Phd student in Biology or Animal Science - Reindeer husbandry

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Full Time
1 month ago



Department of Animal nutrition and management

The Department of Animal nutrition and management (HUV) offers an inspiring research environment where we conduct basic and applied research on feed,  animal metabolism, handling and management in various animal production systems from extensive (pastoral) systems to precision livestock farming. HUV is responsible for undergraduate and postgraduate education in the areas of nutritional physiology, feed science, management issues and aquaculture. 

Within the topic Reindeer husbandry our goal is to develop knowledge that strengthens the long-term sustainability of reindeer husbandry and provides tools that help the industry to cope with external stress from natural factors as well as other land uses. We perform research and education within the topic reindeer husbandry and reindeer biology. The research focuses on production conditions of the reindeer husbandry and interaction with the surrounding world.


Reinforcing the reindeer husbandry facing increasing external stress


Reindeer husbandry is a pastoral production system where the reindeer herders make use of animals’ natural adaptation to the environment and their ability to transfer otherwise underutilised resources into meat and other products. Reindeer husbandry is a vital part of Sami culture and society and important for many local communities as well as a number of other indigenous peoples throughout the Arctic. Rapid and pronounced climate change in the Arctic causes distress, challenges and economic uncertainty in the pastoral reindeer herding system of indigenous Sami. Furthermore, competing anthropogenic activities continuously increases and inhibits the flexibility of the system. In this project we will investigate the possibilities and limitations for herders in a northern pastoral system facing increasing external stress to adapt to the effects of climate change.

In this PhD-project the graduate student will use 25 years records of reindeer numbers and slaughter from the 51 herding communities in Sweden, and a unique 40-year set of records from 20,000 individually marked calves and their mothers collected from one herding community. Weather events, access to pasture, external land use and herders’ management strategies will be related to reindeer performance and herd productivity over time. The project will be based on a co-production of knowledge approach together with reindeer husbandry. The graduate student will be partly responsible for collecting experience-based knowledge from reindeer herders in Sweden and Norway regarding strategies and selection in reindeer husbandry work and the possibilities for a more developed individual marking system of reindeer.



A master degree in Biology, Animal Science or Animal agronomy, or similar is suitable. Good ability to communicate in oral and written English is a requirement, as is good computer skills. Good knowledge in speaking and writing in the Scandinavian languages is a merit. Knowledge of scientific work, population biology, statistics, remote sensing, field work is a merit as well as knowledge of reindeer husbandry. You should have a driving license (B). Furthermore, great emphasis is put on personal and communiticative skills such as good collaboration and the ability to work independently.

The application can be written in Swedish or English and must contain a maximum of one A4 page where you describe why you want to work with research in general and this project in particular. Enter the names and contact details of two reference persons in your application.


Place of work:      



Forms for funding or employment:

Employment as a doctoral student for 4 years


Starting date:

1 October 2022 or according to agreement. 



Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2022-08-15.

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

Anna Skarin


+46 (0)18 671954