The Department of Physical Geography is one of the major departments within the Faculty of Science. The department has approximately 135 employees and educates approximately 2 000 students annually. Education is oriented towards geography, geosciences, biology-earth sciences, and environmental management. The main research areas are: Biogeography and Geomatics, Climate science and quaternary geology, Environment, resource dynamics and management, Geomorphology and glaciology, and Hydrology, Water resources and permafrost.

Project description
In this project we will focus on past and present grazing networks between species-rich grasslands on islands and along the coast of Stockholm. The objectives are to assess the effect of time (extinction debt) on present plant community composition and seed banks depending on historical management and grazing networks. To empirically measure realised dispersal (functional connectivity) in landscapes with varying degree of grazing networks (green infrastructure) and habitat isolation. And finally to model plant species persistence and the effects of present landscape structure, functional connectivity and future change to be able to devise management plans for conservation for grasslands in the archipelago.

The project is financed by Oscar and Lili Lamms Memorial. The project will be part of the project FUNGREEN which is a Biodiversa funded project with collaboration between partners in Belgium, Germany, Spain and the UK, thus the work will have strong quantitative focus and include international exchanges and collaborations.  

The PhD candidate is expected to carry out inventories of plant communities, investigate different means of seed dispersal, design experiments, map and analyze various spatiotemporal datasets of relevant land use and grazing changes. Field work will be partly be carried out using canoes to reach the different islands.

Envisioned startingdate is 1 January 2018 (can be negotiated).

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, and to fulfil the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Physical Geography, the candidate for this position should have obtained a MSc, acquired a total of 240 higher education credits (of which at least 60 at advanced level), or acquired in some alternative fashion, the equivalent knowledge in geoscience, environmental science or other relevant natural or engineering science.

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 and successfully complete the program. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in the field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

The main assessment criteria applied are the candidate's ability to independently perform integrative data compilations, modelling and quantitative analysis for water changes and related risks based on diverse available datasets. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background and experience from integrated analysis of hydrology with land-use and climate changes, and/or ecosystem functions and services, and from working with Geographical Information Systems and national and international databases. Candidates must be self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic about working with quantitative and collaborative research in the field of this position. The PhD dissertation will be written 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 Professor Sara Cousins, telephone: +46 8 16 47 67,

Further information about the position can be obtained from HR responsible Susanna Blåndman,

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST and Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 20 00 (operator), (SEKO), 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.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing: 
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement 
    – why and how you wish to complete the project 
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 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: 31/10/2017

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