Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Ecology and Regulating Ecosystem Services of Nordic Saltmarshes

Stockholm University


Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Ecology and Regulating Ecosystem Services of Nordic Saltmarshes Stockholm

Ref. No. SU FV-4725-20


at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Closing date: 29 January 2021.

The Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University is an international environment for research and education. The PhD subject areas are Ecology and Evolution, Ecotoxicology, Marine Biology, Plant Physiology and Plant Systematics. Some of the research has direct environmental and societal relevance and the approach is often broad and interdisciplinary. About 140 people work at the Department, of which ca. 35 are teachers and researchers and ca 50 are PhD candidates.

Project description

We are seeking strong candidates for a 2-year postdoc position within the newly funded international BiodivERsA project “NordSalt: Climate Change Impacts and Biodiversity Interactions in Nordic Salt Marshes”, funded by the Swedish research council Formas. BiodivERsA is a network of national and regional funding organisations promoting pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and offering innovative opportunities for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity. BiodivERsA is funded under the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET COFUND scheme.

The NordSalt project will broadly assess the linkages between biodiversity and blue carbon sequestration in light of climate change and local management of Nordic salt marshes (a.k.a. Boreal Baltic coastal meadows). NordSalt is an international project with partners from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany. The project is transdisciplinary and divided into 5 work packages (WP1-5), that each will employ a postdoc or PhD candidate.

The postdoc will work primarily in WP4: “Marsh plant biodiversity patterns and ecosystem services”, which is co-ordinated by Stockholm University. Saltmarshes are globally highly important for carbon sequestration, responsible for ca. 50% of so called ‘Blue Carbon’ on the planet. Coastal marshes in the Nordic region (“Baltic coastal meadows”) are largely understudied and differ substantially from “classic” macrotidal salt marshes (which are well-studied globally) due to the wide climate and salinity gradients and microtidal nature of the Baltic Sea. Past work suggests that the composition and diversity of Baltic Sea coastal marsh plant assemblages are heavily influenced by abiotic conditions (e.g. climate, elevation, wave exposure, latitude) and management regime (e.g. livestock grazing), but may also be responding to ongoing and expected climate changes including warming, sea-level rise, and increased floods. Plant composition (e.g. tall- vs. short-grass communities) and diversity could also be important drivers of processes that underpin critical ecosystem services (e.g. sediment stabilization and carbon sequestration) and in theory also influence the susceptibility of the marsh communities – including their carbon sequestration capacity – to climate change.

Main responsibilities

The position involves 100% research focusing on disentangeling links between abiotic environmental conditions, plant community structure and diversity, soil stabilization/erosion control and carbon sequestration in Nordic saltmarshes, using field surveys and field/lab experiments. Specific tasks include:

  • lead repeated field sampling campaigns to the Swedish core site and supplementary sampling at additional sites in Sweden (including plant surveys, soil sampling, gas flux measurements, etc.)
  • conduct laboratory analyses of biota, soil samples, etc.
  • participate in a long-term mesocosm experiment in Hamburg (Germany)
  • assist in joint NordSalt field campaigns in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Germany
  • analyse data, write and submit manuscripts to international journals
  • co-supervise MSc student(s) connected to the project.

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria

The degree should have been completed no more than three years before the deadline for applications. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances, which may involve sick leave, parental leave, clinical attachment, elected positions in trade unions, or similar.

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to the quality and quantity of past research, communication skills, publication record and faculty recommendations. Competitive applicants should have

  • a strong background (e.g. a PhD) in plant ecology or comparable topic,
  • experience in saltmarsh/wetland plant ecology and/or plant-soil ecology and/or experience of studying linkages between plant community structure/biodiversity and ecosystem functions,
  • and proficiency in field sampling and laboratory work.

Because of the transdisciplinary nature of the project, experience of cross- and/or inter-disciplinary experience, collaboration with local stakeholders, and ability to communicate well with stakeholders in spoken Swedish, will be considered highly meriting.

Because of the nature of the project, applicants must

  • possess a drivers’ license for car and small truck (B)
  • be able to regularly travel and conduct field work away from home for extended periods
  • be fluent in spoken and written English.

We seek enthusiastic applicants with a high motivation to do field-based research, who enjoy being part of an international and cross-disciplinary team and is capable of working independently as well as part of a team. The successful applicant will be appointed following a general assessment of their competence and potential for development according to the tasks and prerequisites of the position.

Terms of employment

The position involves full-time employment for a maximum of two years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date 1 March 2021 or as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.


Further information about the position can be obtained from Associate Professor Johan Eklöf, telephone: +468161358,

Union representatives

Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, and (SEKO). 


Apply for the position at Stockholm University's 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.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references 

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter of max 2 A4 page detailing why you are interested in the project and what makes you a good applicant
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 PDF files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Closing date: 29/01/2021


In your application, please refer to


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