PhD position for studies on hygienization in black soldier fly larvae rearing  Ref Department of Energy and Technology: At the Department of Energy and Technology, research and education are conducted focusing on how agriculture can contribute to a sustainable society. We have extensive expertise in technology and systems for sustainable production of food and bioenergy, including optimal nutrition circuits and logistics systems.

Within the field of methodology we have extensive competence in System Analysis including Environmental Systems Analysis and LCA, as well as Biometrics (statistics and mathematics with applications in biological systems) and Automation. PhD in hygienisation in black soldier fly larvae rearing process and hygienic quality of the attained products Research subject: Technology

Description: The interest for insect rearing for feed production and insect assisted waste management has grown exponentially in the past 15 years. In this technology, insects (in our case the black soldider fly) are reared on different bio-waste streams that are converted into larval biomass (for use as protein and lipid source in feed) and a treatment residue (so-called frass that can be used as an organic fertiliser).

This technology, that  could contribute to the European green deal, aiming at making EU carbon neutral by 2050. However, current EU legislation hinders the use of any post-consumer bio-waste, such as food waste, as rearing substrate for the BSF larvae (BSFL). Post-consumer food wastes comprise the largest flows of food wastes in society.

Current waste management systems are almost entirely linear in the EU, for fear of disease transmission. In order to be able to fully use the capacity of insects to truly increase circularity of the European food production, it is vital to allow also post-consumer food waste as feed substrates for insects. One of the major concerns with circular systems is resistant prions, causing the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, mad cow disease) and scrapie.

The fate of prions in BSFL rearing is up till date not known. A better understanding of the fate of prions is crucial for changing. The focus of this project is on the hygiene of the process as well as of the larvae and the treatment frass when bio-converting biodegradable waste streams (focus on post-consumer food wastes) found in society, using BSFL. The project is run within the Environmental Engineering group at the Department of Energy and Technology at SLU, whose main focus is to develop and assess techniques to close the loop of plant nutrition between urban and rural settings.

The work will be conducted in close collaboration with researchers and doctoral candidates in the group who work on related issues. The focus is to evaluate the degradation of various biological infectious agents such as bacteria (also spore-forming) and prions. In the PhD study, following studies are planned: 1) fate of prions in BSFL rearing (ELISA, Western blot); 2) fate of anaerobic spore-forming bacteria in BSFL rearing (microbiology), and 3) study of mechanisms for inactivation of salmonella in BSFL rearing (microbiology, PCR).

Qualifications: Required:

  • MSc in natural sciences (chemistry, environment, bio-chemistry, or process engineering);
  • High proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Desired:
  • Knowledge of biochemical and/or microbiological analyses methods;  
  • Lab experience. 

Great emphasis is placed on personal qualities, such as cooperation ability, analytical and problem-solving skills and the aptitude to work independently.

Place of work:Uppsala, Sweden Forms for funding or employment: Employment as PhD candidate for 4 years. Starting date: According to agreement, autumn 2023.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2023-08-30. 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.

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.

Academic union representatives: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 Cecilia Lalander Associate Professor +4618673816

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