Phd student in Landscape Architecture, specialization Vegetation and management

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Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

The Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Administration is part of the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Plant Production Science. The teaching and research within the department is conducted in four thematic subject areas: Design of urban landscapes, Landscape planning, Urban landscape governance and management and Urban vegetation. The research and teaching at the department is multidisciplinary and includes the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, design and engineering. The department consists of approximately 85 employees active in teaching and / or research and development. The current open position is within the thematic group Urban vegetation, in close collaboration with the Chair of Ecosystem Planning and Management at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC) of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

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

Urban Street Trees for Optimizing Long-term provision of Ecosystem services in Ethiopia

Green infrastructure has proven to be a potent tool for addressing many of the most pressing urban environmental issues often arising when urbanisation is spreading fast, as is currently happening in Ethiopia. By taking advantage of the ecosystem services provided by trees to deliver specific benefits, sustainability and urban life quality can be improved. However, long-term vitality is often low for urban trees, due to unfavourable growing conditions and lack of knowledge on suitable species. This is particularly true in Ethiopia, where a small amount of exotic, ill-adapted species are dominating the urban tree population, despite the large indigenous species diversity.

The overall aim of the project is thus to increase the deliverance of needed ecosystem services from urban trees in Ethiopia by increasing the knowledge on suitable native species. We are therefore searching for a strongly motivated PhD student to explore the potential of the native tree flora, suitable for urban growing conditions in two main cities in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa and Hawassa). Key research goals include: a) collecting knowledge on the Ethiopian native tree population to identify potentially relevant tree species for urban environments b) determining threshold values of drought and water-logging tolerance in relevant tree species and c) matching species stress tolerance with the actual urban planting site prerequisites.

The explorative parts of the native flora and the common growth conditions in the urban landscape in Ethiopia will consist of interviews of relevant experts in Ethiopia, as well as field studies and on site tests. The experimental parts of the project will be performed at University facilities in both Sweden and Ethiopia. Greenhouse experiments on drought tolerance for selected species will take place at the university campus at Alnarp, Sweden. A controlled test of the urban growth substrates found in Addis Ababa and Hawassa, will be set up at the university campus of Addis Ababa.

The main task is to conduct the PhD thesis work under supervision, which includes development of the PhD student’s methodological experience, analytical skills, as well as theoretical depth. Field work in Ethiopia as well as experiment work and quantitative data analysis at SLU Alnarp are important parts of the work.


Master degree in landscape architecture, horticultural science, forest ecology, forestry or similar. 

The applicant should bring proof of experiences from urban vegetation systems and urban sustainability. Documented experiences from quantitative methodologies and experiments in relation to vegetation is highly desired

 The ability to speak and write fluently in English is required. Experience from carrying out field work in Africa, and specifically Ethiopia as well as knowledge in Amharic is seen as an advantage.

Strong social skills, self-organisation and a high degree of flexibility will be favoured.

Place of work:      

SLU Alnarp Sweden and University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

1 july 2022 / arccording to agreement.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2022-05-13.

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, 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) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

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