A PhD studentship in Physical Geography and Ecosystem science is hereby announced at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem sciences, Lund University (LU), Sweden. The four-year position is funded externally via the project “Impact of land use on land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in savannahs of Sahel”.
The main aim with this project is to improve our understanding of the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ecosystems of African savannahs. The Sahel is a semi-arid biogeographic transition zone between the dry Sahara Desert in the North and the humid Soudanian savannah in the south, and it is one of the world’s largest semi-arid regions. Today we know little about the interactions between climate, ecosystems and land use of the Sahel, and the main aim with this project is to increase our understanding of these interactions. In this project we will do field observations of the land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in Savannahs of Senegal, and study its spatial and temporal variability. This project is not only of relevance for improving our understanding of greenhouse gas exchange of semi-arid savannahs of Sahel, but is also important for the ability of countries across Sahel and Africa to report according to the Paris agreement.
This project focuses on field observations of the spatial and temporal variability in the land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases and aims at answering three research questions: 1) What are the factors controlling the greenhouse gas exchange for semi-arid savannahs of Sahel? 2) What are the major features within the semi-arid savannah landscape affecting spatial variability in the greenhouse gas exchange? 3) What are the consequences for the greenhouse gas exchange of converting the semi-arid savannah to croplands? To respond to these questions, we will do field observations of greenhouse gas exchange in savannahs of the Sahel. We are currently running a field station at in Senegal since 20 years, and the PhD student should study the long-term dynamics of land-atmosphere exchange of the greenhouse gases at this site. In order to increase our knowledge on the spatial distribution of the land atmosphere exchange of the greenhouse gases, the PhD student should spend some time in Senegal and do measurements across the region. Finally, we will also cooperate with other researchers doing similar measurements in a nearby agricultural area, and the PhD student should analyse how the savannah-cropland conversion impact the land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases.
The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:
- has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
- has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
- has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
When starting, the applicant is expected to hold a university degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in natural sciences, preferably in Physical Geography, Ecosystem sciences or something equivalent. Proven experience in scientific writing, such as a master thesis, in English is essential. We are looking for an independent and creative person who thrives in a dynamic research environment. The project requires close collaboration with international scientists and the candidate should be able to work independently and to carry out hands-on experiments, as well as working in groups on a collaborative basis. The applicant should be committed and focused, and be able to take responsibility for parts of the larger research project. Documented experience of field work and studies of land-atmosphere interactions is a desirable merit.
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:
Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems. Written and oral communication skills. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.
Other assessment criteria:
- Experience with ecosystem sciences and land atmosphere exchange processes
- Experience with eddy covariance flux systems and/or chamber measurements
- Good ability in handling large amounts of data
- Experience of field work
- Knowledge in plant ecology, specifically towards savannas and about processes controlling the interaction between plants and its environment.
- Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
- Knowledge of French
- Drivers licence B
Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.
Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at Lund University consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.
Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, contact information to at least two references, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.).