Phd student in resarch topic Soil Science

Updated: 4 months ago

Department of Soil and Environment

The department of soil and environment develops the scientific baseline for sustainable agriculture, forestry and urban environments. Soil science is a multidisciplinary discipline that focuses on the interaction of biological, chemical and physical processes in the soil environment. The Soil Chemistry research group seeks to enhance our deeper knowledge and build models for the fundamental processes that determine transport and bioavailability of nutrients and contaminants in soils. Our research, education and collaborations support industry, agriculture and international authorities to strive for a toxic-free environment and sustainable soil use.

Analysis of plastic contamination in agricultural soils and its mobilisation and bioavailability

This PhD project has two encompassing goals:

First, methods for quantification of micro- and nano-plastic contamination in soils as well as in amendments that are added to agricultural soils. The methods will mainly be MS and GC-MS-based and will be compared to methods using IR spectroscopy. The optimized method will then be applied to map plastic mass flows in agricultural practices to identify geographic risk zones and hot spots of plastic contamination.

The second part of the project is devoted to developing fate models for plastic particles in soil. Relevant processes such as transport, bioturbation, retention and biodegradation will be quantified and these parameters are then used to predict exposure of soil organisms to plastic particles.

The project is carried out by an international team of researchers from Sweden, UK and Switzerland and the analytical part of the project is a part of the larger Horizon 2020 project ”Acenano”, where several European universities and commercial analytical companies collaborate.


An MSc degree in environmental science, ecotoxicology, chemistry or environmental engineering including documented knowledge in soil science and soil chemistry. Applicants should have laboratory experience in soil chemistry and/or environmental chemistry, colloidal chemistry, geology and analytical chemistry, e.g. via their bachelor, masters or other projects. A proven good ability to communicate in written and spoken English is required.

Previous experience with microplastics and/or nanoparticles and their analysis as well as experience in modelling and programming, e.g. with software such as Hydrus or Matlab, is a merit.

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment 4 years

Starting date:

1 november 2019 or as agreed


We welcome your application no later than 2019-09-30, use the button below.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

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 in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

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