PhD student in understanding multiple stressors in northern stream ecosystems

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Umeå, Sweden 🇸🇪


Department of Forest Ecology and Management

The department includes about 100 people of which 11 are professors. Our mission is to advance the understanding of forest ecosystem processes and to progress the principles of forest ecosystem management. For more information:

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

Understanding multiple stressors in northern stream ecosystems

Research subject: Biology


Ongoing climate change and land-use represent severe pressures on northern stream ecosystems. In Sweden, extended drought periods and more intense flood events are increasingly more common. At the same time, small streams situated in production forests are under pressure from forestry. Both of these anthropogenic pressures trigger many physicochemical changes, and when those changes exceed the range of background undisturbed conditions they become stressors for aquatic biota. The student will work with an integrative approach that combines experimental manipulations in mesocosms and natural streams with existing and new data collected in streams in connection to extreme events. In this 4-year project, the student will a) test how aquatic organisms and ecosystem functions in small streams affected by forestry responded to and recovered from extreme drought and extreme flood events;  b) establish a baseline for stream ecosystem responses to induced drought with consequent re-wetting in the absence of forestry pressure, and c) assess the impacts of combined forestry and extreme-hydrological stressors on a variety of biotic responses in an experimental setting. The work will be situated in the Krycklan Catchment study ( and will utilize unique reserch insfrastructure of experimental dam system and aquatic fluvial mesocosms.

The student should start the position during the summer of 2023, but starting date can be flexible for the right candidate. This position is fully funded for four years with the expectation that the candidate will complete a PhD-degree within this time. There may be potential to extend the length of the PhD contract with teaching, but the successful candidate is expected to be primarily researched based. The PhD student will be under the supervision of Dr. Lenka Kuglerová, at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SLU in Umeå, Dr. Brendan McKie, at the dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU Uppsala Sweden and Dr. Ryan Sponseller at the dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University. The student will also have a chance to work closely with an interdisciplinary group of researchers with diverse expertise.



  • Master´s degree in a relevant subject (ecology, forest science or similar)
  • Experience with data analyses in R 
  • Strong work ethic
  • Excellent oral and written communication in English
  • Experience with streams sampling and/or riparian surveys, preferably in Nordic forests.


  • Experience with mesocosm studies
  • Experience with working independently & organizing own work schedule.
  • Experience with working successfully within a team.  

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment as PhD student, full time for 4 years

Starting date:

Summer 2023, can also be flexible


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is April 3 2023.

Application Information

The application should be written in English and include the following:

  • CV
  • Cover letter describing yourself and your motivation for applying for this position (max 2 pages)
  • Short (max one page) description of your scientific background, research interests and your match to the above mentioned qualifications
  • Copies of graduation degrees, or equivalent, as well as other relevant certificates (e.g. English-language certificate, if you did not do your previous studies in Sweden or in a native English speaking country)
  • Name and contact information of two professional references.

Evaluations will be based on the application letter, references, interview and relevance of previous experiences.

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) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.


Lenka Kuglerova

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IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development