Doctoral student in Environmental Science

Lund University, Faculty of Science, Centre for Environmental and Climate Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world's top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

Environmental science is the scientific study of environmental problems resulting from human activity, including climate change. The subject combines the study of human impact on natural processes and the measures and strategies that can be implemented in order to prevent, avert or counteract environmental problems and achieve long-term sustainable development. Environmental science research is based on a fundamental understanding of natural processes and how they are affected by human activity and therefore has a broad foundation in traditional subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, geology and physical geography. It also includes the study of relevant measures and strategies to tackle environmental problems. This enables the research to be based on interdisciplinary approaches in collaboration across traditional subject boundaries.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The PhD project is integrated within a larger interdisciplinary project BIOSPACE. The doctoral student will combine remote sensing, artificial intelligence, and field ecological methods to develop and implement monitoring of grassland management and its effects on flowering plant and pollinator diversity at a regional scale. As traditional ground-based surveys have limited geographic coverage, a key objective is to predict quantity and quality of grassland biomass and the likelihood of occupation of different plant and pollinator taxa at regional scales, with the ultimate goal to enhance future performance and efficiency of agri-environmental policy and management.

Work duties will involve for example:

  • the derivation and validation spatiotemporal estimates of herbaceous biomass from remote sensing data using deep convolutional neural network (CNN)
  • linking estimates of grazing pressure to purposefully collected data on plant indicator species and flower abundance, species richness and composition
  • collating and mobilizing existing data to link on-site grazing intensity to plant and pollinator communities using integrated community occupancy models
  • assessing the performance of agri-environmental payments requirements in conserving biodiversity on pastures.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Environmental science if the applicant has:

  • completed an independent project, e.g. a degree project in the relevant subject comprising at least 30 credits and have good oral and written proficiency in English.

The specific entry requirements can also be fulfilled through an equivalent programme. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Qualifications other than the applicant's subject-specific competence in environmental science may be taken into consideration in order to enable interdisciplinary initiatives and important specialisations in certain areas.

Additional requirements:

  • An MSc in environmental sciences, geography, ecology, agricultural sciences or other relevant areas within natural sciences
  • Very good numerical and computational proficiency
  • Knowledge and experience in processing of large datasets and statistics
  • Demonstrated ability for proactive, independent and well-organised work.
  • Driving license (car)

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student's potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. 1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. 2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. 3. Written and oral communication skills
  4. 4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other merits:

  • Practical experience in remote sensing applications in vegetation ecology, conservation or related areas
  • Experience in programming using R or Python
  • Good knowledge and experience in machine learning
  • Practical experience conducting plant survey and identification work

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

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

The Centre for Environmental and Climate Science, CEC ( conducts research, education and communication on environmental science and climate research at Lund University.

We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

Type of employment: Temporary position
First day of employment: According to the agreement
Salary: Monthly salary
Number of positions: 1
Full-time equivalent: 100
City: Lund
County: Skåne län
Country: Sweden
Reference number: PA2024/1933
Contact: Yann Clough,
Union representative: OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Last application date: 2024-08-20
Link to ad:

published: 28 June 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.