PhD project, species distributions in boreal peatlands, Stockholm, Sweden

A PhD project in Temporal Scale Changes in Species Distributions in Boreal Peatlands is offered at the Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden.


Northern peatlands store approximately a third of the global soil carbon. As the dominant species in northern peatlands, Sphagnum is arguably one of the most important plant genera to undestand in terms of its future distribution in a changing climate. In general however, we have rather poor understanding of what actually controls past and current species distribution in peatlands on spatial and temporal axes.

This project focuses on the peat-rich area in and around Store Mosse National Park (Småland, Sweden) and will rely largely on macrofossil analyses to reconstruct temporal changes in species distribution of Holocene peatland vegetation. Supporting information comes from e.g. humification, elemental chemistry, spectral data. For the purposes of comparison both within and across sites, it is imperative that these reconstructions are accurately dated so resources are dedicated to 14C analyses and age modeling. A range of statistical tools will be applied in order to extract relationships between our identified drivers and the observed changes as well as in the modeling of future species distributions.

This is an interdisciplinary project that requires the PhD candidate to bridge the fields of paleoclimate and biodiversity research. We expect the selected candidate to take an active role in the research environments at the Department of Geological Sciences and the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plants Sciences as well as the Bolin Centre for Climate Research at Stockholm University. The project involves a number of field campaigns. A network of established national and international collaborators supports this work and research visits abroad are planned.


The aim of this PhD project is to:

1. Identify and assess external (e.g., climate) and internal (e.g., succession, biotic interactions) drivers of species diversity in peatlands on multi-decadal and millennial times scales
2. Compare these to relationships derived from analyses of modern-day spatial patterns and experiments.


Applications close 28 April 2018.

Go to the full announcement, including qualification requirements, regulations and how to apply, here:

Further information

Informal enquiries can be sent to Malin Kylander: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.