PhD Opportunity in Environmental/Aquatic/Catchment Science

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Posted Aug 28, 2023

Deadline: Sep 8, 2023

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Experience Level:
Entry Level
Link to Apply:
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The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. The Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment ( focuses on environmental change over time and space in freshwaters. To support society’s efforts in sustainable development and ecosystem restoration, we seek the causes of environmental change in both human influences and natural variation. National responsibilities for assessing Swedish surface waters keep us connected to practical issues of water management, while at the same time providing opportunities for cutting-edge research. The department has ca 140 employees. Our approaches to scientific questions are often interdisciplinary, with good opportunities for collaboration between the department’s four major areas of expertise: geochemical and hydrological processes, aquatic ecology and biodiversity, microbial ecology as well as environmental organic chemistry and ecotoxicology. To promote landscape level approaches, the department is part of SLU’s Soil-Water-Environment cluster. The breadth of expertise comprised by the 300 members of this cluster, in combination with major research infrastructures for field studies, laboratory analyses and data management creates a creative environment for scientific endeavor.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at;

Improved evidence-base for understanding and managing surface water brownification

Research subject: Environmental assessment Description:

We are seeking a PhD candidate who will work with the project ”Improved evidence-base for understanding and managing surface water brownification.” Major increases in the color and organic carbon content of many surface waters across Europe and North America have altered aquatic foodwebs, mobilized harmful substances and created problems for the treatment of drinking water. This has highlighted the need to better understand “brownification” and improve the evidence base for managing organic matter concentrations in streams, lakes and rivers. The research project will use three decades of surface water data from across Sweden and other Nordic countries supported by data on climate and land use to resolve the role of different influences on brownification. Innovative statistical methods will be a central feature of this “top down” approach. Decades of soil and groundwater data will be the basis for a complementary, “bottom up” geochemical investigation of organic matter solubility in potential catchment source areas (mires, fens and mineral soils). Both approaches will explore the hydrological connectivity of catchment organic matter sources using new, high resolution mapping products. Stakeholders will be involved in the execution of the study to create a regionally resolved national assessment of the brownification to date and expected developments with and without countermeasures


We seek a candidate with a master's degree in one of the following fields, or equivalent: environmental science, environmental engineering, soil science, limnology, hydrology, biology, physical geography. The applicant should have a strong interest in science and the ambition to work as part of a research team. Knowledge of biogeochemistry, soil chemistry, hydrology, statistics and geographical information systems are merits for the position. The ability to express oneself well in both written and spoken English is another important merit. Personal qualities including the ability to collaborate, as well as analytical and problem-solving skills are also selection criteria.

Place of work:


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

2023-11-01 or according to agreement.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2023-09-08.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:;

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden. SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Kontaktperson: Karin Eklöf

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+46-73 040 70 92

Kevin Bishop Professor

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+46-70 638 25 17