The Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is offering a PhD position on Biodiversity and climate gas exchange commencing 01.04.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

The successful applicant will be based at the Freshwater Biological Section. The section covers: biodiversity, climate gas exchange, carbon dynamics in freshwaters and wetland, ecophysiology, ecosystem dynamics and alpine-arctic-tropical research. The section comprises research and teaching of staff members, laboratory technicians, Post Docs, PhD candidates and MSc and BSc students. The section has state-of-the-art laboratory and field equipment and experience in conducting extensive field sampling and experiments.

Project description

The PhD position is part of a 4-years grant from Danmarks Frie Forskningsråd (DFF) entitled “Supporting climate and biodiversity by rewetting of low-laying areas” and lead by Professor Kaj Sand-Jensen.

The overall aim of this PhD project is to: Quantify how changes in hydrology and disturbance regime of wetlands influence multi-taxon biodiversity and plant functional composition relate to greenhouse gas exchange. This will be carried out through plot-based surveys of plant communities, lab-based trait assessment and DNA meta-barcoding of DNA extracted from soils and litter. The two specific questions are: 1. How are biodiversity in general and of plants in particular related to hydrology and disturbance regime, and 2. How do plant functional traits influence ecosystem processes related to carbon sequestration and GHG exchange at interplay with environmental conditions.

Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor Hans Henrik Bruun (hhbruun@bio.ku.dk), co-supervisor is Tenure-track Assistant Professor Lars Båstrup-Spohr (lbaastrupspohr@bio.ku.dk).

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold a MSc degree, or equivalent, in biology, ecology, or a closely-related fields. As criteria for assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will be put on relevant work experience and previous publications (if any).

We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious individual with good interpersonal and communication skills. Previous experience in field and lab work on plant biodiversity, plant trait assessment, DNA extraction and experimental work will be considered an asset. Also, experience in gas flux measurement will be weighed positively.

Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter (1 page) describing your background, personal qualities, research interests and motivation for applying for this position
  • CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • A short abstract of the MSc thesis
  • 2 reference letters (if any)

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 08.02 2021, 23:59 GMT +1

Procedures and shortlisting

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor, Hans Henrik Bruun, hhbruun@bio.ku.dk, Direct phone: +45 35 32 12 11

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at https://www.science.ku.dk/phd.


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