ESR03 - Quantification of habitat alterations on the fish community

Host Institution: KAU - Karlstad University

Location: Karlstad (Sweden)

Doctoral degree: PhD in Biology at Karlstad University.

The Doctoral progamme has a duration of 4 years (3 years funded by RIBES project, 1 year by Karlstad University)

Job description: The project will use ‘habitat’ as a metric to evaluate the impact of river alterations on fish. The objectives are (1) to use habitat as a metric in design of river restoration, (2) to quantify the impact of river alterations on fish, (3) to evaluate restoration alternatives with accurate metrics. The candidate will take the lead of ecological modelling aspects of WP1, which will form the core business of his/her research training. Initially the project involves field studies of hydro-morphological features of pristine streams in Sweden and GIS-based habitat suitability models. The GIS-based habitat suitability models will include environmental variables to introduce landscape ecological concepts and develop a habitat model, which considers a habitat spatial index. In the later phase of the action he/she will cooperate with ESR01 and ESR04 to incorporate behavioural rules and biological variables into habitat suitability models. The successful candidate will thereby use a novel modelling approach for linking landscape, habitat and fish behavior to fish migration and river rehabilitations scenarios. 

Workplace: The candidate will join the River Ecology and Management Research Group (RivEM), a research environment within the Department of Environmental and Life Sciences at Karlstad University, which conducts both basic and applied research in and along rivers and lakes and their surrounding landscapes. Areas of research addressed by RivEM include river connectivity and the effects of hydropower, aquatic-terrestrial interactions and habitats, winter ecology under global climate change, endangered species, conservation biology and socialecological research relating to river regulation and recreational fishing.

Secondment period (to be confirmed): Expected duration: 7 months; Hosting institutions: POLITO (Politecnico di Torino - Torino, Italy), IREN (IREN Energia SpA - Torino, Italy), SJE (SJE Ecohyrdaulic Engineering GmbH - Stuttgart, Germany)

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Candidate requirements:


  • BSc/MSc in Biology / Ecology / Engineering (available by the date of application) - see below specific requirements 

Specific mandatory skills:  

  • Experience with geographic information systems (GIS), data analysis, and study design in landscape ecology
  • Experience with habitat modeling
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Driving license 

Specific desirable skills: 

  • Experience with different types of statistical analysis, uni- and multivariate using R 

In addition, special emphasis is placed on: Breadth of courses taken; High course grades; Quality and scope of independent research project; Ability to establish good relations with others; Ability to take initiative and show commitment to the ideas of others.

Specific requirements of the Doctoral School:

For admission to doctoral studies applicants must meet the requirements of both general and special eligibility (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7 sect. 35). Applicants who have a Master's degree of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 credits at Master level, or who have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad, meet the general eligibility requirements. To be eligible for admission to graduate studies in Biology requires that one has at least 120 credits in Biology, including a 30 credit independent research course.

Mobility rule:

Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

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Contact person(s): 

Lovisa Lind

Eva Bergman

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Work package