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European Geosciences Union

Postdoctoral position in theoretical ecology

Postdoctoral position in theoretical ecology

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences logo

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Place of work:
The position is based at the Ecology Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), in Uppsala, Sweden. The centre includes the Department of Ecology where we conduct research for sustainable agriculture, forest production and biological conservation. Our basic ecological research on populations, communities and ecosystems forms the foundation for understanding influences of land use and climate on animals, plants, soil nutrients and greenhouse gas balance. Solutions are sought that will mitigate climate change, preserve threatened species, benefit biological diversity and ecosystem services and control pests in managed agricultural, forested and urban landscapes. Active dissemination, outreach and frequent contacts with stakeholders are key activities. We build our activities on extensive national and international research collaborations to generate cutting-edge research and outreach to further ecology as science and develop sustainable agriculture.


Uppsala, Sweden


Relevant divisions
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE)

Full time


~ 31000 SEK/mo

Required education

Application deadline
12 April 2019

12 March 2019

Job description

Ecosystem functioning in dynamic food webs
A hot topic in ecology is how ecological complexity might drive the flow, stability and resilience of ecosystem functions such as primary production. In particular, there is an emerging interest in understanding functions that are driven by trophic interactions in food webs, such as herbivory and predation. We are searching for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to explore such ecological dynamic processes using mathematical models. The results will be related to empirical data from terrestrial arthropod (mainly insects) and plant food webs. The fellow will engage in exploring how ecological processes, abundance dynamics and resource allocation in the community, are determined by factors such as number of species at different trophic levels in the community, their traits (energetics, space use etc), and who interacts with whom (i.e. web interaction network structure). A central question is how a changing environment will affect the performance and robustness of functioning in dynamic ecological communities. From an applied perspective, the findings are expected to provide a theoretical basis for the maintenance of ecosystem services in sustainable biodiversity-based agriculture.
Duties: The postdoctoral researcher should be interested in using differential equation models as building blocks to advance food web ecology and to explore emergent properties of ecosystem functioning in species-rich communities. Theory development is expected to generate models and specific hypothesis that can be validated and tested empirically in experiments, field observations or with extant data bases. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to take active part to develop the project and to write and publish science in collaboration with the research team. The successful candidate will enter a world leading research team in the areas of community ecology and agroecology, with extensive technical support and combined empirical and theoretical expertise (,, The postdoctoral fellow will assist in the supervision of a graduate student and engage in team activities such as seminars and workshops.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who is actively pursuing an academic career with an interest in dynamic systems, theoretical and functional ecology. The required qualification for the position is a PhD that can be in in ecology, applied mathematics, engineering, environmental sciences, physics or equivalent. Mathematical skills are required. Knowledge on community ecology or other linked dynamic systems are meriting. The candidate is expected to be capable and willing to take initiative and work independently as well as in a team, and should have documented skills in scientific writing and publishing. Excellent communication skills in English (both written and oral) are required.

How to apply

Apply via internet following this link no later than 12 April 2019