PhD position - Modelling regime shifts in lake ecosystems

PhD position in Ecology or Computational Science - Modelling regime shifts in northern lake ecosystems

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umea University, Sweden, invites applications for a PhD position developing dynamical models for the study of climate impacts on northern lake ecosystems. The position will start on May 1, 2017, but this can be negotiated.

Application deadline is March 9, 2017.

The complete advertisement and instructions for application are found at

Project description
The effects of climate change on ecological communities are expected to be particularly strong in the north. The collaborative project “Climate change induced regime shifts in northern lake ecosystems” addresses two climate-dependent drivers of northern lakes: (i) altered thermal regimes and (ii) increased input of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (tDOM). In several work packages we will use experimental, comparative, paleo-ecological and modelling approaches to study the impact of temperature and tDOM on lake productivity, food web, and greenhouse gas dynamics. We expect responses to these drivers to be nonlinear.

Tasks and supervision
The PhD student will work in a team that integrates multiple processes (carbon and nutrient dynamics, primary production, food web interactions) into dynamical models describing lake ecosystem responses to climate change. Emphasis is put on spatial processes linking pelagic and benthic habitats, size-structured population interactions, and model comparison with data. Principal supervisor will be Professor Sebastian Diehl (Dept. of Ecology) and co-supervisor will be Associate Professor Åke Brännström (Dept. of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics).

Qualifications and admission requirements
We are looking for a candidate with a background in either project-specific subjects (e.g. ecology and evolution, physical geography, environmental science) or quantitative subjects (e.g. computer science, physics, mathematics). A combination of both is particularly advantageous. Strong merits are: experience with mathematical modelling, good knowledge of community and ecosystem ecology, aquatic biogeochemistry, physical limnology, and/or theoretical ecology. The candidate should have a good ability to write and speak in English, be curious and creative, take initiative, be independent and have good social skills.

Contact: Sebastian Diehl,

Job location: 
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science
Umea Univsersity
90187 Umea
Contact and application information
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Contact name: 
Sebastian Diehl
Contact email: