Phd student in Biology or Animal Science - Reindeer husbandry

Updated: about 1 month ago

Department of Animal Nutrition and Management

The Department of Animal nutrition and management (HUV) offers an inspiring research environment where we conduct basic and applied research on feed,  animal metabolism, handling and management in various animal production systems from extensive (pastoral) systems to precision livestock farming. HUV is responsible for undergraduate and postgraduate education in the areas of nutritional physiology, feed science, management issues and aquaculture. 

Within the topic Reindeer husbandry our goal is to develop knowledge that strengthens the long-term sustainability of reindeer husbandry and provides tools that help the industry to cope with external stress from natural factors as well as other land uses. We perform research and education within the topic reindeer husbandry and reindeer biology. The research focuses on production conditions of the reindeer husbandry and interaction with the surrounding world.

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

Is reindeer husbandry equipped for the perfect storm? (EQUIP)

In recent years, several Sami reindeer herding communities in Sweden have reported high losses of reindeer calves from calf marking at the end of June until slaughter in November. The high losses do not always seem to be explained by predators killing the reindeer, although the number of predators has increased significantly in the reindeer husbandry area in the last 40 years and many herding communities are badly affected by losses to predators. There may be several reasons for increased calf loss, but increased disturbance and stress and poor quality pastures lead to poorer growth and lower body condition, which in turn may increase reindeer calves' susceptibility to infectious diseases, including climate-sensitive pathogens. In some areas, however, the predator density is high and losses to predators are high even in late summer and autumn. Good physical condition, demographic stability and genetic variation in a population can be ways to cope with external stress. In this project, in collaboration with the reindeer husbandry, we will monitor reindeer calves to investigate whether losses are due to predation, stress, parasites and infectious agents and how it relates to competing land use and genetic variation in the reindeer.

In this project, the doctoral student will work with the collection of mortality data and data related to mortality in reindeer calves in three different herding communities. The work will involve processing and analyzing GPS data, reindeer live weight, production data, disease data, genetic information about the individuals, weather data and satellite data. In the project, we will start from co-production of knowledge together with reindeer herding. The PhD student will be partially responsible for collecting experience-based knowledge from reindeer herders.


A master degree in Biology, Animal Science or Animal agronomy, or similar is suitable. Good ability to communicate in oral and written English is a requirement, as is good computer skills. Good knowledge in speaking and writing in the Scandinavian languages is a merit. Knowledge of scientific work, population biology, statistics, remote sensing, field work is a merit as well as knowledge of reindeer husbandry. You should have a driving license (B). Furthermore, great emphasis is put on personal and communiticative skills such as good collaboration and the ability to work independently.

The application can be written in Swedish or English and must contain a maximum of one A4 page where you motivate why you want to work with research in general and this project in particular. Enter the names and contact details of two reference persons in your application.

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment 4 years

Starting date:

1 April 2024 or according to agreement.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-01-15.

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.

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