PhD Position in Plant Sciences
Stockholm University

PhD Position in Plant Sciences


Ref. No. SU FV-1759-24

at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Closing date: 31 July 2024.

Stockholm University is a leading European university in Sweden’s dynamic capital city. The University has more than 33,000 students, 1,600 doctoral students and 5,500 staff members active within the natural sciences and humanities. Research and education at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences (DEEP) is located in the Arrhenius Laboratories, situated at the University Campus at Frescati. Research spans a broad range of subject areas, including Ecology and Evolution, Ecotoxicology, Marine Biology, Plant Physiology, Plant Systematics and Environmental and Climate Sciences.

Presently around 100 people in 25 research groups work at DEEP, including 35 PhD students and 10 postdocs. The research environment is characterized by its international focus and collaborative and stimulating working environment. Senior staff are active researchers as well as teachers, contributing to the University’s Biology Education at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.

This position is part of the Research School of the SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS). Data-Driven Life Science uses data, computational methods and artificial intelligence to study biological systems and processes at all levels, from molecular structures and cellular processes to human health and global ecosystems. The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) aims to recruit and train the next-generation of data-driven life scientists and create globally leading computational and data science capabilities in Sweden. The programme is funded with a total of 3.1 billion SEK (about 290 MUSD) over 12 years from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg (KAW) Foundation.

During 2024, the DDLS Research School will be launched with the recruitment of 20 academic and 7 industrial PhD students. During the course of the DDLS programme more than 260 PhD students and 200 postdocs will be part of the Research School. The DDLS programme has four strategic areas: Cell and Molecular Biology, Evolution and Biodiversity, Precision Medicine and Diagnostics, Epidemiology and Biology of Infection. For more information, please see

The future of life science is data-driven. Will you be part of that change? Then join us in this unique programme!

Project description
The Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences invites applications for a four-year, fully funded PhD position in Data-Driven Evolution and Biodiversity.

Data Driven Evolution and Biodiversity concerns research that takes advantage of the massive data streams offered by techniques such as high-throughput sequencing of genomes and biomes, continuous recording of video and audio in the wild, high-throughput imaging of biological specimens, and large-scale remote monitoring of organisms or habitats.

The PhD project in Data-Driven Evolution and Biodiversity is part of the project ‘New probabilistic and AI methods for inferring recent and ongoing plant extinctions’. The student will develop new quantitative methods for extinction assessments and apply them to digitised herbarium data and information on species’ traits, distributions and threats to accelerate and improve estimates of plant extinction. The student will be trained in Red List assessments, probabilistic modelling, machine learning and computational approaches in biodiversity science. The student will be will be supervised by Aelys Humphreys (Stockholm University) and work closely with an international team of collaborators associated with the project: Daniele Silvestro (University of Fribourg), Diana Fisher (University of Queensland), Alexandre Antonelli (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Gothenburg University) and Jon Norberg (Stockholm University).

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, applicants must have completed at least 60 higher education credits in the second cycle, of which at least 15 credits must be from a course in one of the subject areas 'Plant Systematics', 'Ecology' or 'Evolution' and at least 30 credits must be from a project in one of the subject areas 'Plant Systematics', 'Ecology' or 'Evolution'. Applicants may also have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The criteria used in the selection for admittance to research training in 'Plant Systematics' or 'Ecology and Evolution' are knowledge of theory and practice in the research field, ability to communicate orally and in writing, a good command of the English language, enthusiasm for the relevant subject area, creativity, analytical competence and ability to take initiatives, work independently and in collaboration.  

Candidates who can demonstrate a strong interest in and previous experience with quantitative methods and/or computational approaches and applications in Ecology and Conservation Science (including modelling, artificial intelligence and/or probabilistic methods) and who have a demonstrated prior knowledge of scripting or programming languages (e.g. R or Python) will have an advantage.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Terms of employment 
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact project leader Associate Professor Aelys Humphreys, Further information about the position can be obtained from the Subject Representatives Professor Catarina Rydin,, (Plant Systematics), and Professor Tanja Slotte,, (Ecology and Evolution).

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/OFR), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, (SEKO), and PhD student representative,

Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest university degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following document

  • Cover letter (2 pages), containing
    -Your expectations from, and intentions with the education
    -Why you are interested in the specific project
    -What makes you suitable for the specific project
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.


Closing date: 31/07/2024


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