Researcher in Plant Ecology and Regulating Ecosystem Services of Nordic Saltmarshes

Researcher in Plant Ecology and Regulating Ecosystem Services of Nordic Saltmarshes

Stockholm University - Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences

Stockholm, Sweden

Project description

We are seeking a strong candidate for a 1.5 year sub-project within the international BiodivERsa project “NordSalt: Climate Change Impacts and Biodiversity Interactions in Nordic Salt Marshes”, funded by the Swedish research council Formas. BiodivERsA is a network of national and regional funding organisations promoting pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and offering innovative opportunities for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity. BiodivERsA is funded under the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET COFUND scheme.

The NordSalt project is broadly assessing the linkages between biodiversity and blue carbon sequestration in light of climate change and local management of Nordic salt marshes (a.k.a. Boreal Baltic coastal meadows). NordSalt is an international project with partners from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany. The project is transdisciplinary and divided into 5 work packages (WP1-5), that each employs junior researchers/postdocs.

The researcher will work primarily in WP4: “Marsh plant biodiversity patterns and ecosystem services”, co-ordinated by Stockholm University. Saltmarshes are globally highly important for carbon sequestration, responsible for ca. 50% of so called ‘Blue Carbon’ on the planet. Coastal marshes in the Nordic region (“Baltic coastal meadows”) are largely understudied and differ substantially from “classic” macrotidal salt marshes (which are well-studied globally) due to the wide climate and salinity gradients and microtidal nature of the Baltic Sea.

Past work suggests that the composition and diversity of Baltic Sea coastal marsh plant assemblages are heavily influenced by abiotic conditions (e.g. climate, elevation, wave exposure, latitude) and management regime (e.g. livestock grazing), but may also be responding to ongoing and expected climate changes including warming, sea-level rise, and increased floods. Plant composition (e.g. tall- vs. short-grass communities) and diversity could also be important drivers of processes that underpin critical ecosystem services (e.g. sediment stabilization and carbon sequestration) and in theory also influence the susceptibility of the marsh communities – including their carbon sequestration capacity – to climate change.

Main responsibilities

The position involves 100% research focusing on disentangeling links between abiotic environmental conditions, plant community structure and diversity, soil stabilization/erosion control and carbon sequestration in Nordic saltmarshes, using field surveys and field/lab experiments. Specific tasks include:

  • plan and lead a field sampling campaign along the Swedish coast (summer 2023) including plant surveys and soil sampling
  • conduct laboratory analyses of samples collected in summer 2021 and 2023
  • participate in the sampling of a mesocosm experiment in Hamburg (Germany)
  • possibly assist in joint NordSalt field campaigns in the Nordic countries
  • analyse data, write and submit manuscripts to international journals, and
  • co-supervise MSc student(s) connected to the project.

Qualification requirements

Researchers are appointed primarily for purposes of research and must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to the quality and quantity of past research, communication skills, publication record and faculty recommendations. Competitive applicants should have

  • a strong background (e.g. a PhD) in plant ecology or comparable topic
  • experience in saltmarsh/wetland plant ecology and/or plant-soil ecology and/or experience of studying linkages between plant community structure/biodiversity and ecosystem functions, and
  • proficiency in field sampling and laboratory work.

Because of the transdisciplinary nature of the project, experience of cross- and/or inter-disciplinary experience, collaboration with local stakeholders, an ability to communicate well with stakeholders in spoken Swedish, will be considered highly meriting.

Because of the nature of the project, applicants must:

  • possess a drivers’ license for car and small truck (B)
  • be able to regularly travel and conduct field work away from home for extended periods
  • be fluent in spoken and written English, and
  • be able to start the position no later than March 1, 2023.

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EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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