Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geograhy and Ecosystem Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

“Bridging the gap between global climate change and its regional and local impacts in the Arctic using ecosystem and Earth system modelling”

Introduction text:

Ongoing climate change is amplified in the Arctic, leading to melting and warming permafrost, changes to the ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CO2 and CH4, treeline changes, and shrub encroachment into arctic tundra (IPCC 2013). These impacts on ecosystems feed back to the climate system via a number of biogeochemical and biophysical mechanisms.

The ecosystem modelling research group led by Prof. Ben Smith at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science (INES), Lund University (LU), has developed LPJ-GUESS to be one of the leading computer model platforms for studying climate change effects on arctic ecosystems and their feedbacks to the regional and global climate. LPJ-GUESS has also been coupled to the Rossby Centre’s regional climate model, RCA4. The coupled model, RCA-GUESS, is the first regional Earth system model (ESM) (Smith et al. 2011) that can account for the interactive coupling of atmospheric change, land surface changes including vegetation dynamics, and terrestrial biogeochemistry. Results from the model are consistent with experimental and observational evidence.

Work description:

The successful applicant for this PhD student position will further refine our modelling tools to include carbon-nitrogen interactions (Smith et al. 2014), high resolution, process-based vegetation modelling (Tang et al. 2015) and reindeer grazing (e.g. Pachzelt et al. 2013). The developed model will be used by the student to study coupled regional climate, vegetation and ecosystem change across the Arctic under an ensemble of future emissions, climate and land use scenarios.

In addition, a detailed modelling case study will zoom in on a well-studied local area in northern Sweden at high resolution to evaluate the model and attribute simulated changes to drivers. The potentially significant effects of land use (including reindeer husbandry) and ungulate browser populations in retarding treeline advance will be explicitly explored.

Findings in this project are expected to be of high value for informing climate adaptation and the integrated management of mountain and subarctic lands of Sweden, combining economic activities such as forestry and reindeer husbandry with the fulfilment of national environmental quality objectives. The latter falls within the mission of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the project will thus be carried out in cooperation with SEPA.


Candidates must have a Master of Science degree (M.Sc.) or equivalent experience/competence in physical geography, ecology, biogeochemistry, environmental science, environmental physics, or equivalent fields, preferably with evidence of a focus on terrestrial ecosystems, computer modelling or ecology. Proficiency in written and spoken English is a requirement. Furthermore, any experience of computer programming and ecosystem or climate modelling would be considered important merits.

Your application should include a letter that describes your academic career so far, as well as your motivation in applying for this particular PhD studentship. It should also include a curriculum vitae (CV), copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, copies of theses, and the complete contact information for two academic references.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment Oktober 2016, duration 4 years
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2016/2335
  • Paul Miller, Lecturer, +46-222 40 72,
  • Natalie Nyman, HR-administrator, +46-222 78 30,
Union representative
  • OFR/S:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, +46-222 93 62,
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds , +46-222 93 64,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, +46-222 93 66,
Published 16.Jun.2016
Last application date 07.Jul.2016 11:59 PM CET

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