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PhD scholarship in carbon and nutrient transport and turnover in and around a lake in response to...

University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
Odense, Fyn (DK)
Closing date
15 May 2024

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Biomedicine, Environmental Science, Life Science
Job Type
PhD Position
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

A 3-year PhD position is available at the Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark. The start date is September 1, 2024.

Project area
Denmark is known for its widespread agricultural land use, to such an extent that Denmark is the country in the EU with the highest share of agricultural land use compared to land mass. Around 64 % of the Danish land use is being utilized for agricultural purposes, which is heavily drained and extensively managed altering the natural hydrology. The drainage has caused increased decomposition rates, as soils are now exposed to oxygen. Over several decades, the soil has experienced higher decomposition rates leading to soil compaction, combined with increased precipitation resulting in water-saturated or flooded soils. These soils pose a serious challenge, as they are large emitters of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere, both due to their large organic and nutrient content caused by manure-spreading, but also due to changes in oxygen availability, causing large parts of the sedimented organic carbon to be decomposed during dry periods. Furthermore, the nutrient and carbon are often transported to an end-recipient, in this case, a lake, thus measurements of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon and nutrient stock are also considered.

This PhD program aims to determine greenhouse gas and carbon and nutrient transport and turnover in and around a lake as the natural hydrology is restored, thereby contributing to the understanding of what regulates greenhouse gas emission (CO2, CH4, and N2O) and carbon and nutrient burial within drained areas and, the end-recipient, a lake.

The PhD scholarship covers the area of aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, and modeling and will be aligned with ongoing research at the Freshwater Ecology group at the Institute of Biology at the University of Southern Denmark. The fellowship will be part of a group working with phosphorous and carbon turnover and greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands, streams, and lakes.

The PhD candidate will be appointed to the Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark with a main supervisor Theis Kragh ( and co-supervisor Kaj Sand-Jensen (University of Copenhagen).

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious candidate with an MSc degree in biology. The position is open to both Danish and international applicants. Experience with biogeochemistry or freshwater ecology, laboratory work, and good English language skills will be required. The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant; i.e. publications will be a strong asset. A driver’s license is needed.
Application deadline: 6 May 2024 at 23:59 hours local Danish time

Application, salary etc.
Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme
at the Universities (PhD order).

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University.

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

Application must be in English and include the following:

  • A letter of motivation for the application with a statement of research interests (max 1 page)
  • A curriculum vitae (max 2 pages)
  • List of publications (if applicable)
  • Copy of Bachelor and Masters Diplomas and transcripts - other relevant certificates, including grades
  • A short abstract of the M.Sc. thesis or equivalent
  • Contact details of at least two persons for references

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.
Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.
Applications will be assessed by an expert assessor/committee. Applicants will be informed of their assessment by the university.

Applications should be sent electronically via the link "Apply now". The faculty expects applicants to read the information "How to apply" before applying. Please note that the application documents should be in pdf-format and attached as three documents: motivation letter, CV and the remaining documents.

We recommend that as an international applicant you take the time to visit Work in Denmark where you will find information and facts about moving to, working and living in Denmark, as well as the International Staff Office at SDU.

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