PhD position in sustainable land-use and agricultural systems


Chalmers University of Technology


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Start Date

Saturday, August 15, 2020

There is an urgent need for a sustainability transition in the global land system: land use and land-use change is already a key driver of climate change and biodiversity loss and pressure on the land system is growing, due to increased demand for food, feed, fuel and biomaterials. At the same time, land systems can also help meeting global sustainability goals, by securing food production, providing livelihoods, mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. The aim of this PhD position is to help further our knowledge on how we can transform the global land system in order to fulfill these goals.

Information about the research and the division
This is an open PhD position, where the student will be able to formulate a research project within the broad and interdisciplinary field of land system science, which aims to understand the drivers, states and trends in the interactions between human (societal) and natural (ecological) systems, the impacts this have on human welfare and the functioning of ecosystems, as well as how these processes can be governed. The PhD student will be part of the land-use science group at Physical Resource Theory, which use a multitude of approaches such as land-use modeling, LCA, energy- and material-flow analysis, remote sensing/GIS, as well as a combination of other quantitative and qualitative methods to further the understanding of land-use and biomass systems and the associated environmental, social and economic impacts. There is also a possibility to link the PhD project to the MISTRA Food Futures, which will analyze how the Swedish food system can be transformed to meet ecological, economic and social sustainability goals.

The division of Physical Resource Theory is one of five divisions in the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, which conducts research and education spanning from global challenges related to sustainability and energy supply to astronomy and space sciences. The division carries out research and education on potential solutions to major environmental challenges such as climate change and sustainable use of land and other resources. At our division we focus on research in the field of technical and socio-economic systems addressing the challenges involved in the transition into a sustainable and low carbon society for a growing population, where a range of different quantitative and qualitative methods can be applied on our research topics. The ambition is to build challenge-driven scientific excellence by crossing traditional boundaries and increase the level of multi-disciplinarity in research. The division has around 50 staff members, faculty and PhD-students with diverse expertise, including engineers, natural and social scientists. We also offer courses in areas related to our research.

For more information about the land-use research group at Physical Resource Theory, and the research interests of the PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Martin Persson, see:

Major responsibilities
As a PhD student your main responsibility is to pursue your own doctoral studies, which includes pursuing research on sustainable land-use and agricultural systems, but also to undertake doctoral courses. You are expected to work independently, have the ability to plan and organize your work, to work in close collaboration with other group members and partners, and to be able to communicate scientific results, both orally and in written form, in English. The doctoral program leads to a doctoral degree, equivalent to four years of full-time studies, which includes research, coursework, and participation in seminars and conferences. Included teaching obligations, the position is expected to be five years.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

Contact Name

Martin Persson

Contact Email