PhD Scholarship in Ecology of Atlantic Salmon

Updated: 4 months ago

Apply no later than 20 April 2017
Apply for the job at DTU Aqua by completing the following form.

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A PhD Scholarship in salmon ecology is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) with starting date June 2017. The scholarship is part of a collaborative project financed by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), Innovation Fund Denmark and the Danish Rod and Net License Funds. The project will be carried out at Section for Freshwater Fisheries Ecology which is situated in Silkeborg, Denmark. DTU Aqua is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark.

Project description
In the beginning of the 1980’ies indigenous Danish salmon populations were close to extinction due to habitat degradation and stocking with non-native strains. However, a variety of conservation efforts carried out in collaboration between anglers, fishery managers and researchers, supported by national and local political administrations, led to a resurge of the populations in western Jutland. Conservation activities primarily comprised fisheries regulations, river restoration aiming at improving habitat and ensuring migration routes and implementation of a supportive breeding program based on native brood-stock. Following these activities salmon populations surged, allowing annual catches by anglers of up to ~2500, although increases have stagnated in recent years. However, the production potential of the Danish salmon populations is expected to be much higher than current levels and whether the stagnation observed across Danish populations is a response to limiting local factors (e.g. access to spawning habitat or predation) or it is a correlated response across populations (e.g. to climate change), is unknown. The focus of this PhD is to identify local bottlenecks and gain understanding about key factors limiting current populations.

The successful candidate will be responsible for collecting, analysing and publishing large biotelemetry data sets and for coupling these datasets with information from population genetic analyses and chemical fingerprinting; thus strong analytical skills and interests are required. The candidate will also contribute to teaching at the Aquatic Science & Technology Masters programme at DTU Aqua and to the supervision of Bachelor and Master students.


  • We are looking for a candidate who has a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Biology, Aquatic Science & Technology or similar
  • A background in ecology is preferred
  • Experience with biotelemetry and migration ecology
  • Keen interest in research and the field of marine and aquatic sciences
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

Approval and Enrolment
Scholarships for a PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the successful candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide .

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Vice Director Anders Koed, Senior Research Scientists Kim Aarestrup and Senior Research Scientists Niels Jepsen, DTU Aqua.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students at DTU. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
For further information about the project, please contact Senior Research Scientist Kim Aarestrup;

General information may be obtained from Rikke Hansen, .

Please submit your online application no later than 20 April 2017.

Applications must be submitted as

one pdf file

containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach

all your materials in English in one pdf file

. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here )

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has 260 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Charlottenlund, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana.You can read more about DTU Aqua on

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

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