Doctoral student in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science

Lund University


February 11, 2022


Lund University, Department of Physical Geograhy and Ecosystem Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world's top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description A PhD studentship in Physical Geography and Ecosystem science is hereby announced at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem sciences, Lund University (LU), Sweden. The four-year position is funded externally via the project “Impact of land use on land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in savannahs of Sahel”.

The main aim with this project is to improve our understanding of the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ecosystems of African savannah. The Sahel is a semi-arid biogeographic transition zone between the dry Sahara Desert in the North and the humid Soudanian savannah in the south, and it is one of the world's largest semi-arid regions. Satellite observations indicate a clear greening of the vegetation in the region, and these may have strong impact on how the ecosystems interact with the global climate. Today we know little about the interactions between climate, land use and ecosystems of the Sahel, and the main aim with this project is to increase our understanding of these interactions. In this project we will do field observations of the land atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in Senegal, and study its spatial and temporal variability. This project is not only of relevance for improving our understanding of greenhouse gas exchange of semi-arid savannahs of Sahel, but is also important for the ability of countries across Sahel and Africa to report according to the Paris agreement.

Work duties This project focuses on field observations of the spatial and temporal variability in the land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases and aims at answering three research questions: 1) What are the factors controlling the greenhouse gas exchange for semi-arid savannahs of Sahel? 2) What are the major features within the semi-arid savannah landscape affecting spatial variability in the greenhouse gas exchange? 3) What are the consequences for the greenhouse gas exchange of converting the semi-arid savannah to croplands? To respond to these questions, we will do field observations in savannahs of the Sahel. We are currently running a field station in Senegal since 20 years back, and the PhD student will analyse data which we have collected there. In order to increase our knowledge on the spatial distribution of the land atmosphere exchange of the greenhouse gases, the PhD student will spend some time in Senegal and do measurements at plots with various conditions influencing the greenhouse gas exchange processes. Finally, we will also cooperate with other researchers doing similar measurements in a nearby agricultural area, and the PhD student should analyse how the savannah- cropland conversion impact the land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
  • Eligibility Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

    The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

    When starting, the applicant is expected to hold a university degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in natural sciences, preferably in Physical Geography or Ecosystem sciences or something equivalent. Proven experience in scientific writing, such as publications, essays, or similar in English is essential. We are looking for an independent and creative person who thrives in a dynamic research environment. The project requires close collaboration with international scientists and the candidate should be able to work independently and to carry out hands-on experiments, as well as working in groups on a collaborative basis. The applicant should be committed and focused, and be able to take responsibility for parts of the larger research project. Documented experience of field work and studies of land-atmosphere interactions is a desirable merit.

    Assessment criteria Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student's potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

    Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems. Written and oral communication skills. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

    Other assessment criteria:

    Experience with eddy covariance flux systems Good ability in handling large amounts of data Experience of field work Knowledge in plant ecology, specifically towards savannas and about processes controlling the interaction between plants and its environment. Very good oral and written proficiency in English. Knowledge of French Drivers licence B

    Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

    Terms of employment Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at Lund University consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

    Instructions on how to apply Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, contact information to at least two references, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.).

    The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Science. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

    We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

    Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months

    First day of employment 2022-03-01 or accordning to agreement Salary Monthly salary Number of positions 1 Working hours 100 City Lund County Skåne län Country Sweden Reference number PA2021/4163 Contact

  • Torbern Tagesson, forskare, +46 46 222 48 23,
  • My Geborek, personalsamordnare, +46 46 222 48 53,
  • Union representative

  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
  • Published 11.Jan.2022 Last application date 11.Feb.2022 11:59 PM CET

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