PhD Position in Marine Sciences

University of Gothenburg Faculty of Science


Three Motivated PhD Student to Work in Three Different and Highly Topical Projects! Two PhD Student in Marine Ecology and One PhD Student in Physical Oceanography

Diary id:PAR 2020/881

Employment level:Fixed term

Location:Department of Marine Sciences

Apply by:2020-08-31

The Department of Marine Sciences, the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg, was launched July 1, 2015 with the purpose to achieve the vision of "A University with marine research, teaching and cooperation of the highest international class". The department has about 110 employees - researchers, teachers, PhD students, technicians and administrators. The department carries out teaching and research in the various marine specializations, biology, oceanography, chemistry, marine geology, conservation of underwater cultural heritage, and environmental science. Research is conducted both within specialized individual projects as well as within larger interdisciplinary programs. The Department is situated in Gothenburg and at the University’s research stations at Tjärnö and Kristineberg. More information on the Department can be found at

Project description

Project 1: Seeking a highly motivated PhD student in marine chemical ecology

We are looking for a PhD student in marine chemical ecology. Chemical sensing is the key sensory modality in the ocean but little is known about chemical sensing and signalling in marine plankton. What compounds convey information? How do they transmit between organisms? How do organisms and ecosystems respond?  

The project is centred on chemical alarm-signals in marine plankton, copepodamides. Copepodamides are exuded by zooplankton and drive large-scale processes such as harmful algal bloom formation and bioluminescence at strikingly low (10-15-10-12 M) concentrations. The project will be adjusted to the background of the successful applicant and may focus more on the biology of sensing and signalling in the ocean, or on the chemistry; identification of new signalling compounds, field measurements etc. Irrespectively, you will work with in a dedicated multidisciplinary team and conduct field, and laboratory work in marine chemical ecology.

Experience of plankton ecology, analytical chemistry, scientific writing, programming and fieldwork are meriting. The successful applicant will be self-motivated and passionate about science. You should have a relevant exam in biology, chemistry, physics, or equivalent. More information available at

Key references:

Prevett, A., Lindström, J., Xu, J., Karlson, B., & Selander, E. (2019). Grazer-induced bioluminescence gives dinoflagellates a competitive edge. Current Biology, 29(12), R564-R565.

Selander, E., Berglund, E., Engström, P., Berggren, F., Eklund, J., Harðardóttir, S., . . . Andersson, M. (2019). Copepods drive large-scale trait-mediated effects in marine plankton. Science Advances, 5(2), eaat5096.

Heuschele, J., & Selander, E. (2014). The chemical ecology of copepods. Journal of Plankton Research, 36(4), 895-913.

Selander, E., Jakobsen, H. H., Lombard, F., & Kiørboe, T. (2011). Grazer cues induce stealth behavior in marine dinoflagellates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(10), 4030-4034.

Project 2: Seeking a PhD student in marine ecology, focusing on the effects of ocean acidification on ecological interactions in seaweed communities

We are seeking a PhD student in marine ecology, focusing on the effects of ocean acidification on ecological interactions in seaweed communities. Seaweeds have different strategies for taking up carbon and this can cause them to be affected differently by ocean acidification. The overall objectives of this project include investigating the plasticity of carbon uptake strategies and adaptations to increased CO2 supply in seaweeds, compare the effects of ocean acidification on the primary metabolism of seaweeds with different carbon uptake strategies, and investigate the effects of ocean acidification on ecological interactions (algal-algal and algal-herbivore interactions). The PhD project can be adapted to and focused on one or several of these objectives and involves work both in the field and in the laboratory, including the design of manipulative experiments and chemical analyzes.

Experience in seaweed ecology and or physiology, experimental design, and field work is a merit. The position is located to Tjärnö marine laboratory south of Strömstad and the successful candidate will be part of a research group of about 10 people. We are looking for a motivated, independent and curious person with a great interest in understanding ecological relationships in marine environments, as well as reading and writing scientific texts.

Project 3: Seeking a PhD student for an Antarctic Oceanography project

We are hiring a PhD student for an Antarctic Oceanography project. We are looking for a highly motivated Ph.D. student in Physical Oceanography, who will participate in a project about ocean currents in the vicinity of one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves. Using four years of oceanographic data from moorings placed near Getz ice shelf, West Antarctica, forcing mechanisms, seasonal variation and ice-ocean interaction processes will be identified and quantified. You will work with time series analyses, water mass identification and boundary layer processes between ice and ocean.

The scientific question has a mathematical / physical focus, and the prospective student should have a strong background in dynamical oceanography / physics and mathematics and have good knowledge in scientific programming (e.g. Matlab or Python). At least one icebreaker expedition to Antarctica will be part of the project. Work at sea in the Southern Ocean can be demanding and the student will be gone from home at least 2 months. The project is a collaboration with the University of Bergen, and a professor from Bergen will act as joint supervisor.

The applicant should have a master education in Physical Oceanography (or equivalent). Experience of work in Polar Oceanography, time series analyses and oceanographic data is meriting.


Read under the eacg project under "Project description" above in the advertisment.


As a PhD student at the department of Marine Sciences you will:

     Assignments applied to all three projects

  • Dissiminate results in peer reviewed journals and elsewhere.
  • Write a thesis
  • Teaching may be included

     For project 1 this assignment are also included

  • Design, perform, and analyse experiments in plankton chemical ecology.


The qualifications for education on a doctoral level are: a Masters level degree or similar, at least 240 university points, of which 60 are on an advanced level, or similar knowledge acquired in another way within or outside the country of Sweden. Candidates currently based on any country are welcome to apply. The starting date is negotiable.

Only applicants who are admitted to the postgraduate level may be hired. Upon appointment the degree of ability to successfully complete the PhD program must first be evaluated. Only applicants who are admitted to the PhD program at the Dep. of Marine Sciences may be hired.

Third cycle education

Admission to third cycle education is aiming at a PhD in Natural Science, specializing in Physical Oceanography, Biology or Marine Sciences. The education runs for four years of fulltime studies, containing three years of thesis work and one year of academic education (i.e. course work and literature studies). A selection of courses at the Department/Faculty is available, but national/international courses can also be selected. Some teaching and/or course administration can be included which extends the contract to the same extent. You will be employed at University of Gothenburg, and salary follows the regulations at University of Gothenburg. In addition to pursuing its his/her own research studies, PhD students may be required to perform other duties, such as teaching, research and administrative work according to special regulations.


Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctoral level are given in SFS 1998:80. Only a person that is admitted to a doctoral level education can hold the position. The candidates will be judged for their ability to successfully complete the program and their past performance relative to research opportunity. In addition to pursuing their own research studies, the holder of the position may be required to perform duties such as teaching, research, and administration according to special regulations.

The candidate will be expected to work in a team, have flexibility to adapt to change, commitment to learn new skills, and build excellent data handling and communication skills. Communication skills in oral and written English are a requirement.

Appointment Procedure

Please apply online.

The following should be included:

  • A short cover letter in English describing the applicant´s motivation for the position, how the applicant meets the selection criteria, and how the application is well suited for the proposed work (max. one A4 page).
  • An attested list of qualifications (CV)
  • Examination certificates and transcript of courses with grades.
  • Relevant publications, including accepted academic papers or research thesis.
  • Contact information (phone, email) of two personal references

The highest ranked applicants will be contacted for interview.

For further information please contact

Project 1: Senior lecturer Erik Selander

Project 2: Senior lecturer Gunilla Toth

Project 3: Professor Anna Wåhlin

Dept. of Marine Sciences


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Closing date: 2020-08-31

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In your application, please refer to


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