Postdoctoral position in Digitalization of Forestry with focus on forest remote sensing and planning

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 17 Oct 2023

Welcome to Linnaeus University! We meet the societal challenges of today and tomorrow in a spirit of openness, curiosity and creativity. By creating arenas for exchange of knowledge from different subjects, fields and cultures, we open up for new ideas and create new opportunities for long-term sustainable societal development. Linnaeus University – where people grow.

The Faculty of Technology offers a broad spectrum of activities across nine different departments and is central to the technical education and research conducted at Linnaeus University. The Department of Forestry and Wood Technology offers a wide-ranging of thematic activities from forest to finished wood products. Benefits for the climate arising from forests lie at the core of all department activities.

The position will be linked to the FRAS II research program, jointly run by Linnaeus University, Skogforsk and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in close cooperation with the forest sector in southern Sweden. The research program will consist of three PhD student projects and three postdoctoral projects that focus on different aspects of forest management. 

The employment of the postdoctoral fellow will be linked to The Bridge 2.0, a joint collaboration arena for interdisciplinary knowledge development with a focus on forestry, innovation, and sustainable competitiveness, and the knowledge environment Green Sustainable Development at the university. The position will also be linked to the Linnaeus University Centre for Data Intensive Sciences and Applications (DISA), focusing its efforts on scientific questions in collection, analysis, and utilization of large data sets. With its core in computer science, it takes a multidisciplinary approach and collaborates with researchers from all faculties at the university.

Subject area for the position: Digitalisation in Forestry
Location until further notice: Växjö
Hours and term: Full-time for 2 years.
Starting date: Starting date as soon as possible or as agreed upon.

Job description
Forest management plans have long been used as a tool for individual forest owners to get an overview of the forest in order to plan forestry activities. The forest management plan has traditionally been produced with aerial photographs followed by field inspection. As remote sensing data becomes more available, e.g. through satellites or national laser scanning, forest variable estimates from remote sensing can partly be used instead of field visits, which rationalized the production of the forest management plans. The forest owner has also increasingly been able to access the forest management plan digitally via the web to note, e.g. wind-thrown and insect damage forest. However, the forest management plan is mainly updated when a new plan is ordered. This normally happens every 10 years, which is based on today’s certification requirements. It is, therefore, obvious that a more frequent updating of the forest management plan is required, where remote sensing can play an important role. Recent studies point to the need to use the forest management plan also as a surface for communication between the forestry operator and the forest owner. There is a desire for a more interactive forest management plan, where several management options for each area or stand are presented. There are also a need to follow how the forest develops in the longer term in a changing climate. Increased possibilities exist today to automatically and continuously update the content of the forest management plan using time series of remote sensing data together with field data, e.g. from harvesters.

The postdoctoral project aims to scientifically produce new knowledge with the objective of developing the next generation’s digital and dynamic forest management plans. Initial work in the project includes mapping private forest owners’ own perceptions of the need for improved decision support in their forest management plans. With this as a starting point, questions can be answered such as how the new need for information in future forest management plans can be met. An important part of the project is to study how today’s static plans can be developed into digital and dynamic forest management plans.

The position also includes responsibility for research communication, which means participating in national and international meetings. Publishing both popular science articles and scientific articles are central parts of the work.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to participate actively in the department’s knowledge environment and networks, both internally and externally, as well as to develop new project ideas and participate in applying for external project funding. A certain amount of teaching and supervision at basic, advanced and/or postgraduate level may be included in the duties.

In addition to the mentor group, the postdoctoral fellow will collaborate with national and international experts in the field. For example, an opportunity is offered to collaborate with researchers in the Horizon 2020 project ForestMap, which aims to produce the next-generation forest maps with AI. Since the project can generate large amounts of data, the postdoctoral fellow will also seek collaboration with the cutting-edge research environment DISA (Data Intensive Sciences and Applications) at the university.

Anyone who has a doctorate in forest science, forest management, forest remote sensing, forest planning, biology, technology or equivalent, or who has a degree from another country that is equivalent to a doctorate in the above subjects, qualifies for the position.

In accordance with the postdoctoral agreement, applicants who were awarded their degree no more than three years prior to the last application date for the present position should be considered first.

An applicant must not previously have been employed as a postdoctoral fellow for more than a year within the same or a related subject area at Linnaeus University.

In order to qualify for the present position, the applicant must also be able to demonstrate scientific skills in the subject area. The position also requires proven communication skills in written and spoken English, as well as good ability to work independently and in a group. Driving license is a requirement for the position.

Assessment criteria
Theoretical knowledge and practical experience of decision support systems, modelling, statistical analysis, programming, forest remote sensing, forest planning, forest inventory and forest damage with a bearing on Nordic forestry and knowledge of the Swedish language are meritorious. Good scientific publication rate and experience in applying for external project funding is desirable. The work takes place in a research group, which is why cooperation and flexibility are given great importance.

Documented experience of research in forest remote sensing and forest planning.

In the overall assessment of the scientific skills, special emphasis is placed on the applicants’ potential for a successful career as a teacher and researcher.

When the university employs new teachers and researchers, the choice should fall on those applicants who, based on a qualitative holistic assessment of competence and skills, are considered most likely to successfully perform and develop relevant tasks and contribute to successful development of the organisation.

Professor Johan Fransson, 0470-76 70 42,
Prefekt Erika Olofsson, 0470-70 89 99,
HR-partner Jesper Pettersson,

Welcome with your application according to instruction, last day to apply is 17 October 2023.

Linnaeus University has the ambition to utilize the qualities that an even gender distribution and diversity brings to the organization.

Please apply by clicking on the Apply button at the bottom of the ad. Your application should be designed according to the Template for application which can be found in the Guide to Appointment procedures under important documents below the ad. The credentials you invoke must be verified with certification and they must be attached digitally in your application. Other documents, including various types of scientific works, must be submitted digitally along with the application. The application and other documents to be marked with the reference number. All documents cited must be received by the University no later than 24.00 (Local time in Sweden) on the closing day.

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