PhD student in Biology with a focus on Forest Pathology

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
February 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU, is looking for a PhD student who in collaboration with the forestry company SCA will work in research projects about the fungal disease Scots pine blister rust.

Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

The department undertakes both basic and applied research with a focus on interactions involving plants, fungi and other microorganisms and their role in forest and agricultural systems.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at https: // www.

Research subject:

Scots pine blister rust is a serious fungal disease that attacks pine trees of all ages. In the last 20 years, attacks have increased in northern Sweden, mainly in young forest, with annual damage losses amounting to several million Swedish crowns. For several years, the department has collaborated with the forestry company SCA to increase knowledge about the disease, its epidemiology and how to manage infested forests.

The overall goal of the doctoral project is to increase knowledge about the biology of the blister rust fungus ( Cronartium pini ) and which factors contribute to the increased attacks. As a doctoral student, you will participate in the development of risk maps for the blister rust based on inventories of site variables and disease frequency. The impact of various forestry measures, climate factors and growth rate of the pine will also be investigated. The doctoral project also includes genetic studies of the relationship between the two forms of Cronartium pini , a host-alternating and a non host-alternating, as well as what role they have in the ongoing epidemic.

As a doctoral student, you will work mainly in the above project, but you will also be involved in projects and competence development at the forestry company SCA during approximately 20% of the employment period.


We are looking for a highly motivated person who has a Forester's degree or a Master in Forest Science, Biology or equivalent. Documented knowledge in forest or plant pathology, forestry, microbiology, mycology or molecular biology as well as knowledge in statistics is higly valued. Since the position will include work in the field, a driver's license (B) is a requirement. The candidate should have good communication skills. Written and spoken English is required, and written and spoken Swedish is highly valued. Personal qualities such as accuracy and the ability to work independently are highly valued. Being analytical and strong in team building is a merit.

Place of work:

Your workplace will be SLU in Uppsala, but the work includes travel to forest stands in northern Sweden.

Forms for funding or employment:

Full time PhD student position, 5 years.

Starting date:

According to agreement.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2023-02-20.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master's) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here: www. students/english-language-requirements/

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport's information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at www. courses/doctoral-studies/

Academic union representatives:

https: // vid-rekrytering/

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world. SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

The Swedish forest industry is an economically important sector and employs tens of thousands of people. The core of SCA is the growing forest, Europe's largest private forest holding. Around this unique resource, we have built a well-developed value chain based on renewable raw material from our own and others' forests. We offer packaging paper, pulp, wood products, renewable energy, services for forest owners and efficient transport solutions.

Read more on the respective websites, www. and www.

Contact person

Berit Samils

Associate professor


[email protected]

Henrik Svennerstam

Researcher, Skogforsk

[email protected]

Anna Marntell

Skoglig specialist, SCA

[email protected]

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