Phd student

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Full Time
4 weeks ago



Department of Energy and Technology

The Department of Energy and Technology at Soil, Water and Environment Center (MVM) offers a stimulating and interdisciplinary research environment with both national and international focus. We have expertise in technology and systems for sustainable food production and bioenergy. Within the field of methodology, we have extensive competences in Systems Analysis including Environmental Systems Analysis and LCA, Biometrics (statistics and mathematics with application in biological systems) as well as Automation.

We are looking for a person who wants to participate in a multidisciplinary project where we together have expertise in ecology, agronomy, life cycle assessment and data analysis. Maybe you have an engineering/data science degree and want to apply your knowledge in modeling, statistics and data processing in the field of biodiversity - that is, the conservation of the diversity of animals, plants and other organisms? Or maybe you are an ecologist / biologist who wants to ensure that the data available on species abundance and richness in different landscapes and agricultural systems can be made useful for decision makers in the food industry?

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at


Assessment of biodiversity in LCA



Environmental product footprinting of food based on e.g. life cycle assessment is widely used in decision making, but the environmental aspects included are often limited to the climate impact. This is too narrow a perspective and risks steering in the wrong direction - more aspects need to be included. As agriculture is a main driver of biodiversity loss, neglecting to include biodiversity as an impact category for food is especially problematic.

Available methods to include impacts on biodiversity in LCA are less advanced than those used to assess the climate impact and more research in this area is urgently needed. In this project, we will establish biodiversity characterisation factors for Sweden that consider species richness, functional diversity, landscape effects and different reference situations, and test these in case studies comparing organic and conventional crop production, and extensive and intensive beef production. Large Swedish biodiversity datasets available from environmental monitoring systems, peer-reviewed studies and yet unpublished data will be consolidated and used for this purpose. The project thus aims at making biodiversity data useful in current decision making at policy, business and consumer level, and at advancing methods for doing so, hence contributing to generalisable scientific advances in the field. This interdisciplinary project will be carried out by leading LCA experts and ecologists, working closely with a large stakeholder group.



We are looking for a motivated candidate with a master's degree in ecology, biology, agronomy, technology, sustainable food systems, sustainable development or similar. Experience of working with different types of data analysis e.g. statistical analyzes, life cycle assessment, modelling or programming are an advantage as well as knowledge of agriculture, ecology or biodiversity. An interest in sustainability development and how to accomplish a sustainable food system in general is also an advantage. You need to have good written and oral language skills in English and preferably Swedish, but the latter is not a requirement. Great emphasis is placed on personal qualities, such as the ability to work independently, flexibility, the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines, curiosity and willingness to learn, as well as a good analytical and problem-solving ability.


Place of work:      



Forms for funding or employment:

Employment 4 years.


Starting date:

According to agreement or as soon as possible.



Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2022-06-10.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

Please note that 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. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at


Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

Contact person

Elin Röös