PhD student position in forest pathology and silviculture , Ref Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre: SLU is one of the world’s highest ranked universities in several subject areas and is ranked #1 in forestry (CWUR).

At our centre we carry out research, teaching and dissemination of scientific findings with direct application to the sustainable management of forests. We have a multidisciplinary profile, with global relevance and specialized expertise on forests and forestry as complex socio-ecological systems.

We closely collaborate with multiple stakeholders and conduct applied research in silviculture, forest ecology, pathology, policy and planning. We teach bachelor, Masters and PhD level courses addressing all of these subject areas. Regeneration of European ash and restoration of broadleaved forests after pathogen disturbances

Description: In recent decades, forests in Sweden have been threatened by new and emerging pests and pathogens. European ash is one of several noble broadleaved tree species that has been affected by introduced fungal diseases. The disease commonly known as ash dieback is largely threatening the existence of ash populations across Europe but especially in the Nordic region.

Currently interactions of tree health, climate change and ungulate browsing are important subjects in mitigating biodiversity loss. Ash is a highly-valued timber tree species that has ecological and cultural importance in natural and urban environments. The research program “Save the Ash”, managed by Skogforsk and SLU, aims to develop a more resistant population of European ash for the future. 

The PhD project focuses on the regeneration and restoration of European ash. The project will generate new knowledge on the status of ash regeneration in natural stands that have been chronically affected by the ash dieback disease and in new plantations with propagated genotypes phenotypically selected for high tolerance to the invasive fungal pathogen. The project also aims to establish strategies for forest owners to guide restoration efforts in areas where the disease has caused significant damage and mortality.

 The PhD student will be included in the research teams with focus on forest pathology and silviculture. The research group in forest pathology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp studies the biology, ecology and epidemiology of endemic and exotic invasive forest pathogens. Our work focuses on aspects of disease control and the interactions of trees with fungi and fungal-like (oomycete) organisms, including host symbioses and tree defense mechanisms.

We conduct molecular diagnostics and host-chemical analyses to better understand the infection and resistance biology of trees. The research group in silviculture studies the regeneration and management of noble broadleaves in the temperate and south-boreal forests. New and old forest experiments are the core study objects for explaining regeneration success, tree growth and stand development. The successful applicant will have excellent opportunities to work with other international collaborators.


The applicant should by the date of admission to PhD studies have a M. Sc. degree in silviculture, forest pathology, forest management or related forest sciences. Other beneficial qualifications are experience in conducting silviculture or regeneration surveys, ability to work independently in the field, skills in GIS and R-statistical analysis, and good communications skills with fluency in written English and Swedish. A drivers license is a necessity for the work duties.

Attached to application should be: 1) curriculum vitae, 2) copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, 3) link to, or copy of master thesis, and 4) two listed references with email addresses. Also attached to application should be: 5) a written motivation or reflection, of maximum one A4-page written in Swedish or English. The motivation shall discuss the student’s personal interest in the topic of this study and in silviculture of noble broadleaves and/or forest pathology in general.

Place of work:Alnarp

Forms for funding or employment: Employment (4 years)

Starting date: October 1, 2023 or according to agreement. 


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2023-07-30. To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Contact person: Michelle Cleary, Associate Professor +46 (0)40-415181   

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The deadline is 2023-07-30.

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