Deadline: 11 Dec 2023

Published: 22 Nov 2023

Contact: Charlotte Berkström

Do you want to work in an inspiring environment and contribute to the sustainable use of our seas, lakes and watercourses?

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is looking for a PhD student that will work in a project focusing on developing marine protected area networks to sustain biodiversity under climate change. You will work in a highly collaborative environment close to management and with opportunities to take part in international collaborations.

The Department of Aquatic Resources is engaged in marine monitoring, management advice, research and education in aquatic ecology with a focus on fish and shellfish. The department is the largest department at SLU with about 180 employees at four main offices (Uppsala, Lysekil, Öregrund and Stockholm) and four research stations.

Project Description: Developing marine protected area networks to sustain biodiversity under climate change

The PhD project is part of a larger research project on sustaining marine biodiversity under climate change.

Climate change and anthropogenic disturbance cause major losses in biodiversity and threaten important ecosystem services. Marine protected areas (MPAs) have become a key component of conservation and fisheries management to alleviate these pressures and are a crucial component of new, ambitious targets for MPA coverage. However, sophisticated conservation planning techniques are required to ensure that MPA networks are ecologically coherent in a changing climate.

The PhD student will be involved in developing models of future species distributions and seascape connectivity to assess the ecological coherence of the Swedish Baltic Sea MPA network under climate change. The aims of the project are to: 1) spatially quantify connectivity under scenarios of ocean temperature and salinity change; 2) evaluate how effectively the current MPA network protects biodiversity under future climate scenarios, and 3) analyse how the MPA network should be expanded and strengthened to maximise biodiversity into the future. Results will be communicated to authorities and stakeholders to support biodiversity conservation.


The department is looking for a highly motivated and team-oriented person, with a strong analytical profile and good communication skills. A master's degree (or equivalent) in biology, ecology, limnology, marine ecology, environmental science, sustainable development or similar is required. Experience with R (or other programming languages), GIS, and mathematical/statistical modelling is highly meriting. Other qualifications that will strengthen your application are demonstrated independent scientific work, experience of working in research groups, and knowledge on marine protected areas and nature conservation analyses, the Baltic Sea or other aquatic environments. Strong written and spoken English is required.

Place of work: Uppsala

Forms for funding or employment: Employment as PhD-student for 4 years.

Starting date: 1 Feb 2024 or according to agreement.

Application: Apply through the link below!

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