Department of Earth Sciences, Campus Gotland

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The PhD position is located at Campus Gotland in Visby within the research program Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRHU), Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University. At Campus Gotland, NRHU research focuses on, among other things, ecosystem services, sustainable coasts, and interactions between people and nature. Natural resources and sustainable development are key components of the department’s research, education and outreach. The department is also responsible for a renowned international master program in sustainable development and contribute to the bachelor program in Environmental Science and the international master program in sustainable destinations development at Campus Gotland. Please find more information about NRHU here:

Duties/Project description:

The research program NRHU invites applications for a four-year PhD position entitled “Seagrass ecosystem services and sustainable management in the Indo-Pacific”. Generally, we know that ecosystem services are important for people’s wellbeing. However, there is a lack of understanding how surrounding circumstances affect people’s  capacity to access, use and take advantage of ecosystem services.

The aim of the project is to expand our understanding of interactions among socioeconomic and ecological elements of seagrass ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific to advance evidence-based management and conservation. This project will explore how ecosystem services vary with seagrass structure, spatially and temporally, and how to manage seagrass for optimal ecosystem service provision. The focus is on the ecosystem services that are especially important to people directly dependent on seagrass ecosystems.

Against this background, this PhD project will study linkages among seagrass ecosystem service provision, which ecosystem services are considered especially important for human wellbeing, seagrass utilization and potential seagrass management strategies. The management and conservation strategies should aim to enhance or at least preserve the delivery of ecosystem services for the future in different types of environments.

Tropical seagrass meadows are a good model system for several reasons: Seagrasses (marine angiosperms) are foundation species that occur globally; have relatively low diversity (ca 70 species globally); and provide a wide range of ecosystem services. Simultaneously, multiple human disturbances increasingly reduce their diversity and productivity, threatening ecosystem service delivery. To assess the linkages between seagrass meadows and sustainable management and conservation of these systems, the project will focus on seagrass, ecosystem services, resource users, natural resource managers and use a transdisciplinary approach including ecological field investigations and socio-ecological research methods including interview studies. Additionally the PhD Student is expected to collaborate within the Indo-Pacific Seagrass Network (IPSN); a network for seagrass research in the Indo-Pacific. 


The applicant should have an MSc degree in Environmental Science/Biology/Ecology and an interest in interdisciplinary and applied research, especially in collaboration with domain experts and researchers from other countries. Practical experiences of fieldwork in developing countries, survey and interview methodology as well as large data analyses are particular merits. Familiarity with or work experience of seagrass ecosystems and ecosystem services are merits. Proven creativity and ability to take own initiatives, as well as analytical ability as demonstrated by a scientific report, paper or degree project thesis. The project includes fieldwork and the candidate should be willing to spend several months in the Indo-Pacific for data collection. Personal qualities such as dedication, motivation, initiative and independence are valuable. Very good spoken and written English skills are required.


The application should include a letter of intent (in English) that explains research interests, interests in the announced PhD project and what skills the applicant can contribute with to the project. The application should also include a CV, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records, copy of master thesis, contacts to references, and tentative additional documents of relevance (maximum 5).

Rules governing PhD candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students and teaching assistants.
Starting date: 01-03-2019 or as agreed upon. Temporary full-time position four years, ending 28-02-2023.

Location: Visby, Uppsala University, Campus Gotland

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Lina Mtwana Nordlund, Phone: 0498-108440, E-mail: or Prof. Patrik Rönnbäck, Phone: 0498-108375, E-mail:

Please submit your application by 18 January 2019, UFV-PA 2018/4464.

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Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2019-03-01 or as agreed upon
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Gotland
County Gotlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2018/4464
Union representative
  • Per Sundman, Saco-rådet, 018-471 1485
  • Suzanne Borén Andersson, TCO/ST, 018-471 6251
  • Ellena Papaioannou, Seko, 018-471 3315
Published 13.Dec.2018
Last application date 18.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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