Postdoc position in modelling the interactions among plant, environment, and societies

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

The position is based at the Department of Crop Production Ecology, part of the Ecology Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), in Uppsala, Sweden. The research conducted within the department generally aims at improving crop and forest productivity and sustainability, considering the interactions with the surrounding environment. The Ecology Center offers a stimulating research environment, involving scientists with very diverse and complementary expertise, aiming at sustainable agriculture, forest production and biological conservation. Furthermore, the location in Uppsala allows opportunities for collaborations with researchers at Uppsala University, Stockholm University, and KTH.

Societies need to obtain biomass and ecosystem services from managed ecosystems, like forests, while minimizing the negative environmental and climate impacts. Identifying management solutions that are sustainable in the long term and robust to changes in climate requires considering environmental and technological limits, and the tradeoffs implicit in contrasting needs, but also how these aspects impact and are impacted by societies. This can be achieved only by capturing the co-evolution of societies and managed ecosystems, thereby accounting for change in decision makers’ preferences, due to previous experiences, climatic conditions, and available resources. Mathematical models based on ecological and physiological mechanisms, and accounting for management decision under uncertainty, allow exploring how future climatic conditions can affect forests and societies. In combination with extensive available data, these models can offer insights on climate change adaptation strategies.

We seek a highly motivated postdoc to work on modelling the co-evolution of societies and managed ecosystems, at the intersection of hydrology, plant ecophysiology and ecology, and social sciences. The position will be associated to the project “Innovative modelling approaches for the identification of boreal forest management strategies under a changing climate” – a collaboration between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the Natural Resources Institute (LUKE) in Finland. Boreal forests are warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and increasingly prone to drought and heat stress. Exploiting mathematical models jointly with multi-scale data, the project aims at identifying the key mechanisms behind boreal forest response to climate change and management decisions under uncertainty, to prepare boreal forests and forestry for future climates.


The postdoctoral researcher will develop, evaluate, and apply mechanistic models and stochastic methods for the assessment of the interactions between plants, the environment and societies in managed ecosystems. While there is some flexibility in the research tasks and approaches, the work will include development of novel process-based mathematical models, use of existing ones, and collation and analyses of data. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to take active part to develop the projects and to write and publish science in collaboration with the research team. The successful candidate will enter world leading, international research teams working with both crops and forest systems, with an outstanding publication record and extensive empirical and theoretical expertise ( , ). This is a great opportunity to further your modelling skills, develop your research network, and gain experience in proposal writing.


We are looking for highly motivated candidates who are actively pursuing an academic career, with an interest in the development and use of mathematical models to describe the interactions among plants, the environment, and societies. Applicants should have a PhD in quantitative disciplines, such as plant biology, ecology, hydrology, earth and environmental sciences, applied mathematics or physics, social-ecological systems, or related fields. Previous experience in model development (i.e., beyond the use of existing models) is required. The applicants shall also have a demonstrated ability to independently initiate, conduct, and complete research projects, and to publish the findings in international peer-reviewed journals. Excellent communication skills in English (both written and oral) are required. The applicants are expected to have documented research experience with models coupling plants, ecosystems, and environmental conditions, including strong quantitative and programming skills (in MatLab, R, Python, C, Fortran, NetLogo, or other programming languages for data analysis and model implementation). Experience in socio-ecological or socio-hydrological models, e.g. agent based models, is a merit.

Place of work:

Uppsala, Sweden

Form of employment:

Full time two year, time-limited position as postdoctoral researcher.



Starting date:

By agreement


We welcome your application no later than January 7th, 2022. Please use the application button below. Applications received via email will not be considered.

The application must be written in English and contain: i) a statement of scientific interests and motivation for applying to this position (max 6000 characters including spaces); ii) Curriculum Vitae including a complete publication list, separating peer-reviewed papers from other publications; iii) contact information of at least two reference persons; iv) copies of previous university degrees and transcripts of academic records. The statement should highlight current research interests, expertise, and other activities of relevance for the advertised position. In this statement, the applicant is encouraged to also discuss what, in their opinion, the key knowledge gaps are within the project topic described in this advertisement and propose approaches to fill these knowledge gaps. It should be clarified how these approaches are related to the applicant’s expertise.

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