Fungal-like Phytophthora species that cause root damage to forest trees are on the rise in many parts of the world, including in southern Sweden. By reducing the stability of the trees, they cause both financial losses for the forest owner and pose a safety risk in recreational areas. These pathogens spread through international plant trade and transport and once established in the soil or waterways they are virtually impossible to eradicate. Thus, the subsequent vegetation, including planted or naturally regenerated tree seedlings, must be able to coexist with the infection. However, there is little experimental evidence on the consequences of Phytophthora infection for the long-term development of the forest.
The goal of the PhD project is to develop new knowledge about the ability of deciduous forests to recover from damage caused by soil-borne Phytophthora species, above all in protected areas where natural regeneration is a prerequisite for the forest's continued development. The project uses field studies and controlled greenhouse experiments to obtain detailed information about the effects of Phytophthora infection on the early development, mortality, growth and stress of oak and beech seedlings. Through physiological measurements (metabolism, photosynthesis) and advanced image analysis methods, the plants' responses to the infection are studied. The PhD project also includes responsibility for research communication, which means participating in national and international meetings, as well as writing and publishing both popular science articles and scientific articles.
Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter by March 31st, 2023. Job interviews will be planned for April 2023.