Doctoral Student in Biology

Lund University Department of Biology


Doctoral student in Biology

Lunds Universitet, naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, biologiska institutionen

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.

Project description

Blooms like it hot - or not

Aquatic environments are of enormous importance as natural resources of drinking water, fish production and recreation. However, surface waters worldwide are threatened by toxic cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. The ruling paradigm (blooms like it hot) is that there will be more frequent and intense cyanobacterial blooms in the due to higher temperatures and higher nutrient input. However, during the recent extreme hot summer in Sweden, we observed inconsistencies in this prediction. The event 2018 led to a complete shift in the algal community of a drinking water supply. lnstead a non-cyanobacterium, a potentially toxic dinoflagellate bloomed. This leads to new issues and challenges for management and drinking water plants.

Work tasks

The overall goal of the project is to investigate and include the effect of extreme weather events in conceptual models for future algal blooms, thereby filling an important  knowledge gap. The specific aims include determining how widespread community shifts were in 2018, to which extent spring temperatures determine bloom composition, and if the drought reduced nutrient inputs thereby allowing cyanobacteria to be outcompeted. ln addition, algal toxins will be investigated in the various stages of drinking water treatment.

The PhD student will thus organize and perform field studies and laboratory experiments, as well as analyze data from the national phytoplankton monitoring program. The PhD student will also be involved in a citizen science program to enhance public engagement and provide high-intensity sampling. 

Required qualifications

The candidate is required to hold a Master's degree in biology or equivalent, specialized on freshwater or marine ecology. 

The successful candidate fulfills the following qualifications:

  • Basic knowledge on aquatic ecosystems
  • Practical experience with microscopy
  • Practical experience of laboratory work
  • Experience of working with microalgae or other microorganism
  • Very good knowledge in English
  • Drivers license

Additional valuable merits are:

  • Algal culturing skills
  • Experience of field work
  • Experience of basic molecular biological techniques
  • Experience of analyzing large datasets

lmportant personal qualities are to be creative, good at problem-solving, a team-worker, independent, resilient and structured.


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§.


The application should include all of the following: a curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic letters, a personal letter stating your interest for the project and doctoral studies as well as any relevant experience for the project, documentation of English language skills (for non-native English speakers), contact information (phone, email) of two personal references. Relevant publications, including accepted academic papers or research thesis can also be enclosed.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

To apply, please click the button "Login and apply"

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment 2020-05-01 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2019/4295
  • Karin Rengefors, Professor, +46462228427,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 18.Dec.2019
Last application date 15.Feb.2020 11:59 PM CET

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