Postdoctoral fellow in Environmental Science

Lund University
Lund, Sweden
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Lund University, Centre for Environmental and Climate research

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.

The Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC ( conducts research, education and communication on environmental science and climate research at Lund University.

The postdoctoral position is funded by BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate), an interdisciplinary strategic research area based on collaboration between more than 250 researchers at the universities of Lund and Gothenburg. BECC develops research that contributes to the visualization and generation of knowledge to predict and manage the combined effect of climate change and land use on biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. BECC's strength is its existing and successful research leaders from many different disciplines such as biology, political science, geology, mathematics, physical geography and economics that together develop BECC. The Center for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC, hosts BECC. CEC is both a physical and a virtual center at Lund University. CEC conducts research, education and communication about environmental science and climate research.

Impacts of extreme drought on ecosystems in Eurasia and Sweden – the role of deep water reserves

Large scale drought is predicted to become more common. Global warming is not only increasing mean temperatures, but also extremes, driving evaporation and increasing water vapor pressure deficit, resulting in more frequent and extreme drought.

The main hypothesis of this project is that deep water access is important for plant responses to drought. Plant access to deep water varies between regions globally. It also varies in the local landscape where valleys generally offer greater water access than uphill areas do. The post doc will investigate global to local variability in deep water access and its impact on vegetation and carbon cycling. Identification and analysis of extreme weather events will be combined with recently developed hydrology processes in the ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS to analyze past, current and future impact of drought on ecosystems. Datasets on soil depth will be combined with derived information on ground water depth to adjust the ecosystem model’s hydrology and plant water access. The model results will be compared with remote sensing information and datasets to analyze the influence of local topography and global soil and ground water depth variations on ecosystem processes. Lastly, the improved model will be used to investigate future trajectories of climate change from a drought and ecohydrological perspective.

The basis for the work includes recently developed flexible hydrology in the ecosystem model at Lund University and  results from a project at University of Gothenburg that aim to characterize extreme heat events and their impact on vegetation.

Work duties
The main duties involved in a post-doctoral posistion is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.


  1. Development and adaption of deeper soil hydrology in the dynamic ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS.  A dataset on soil depth, for uphill and valley areas, will be used to inform the models hydrology both within and between grid cells. Ground water depth will be estimated from groundwater models and adjusted based on topography for uphills and valleys within the grid cells.
  2. Analysis of plant responses to climate variability and extreme events consideringdeep water access. This work involves analyzing remote sensing and field observations on plant biomass, productivity and mortality responses to climate variability and comparing with model simulations.
  3. Analysis of global and regional water storage variability, using the improved model and datasets on terrestrial water storage.

Qualification requirements
Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the last date for applications. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.


  • A PhD in climate, ecosystem sciences or relevant field.
  • Ability to provide two references from previous supervisor / employer.


  • Documented experience of all or some of the following methods; dynamic ecosystem modelling, climate modelling and analysis, remote sensing, model-data comparisons, spatial analysis of digital elevation models and hydrology.
  • Experience in programming (C++) and tools for dynamic modelling, spatial statistics, , remote sensing, and geographical information systems .
  • Experience in analyzing climate variations and extremes (such as ENSO).
  • Experience and ability to work individually and organize an individual schedule to fulfill a specific goal.
  • Experience in working in a team.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications
This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers. Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment
This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of a maximum of 2 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S, OFR/S and SEKO, dated 4 September 2008.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing: 

  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications
  • a general description of past research and future research interests (no more than three pages)
  • contact information of at least two references
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered

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

Contract type
Full time

First day of employment
As soon as possible for two years


Number of positions

Working hours


Skåne län


Reference number


  • Anders Ahlström, Associate Sr University Lecturer, +46 (0)732 02 84 87;
  • Deliang Chen,
  • My Geborek, Human Resources Coordinator, +46 46 222 48 53,

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


Last application date
16.Feb.2020 11:59 PM CET