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PhD student in the research education subject: Biology with specialization in Ecology

Swedish University of Agricultural ScienceThe Swedish university of agricultural sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

Weed seed predation: management of an overlooked ecosystem service delivered by biodiversity

Are you looking for a PhD project where you can explore the benefits of biodiversity and how it can best be managed in agricultural landscapes? Would you like to collaborate internationally and communicate with stakeholders? Then this PhD position at the Department of Ecology, SLU should be of interest to you. Our PhD-education aims to develop your creative and analytical thinking and to strengthen your research, communication, and outreach skills. The successful applicant will enter a dynamic and internationally distinguished research environment with an extensive collaborative network, and will actively develop the project and design the studies.

Weed seed predation is a potentially important, but often over-looked, ecosystem service in agriculture. It is delivered by both invertebrates, especially ground beetles, and small vertebrates. The main aims of this project are to 1) assess the importance of weed-seed predation for weed control in cereal fields, 2) determine the importance of weed-seed predator diversity to assure a high level and stability of weed seed predation, and 3) explore management options in the crop field and in the surrounding landscape to improve weed-seed predation in the crop. The work will be part of an international project involving five European countries.

The position is based at the Ecology Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala, Sweden, but field work can take place in other locations throughout Sweden. The centre includes the Department of Ecology where we conduct research and education for sustainable agriculture, forest production and biological conservation. Our basic research on populations, communities and ecosystems forms the foundation for understanding the impact of land use and climate on animals, plants, soil nutrient status and greenhouse gas balance. Solutions are sought that will mitigate climate change, preserve threatened species, benefit biological diversity and ecosystem services and control pests in managed agricultural, forested and urban landscapes. Active dissemination, outreach and frequent contacts with stakeholders are key activities.


Applicants should have a Master's degree (or equivalent) in biology, agronomy, environmental science or similar subjects with specialization in ecology, and should be interested in community ecology and developing applications based on ecological understanding and experimentation. Advanced level courses in population and community ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology and plant protection are considered a merit, as are experiences of field work with insects and plants. Skills in planning, executing, and reporting scientific studies are considered a merit, as is experience with statistical analyses. The applicant should have the ability to work both independently and in a team. Proven ability to communicate excellently in written and spoken English is essential. A driving license is required.

Forms for funding or employment 

Employment as PhD student (2 or 4 years education)


Further information: Mattias Jonsson,, +46725326556

Academic union representatives

  • SACO Saco-S föreningen SLU +46 (0)18 67 10 85
  • SEKO Linda Thörnström +46 (0)18 67 10 57
  • ST Lotta Olsson +46 (0)18 67 15 36

Applications, marked with ref no 1500/2017, must have arrived at the Registrar of SLU, P.O. Box 7070, SE-750 07 Uppsala or no later than 2017-05-10.

Picture credit: The Swedish university of agricultural sciences (SLU) 

For more details visit here the SLU website.