Open PhD position in Marine Biology

We have a 4-yr PhD position available in our group focusing on protist parasites in plankon food webs. For details, please visit:

Project description
The Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences invites applications for a four-year PhD position part of the project ‘Drivers and functions of protist parasites in plankton food webs’. The goal of this PhD project is to resolve drivers and functions of parasites in structuring zooplankton populations and consequences for ecosystem function using novel molecular tools. Marine plankton, consisting of myriad small organisms form complex interaction networks that guarantee ecosystem function, have crucial roles for the global biogeochemical cycles and the productivity of ecosystems. 

Current research emphasizes that besides feeding interactions, symbiotic interactions, especially parasitism are prominent in plankton communities. Parasites have major impacts on the ecology and evolution of their host populations, sometimes with consequences for ecosystem-level processes. Yet, plankton parasite interactions remain largely undescribed, mainly because they are difficult to identify, often hidden within their hosts, and as a consequence frequently overseen. This project will contribute to a quickly emerging research field and investigate an overlooked food-web link in the Baltic Sea, namely zooplankton-parasitic interactions across a wide range of host species and environmental gradients.

The student will identify host-specific parasite infections using novel metabarcoding, flow cytometry and microscopy, while experiments will provide novel contribution for host fitness consequences. 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.

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 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.

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, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Marine Biology stipulates, that applicants must have completed at least 60 higher education credits in the second cycle of which 15 credits must be from a course in Marine Biology, and 30 credits from a project in Marine Biology. Applicants may also have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

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

Please visit the following site for more information and application for the position: