PhD position in soil ecology focusing on earthworms, soil microorganisms and carbon dynamics

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Full Time
3 weeks ago

Research project/thesis:

Although earthworms are widely present in European forests, the northern regions of Scandinavia are still largely lacking burrowing earthworm species. The expansion of such species into northern forests may have dramatic effects on the capacity of these soils to store carbon. In addition to physical soil mixing, earthworms may have cascading effects on soil microorganisms that control decomposition and nitrogen availability. The aim of this project is to quantify the impacts of burrowing earthworm expansion on soil C and N cycling in Scandinavia’s northern forests, and the mechanisms by which earthworms affect soil processes. We will use controlled mesocosm experiments and identify current and historical invasion gradients using eDNA analysis of soils sampled across Sweden to quantify effects of earthworms on soil fungi and bacteria and C sequestration. This project will identify whether climate-driven expansion of burrowing earthworm species is a threat for C storage in northern forest soils.

The PhD student is expected to develop their thesis work within this project, supported by the main supervisor and a co-supervisors. Additionally the student will develop their academic skills by following PhD courses and be involved in teaching undergraduate students. 

Read about the PhD education at SLU at


The applicant must have an MSc degree in soil biology, ecology, microbiology, environmental sciences or equivalent.

The candidate should have a good ability to communicate in written and spoken English. 

Strong merits are: Experience in linking soil community ecology to biogeochemical cycling, documented experience in molecular analyses and bioinformatics, soil zoology, (experimental) fieldwork and experience in quantitative data analyses (e.g. statistics, modelling).

Independence, creativity, power of initiative, good interpersonal skills and a driver’s license are considered valuable assets.

The application should contain:

  • Application letter (max 2 pages) motivating why you are interested in the position
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Contact information for two reference persons relevant to this position (e.g. thesis supervisors)
  • Evaluations will be based on the application, references, knowledge of English and interviews.

Applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Non-Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:


Place of work : Uppsala

Forms for funding or employment: Employment 4 years

Starting date: 2023-05-01 or according to agreement

Application: Apply via the website at ( The deadline is 2023-02-17