knowledge with relevance for the research project; practical experience and knowledge with relevance for the research project; knowledge in scientific theory and methods; analytical skills, shown in the degree project and personal references. Experience of PCR analysis, genetic sequencing and bioinformatics as well as good statistical competence are a merit. Applicants are expected to have good communication skills in English.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

Terms of employment
The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact project leader Francisco Nascimento (assistant professor), telephone: +46 8 16 49 26, Further information about the position can be obtained from the Subject Representative Jonas Gunnarsson (professor), telephone: +46 8 16 42 53,

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST and Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 20 00 (operator), (SEKO), telephone: +46 70 316 43 41, and PhD student representative,

Apply for the position at Stockholm University’s recruitment system by clicking the “Apply” button. 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. We recommend that you hand in your application, including necessary documents, in English.

Please include the following information with your application

Your contact details and personal data
Your highest university degree
Your language skills
Contact details for 2–3 reference persons
and, in addition, please include the following documents

Cover letter (2-3 pages), containing
– Your expectations from, and intentions with the education
– Why you are interested in the specific project
– What makes you suitable for the specific project
CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
Degree projects/theses (no more than 3 files).
The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University – our education and research produce results.

Closing date: 02/05/2017
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