Project description: The composition of communities differs across space and it is generally accepted that communities are structured by a combination of different ecological processes, which include species sorting, dispersal and drift. Moreover, spatial patterns cannot be understood without considering historical processes, such as priority effects caused by differences in the arrival order of species during initial colonization of a habitat. The PhD student will work within a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council that has the following main aims: (1) to specifically investigate how several global environmental change factors interactively affect the strength different community assembly processes and how that affects ecosystem functioning, and (2) to investigate to what extent priority effects that occur at higher trophic levels cascade through food webs and cause differences in community composition and functioning at lower trophic levels. The PhD-student will conduct a number of experimental studies using natural microbial communities, which will include both laboratory and field mesocosm experiments.

Qualifications required: To be eligible for a PhD-student position the applicant must hold a master degree (or equivalent) in a field of relevance for ecology. To be qualified, candidates should have good knowledge and experience in the fields of community ecology and microbial ecology. Candidates must be able to express themselves very well in spoken as well as written English. In the evaluation of candidates, we will emphasize personal qualities such as independence and teamwork skills.

Qualifications desired: The ideal candidate has previous experience in conducting lab and field experiments and with molecular methods to characterize microbial communities. Further, good knowledge of statistics (in particular multivariate methods), metacommunity theory and aquatic ecology, as well as basic skills in programming in R and bioinformatics are highly valuable.

For further information about the position please contact: Silke Langenheder,

Application: The application should include 1) a letter of intent describing yourself, your research interests and motivation of why you want to do a PhD, and why you are suitable for the position, 2) your CV, 3) a short description of your education, 4) a copy of your master degree, your course grades and a copy of your master thesis, 5) the names and contact information to at least two reference persons (e-mail address and phone no.), and 6) publications produced The application should be written in English.

More information and a link to the application system can be found here:


Application deadline:
Start date: Flexible
Location: Uppsala University, Sweden