PhD - Identifying sources of biological nitrogen fixation in boreal forests

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Full Time
2 months ago


A fully funded 4-year PhD position is available in the Department of Forest Ecology and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umeå. The PhD student will combine genetic and stable isotope methods to identify niches of nitrogen fixation across forest successional gradients from stand initiation to old-growth forest, in harvested and wildfire-origin stands in Sweden, Finland, and Alaska. The student will also quantify the responses of identified niches of nitrogen fixation to climate change factors in controlled experiments. 

The student will conduct fieldwork, design and manage controlled experiments in a glasshouse setting, conduct molecular biology laboratory work, analyze data using innovative statistical methods, write manuscripts, and contribute to other project activities. The student will be mentored by Michael Gundale, Marie-Charlotte Nilsson, and Stefan Hupperts - an enthusiastic and dynamic team of scientists from SLU with expertise in forest ecology, nitrogen cycling, and plant-microbe interactions.

-MSc degree in a relevant subject (forest ecology, microbial ecology, soil science, or related fields)
-Excellent oral and written communication skills in English 

-Fieldwork experience
-Laboratory experience
-Experience with DNA or RNA extraction techniques
-Experience with data analysis and visualization in R or other programming language
-Experience with bioinformatics processing of genetic data
-Experience with stable isotope labeling techniques

Once the eligibility requirements are met, we place great emphasis on other personal and interpersonal skills, such as the ability to work effectively (both collaboratively and independently), organize own work and schedule, adhere to deadlines, and solve problems. The Department of Forest Ecology provides an international, inclusive, and supportive environment; we encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

The full announcement and instructions on how to apply can be found here:

The application deadline is 31 January 2024.

Please contact Michael Gundale, Marie-Charlotte Nilsson, or Stefan Hupperts if you have any questions. More information about the Forest Vegetation Ecology research group can be found here: