PhD in Physical Geography: Effects of Soil-Carbon Management and Climate on Belowground Biodiversity

Stockholm (SE)
Oct 01, 2018
Oct 31, 2018
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Project description
This project is funded under the research area Biodiversity and climate (RA8) within the Bolin Centre for Climate Reasearch at Stockholm University. The project aims to investigate the effects of ecosystem management for carbon (C) –through compost and biochar amendments–on middle Swedish grassland ecosystems. Numerous studies have shown positive amendment effects on soil C sequestration and grassland productivity. These effects have been attributed to changes in soil properties, including increased soil moisture and higher soil organic matter storage. However, there is very little knowledge regarding the effects of such amendments on grassland plant community composition, plant rooting patterns, soil microbial biodiversity or ecosystem resilience to extreme weather events. The student will work, as part of a team, to set up and manage a long-term field experiment to assess the effects of soil amendments on belowground biodiversity – here defined as root biodiversity and soil microbial diversity – and its drought-spell resilience in managed grasslands. In addition to the field experiment, the student will conduct regional geographical analyses to assess the feasibility of broad-scale amendment application with biochar and compost in middle Swedish Grasslands.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, and to fulfil the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Physical Geography, the candidate for this position should have acquired a total of 240 higher education credits (of which at least 60 at advanced level), or acquired in some alternative fashion, the equivalent knowledge in Geoscience, Environmental Science or other relevant natural or engineering science. 

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge of relevant fields, including soil science, ecosystem management, biodiversity and spatial analyses, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

For more information, please contact Dr. Gustaf Hugelius, telephone: +46 8 674 78 73,


Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Project proposal/Research proposal describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement 
    – why and how you wish to complete the project 
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

Apply here: