Phd student - Aquatic Microbial Ecology

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 28 Sep 2023

2 Sep 2023
Job Information

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Research Field

Environmental science » Ecology
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

28 Sep 2023 - 22:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

The Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment ( ) is working with applied environmental science, with a national responsibility for assessing the condition of Swedish surface waters with respect to water chemistry, pollution and aquatic biota. The department has about 140 employees. The research focuses on geochemical and hydrological processes, aquatic ecology and biodiversity, as well as on aquatic ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry. The department is part of a Soil-Water-Environment cluster, a recently established competence centre for landscape-level processes that also includes the Departments of ‘Soil and Environment’ and ‘Energy and Technology’. The breadth of expertise among the 300 members in combination with a well-equipped infrastructure creates a unique platform for high quality research as well as environmental monitoring and assessment.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at

Impact of aquaculture in hydropower dam microbial ecosystems
Research subject: Biology with specialisation in ecology

The adoption of hydroelectric power in Sweden has brought new challenges to aquatic ecosystems, resulting in loss of nutrients and to a sharp decrease in biodiversity and ecosystem productivity. Fish farming could alleviate this issue, by returning nutrients to the ecosystem in the form of a natural fertilizer that comes from the farmed fish. However, the impact of aquaculture on these nutrient depleted waters is still largely unknown. In this project we will study changes in microbial food webs of both water mass and sediments after the introduction of aquaculture in hydroelectric power dams. The research will include quantitative flow cytometry, microscopy, metabarcoding and metagenomics to analyze microbial community composition and dynamics, and integrate such biodiversity information with water chemical variables and rate measurements in order to determine the biogeochemical status of the ecosystem and how it responds to de-oligotrophication.

The PhD project will include fieldwork, sampling of water, sediment and fish gut microbiomes, laboratory analyses and bioinformatics processing of large datasets. Research training will also include microbial ecology and biogeochemistry methods. The candidate will perform experiments, data analysis, manuscript writing and contribute to protocol development and documentation.



The candidate must have a master degree (specialization in aquaculture, microbial ecology or related areas) or be in position to acquire it before the position is being formally offered. Professional level English.


  • Laboratory experience in molecular microbial ecology techniques
  • Experience working with aquaculture systems and/or freshwater ecosystems
  • Demonstrable skills in scientific programming (UNIX, R/Python or others) and data analysis
  • Independent problem solving, flexibility and good interpersonal skills

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

December 2023 or according to agreement.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2023-09-29.

The application should include:

  • Cover letter that includes a summary of scientific background and a statement explaining how this research project and PhD experience fit into the applicant’s career plan.
  • CV summarizing education, work experience, research profile and other merits.
  • Contact information for two personal references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail, and phone number). No reference letters need to be submitted with the application.
  • Master thesis and list of publications (reports, scientific articles, popular science, etc).
  • Degree certificates

Please note that all documents should be in English. Interviews will be an important part of the appointment process.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Research Field
Agricultural sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent


Research Field
Environmental science » Ecology
Years of Research Experience
1 - 4

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Postal Code
Almas allé 8

Where to apply



Almas allé 8
Postal Code


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