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PhD in Biology at Lund University

Lund University has an opening PhD position in environmental sciences. The funding allows successful candidate to work for four years. Applications should be sent before November 30, 2018.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

Urbanization is expanding globally, and considered to be one of the most current environmental threats not only to wildlife and biodiversity but also for human health. Thus, the present project involves studies about relevant measures and strategies to handle this environmental problem both for wildlife and for humans, and provide guidelines to policymakers and end-users. To do this, birds is an excellent target group to both asses environmental impact but also for ecosystem services due to the many interactions between humans and birds, not least when we feed birds.

To feed birds is very common across northern Europe. One of the reason why many people do this, is to help birds when their natural food sources are limited such as during winter or in urban areas. From a nutritional perspective, the human-provided anthropogenic food sources are highly uniform whereas their natural food sources are more diverse. Thus, the key question is whether human-provided foods are good replacements for limited availability of natural food sources. The other aspect, is the effect that bird-feeding has on the performer i.e., us humans. Many studies show on increased wellbeing from activities in nature. Thus, we also address whether this positive nature effect could be even stronger in children growing up in cities as compared to more rural areas, where nature is easier to access.

The main objectives for the PhD project are to investigate (i) how human-provided anthropogenic food sources affect bird health in urban and rural environments; and (ii) how urbanization, habitat heterogeneity and invertebrate biodiversity affect bird health. In addition, the aims are to (iii) develop and use birds as model organisms for cultural and educational ecosystem services and to assess its impact on children's wellbeing and knowledge base.

Because the project is highly interdisciplinary, many different techniques and approaches will be used. For example, field studies of birds, estimation of biodiversity, habitat analyzes, laboratory work and questionnaire analyzes and collaboration with schools and the general public. Large parts of the project include “Citizien Science” which the doctoral student is expected to actively participate in.

Eligibility

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment

Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7.

Summary:

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