The Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences invites applications for a four-year PhD position part of the project ‘Plankton-fish interactions: An understudied link in Baltic Sea food webs and fisheries management’. The goal of this PhD project is to investigate prey preference of small pelagic fish including the entire prey spectrum using novel molecular tools that amplify and sequence low levels of DNA combined with network models to project trophic coupling under changing climate, nutrient and fisheries scenarios. Small-sized pelagic fish have a central role in marine food webs as they control production of predatory fish and at the same time feed on zooplankton and thereby indirectly control algal blooms. Understanding variation in plankton-fish feeding interactions are key for developing management strategies that promote fish stocks and enhance control on algal blooms, which requires detailed knowledge about feeding interactions from primary producers to upper trophic levels. Results of this project will be of relevance to better understand temporal and spatial dynamics of fish feeding, growth and recruitment, which is important to advice ecosystem management for sustainable fisheries and prevention of algal blooms.
The student will conduct field surveys in the Baltic Sea, laboratory experiments, molecular analysis, including DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and network modelling. The research will be performed at Stockholm University within the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences with opportunities to collaborate with other PhD students and to participate in international collaborations.
We are looking for a highly motivated and self-directed student with a strong interest in general ecological questions and great enthusiasm for scientific work. Ideally, the student will have knowledge in plankton or fish ecology, experience in molecular analysis, organism culturing and field sampling. Good data analysis skills or modelling, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, a strong sense of determination to succeed, and the ability to express his or her ideas in English is further expected. The applicants should be willing to travel and spend periods in the field.
For more information and submission of your application, please see