PhD scholarship: Plant-Insect Ecology

University of Copenhagen
Full Time
1 month ago


The PhD scholarship will be part of a newly established research project “Using nutrition to link land-use change and insect declines in Denmark” funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Insect herbivores are among the most ecologically important organisms globally. Their declining numbers are thus concerning, but key causes remain unclear. At the same time, plant communities have changed dramatically in Denmark over the past century in terms of dominant functional types. This project will explore how changes in plant community structure may have disrupted nutritional food web dynamics and changed foraging options for herbivorous insects. The core goals are to: 1) gain fundamental insights on causes of insect declines, 2) innovate cutting-edge methods in global change biology, and 3) help guide evidence-based decisions about maximizing habitat restoration benefits for insect diversity.

The PhD candidate is expected to participate in: 1) fieldwork testing for variation in insect foraging landscapes by comparing plant nutritional profiles in communities arrayed across a large-scale gradient of ecosystem intactness in Denmark and 2) the design of lab-based experiments that test hypotheses about how changing plant foraging landscapes reduce insect fitness. Important research competences will include knowledge of (or desire to learn about) the North European flora, experience with nutritional analyses, ability to organize and perform fieldwork, insect husbandry, and experimental design.

For the full job description click here.

Deadline for applications is 15 April 2024.