Doctoral studies in Ecology, Environmental Science and Physical Geography

The research at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science covers a wide range of subjects within the doctoral programmes Ecology, Environmental Science and Physical Geography. We have 32 PhD students. More than 20 of them comes from abroad: Germany, China, Spain, USA, Denmark, Poland, Brazilia, Czech Republic, Italy, France, iceland and Japan.

We do work on everything from biogeochemical, hydrological and geomorphological processes to the evolution, chemical composition, behaviour, interaction and spread of various organisms. We also study the biodiversity of many different species groups and the effects of human intervention, the ways various nature types interact as well as landscape features from current and historical perspectives.

We use a broad spectrum of methods, such as mathematics models, laboratory and field experiments and long-term environmental monitoring. The scale varies from the molecular to the global. Our research is focused on the northern ecosystems but also touches upon ecosystems on other latitudes and questions of global importance.

We want to understand how ecosystems function without human intervention and how things like forestry, dams that regulate the flow of streams, pollution, overfishing, foreign organisms and ecological restoration have affected and will affect the biodiversity and function of ecosystems in mountains, forests, lakes, rivers and seas.

The effects of global climate change is an important research area, whether these effects are natural or man-made. Two major projects concerning the sea and restoration ecology have climate change as the overall theme. The activities at the Abisko research station are also to a great extent aimed at changes in the climate.

Research is done within more or less organised research teams and in cooperation with many other researchers and institutions around the world. Our research on changes in ecosystems has been identified by the faculty as a particularly strong research environment.

Research at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science:


New thesis

Traces of historical reindeer grazing can still be observed after 100 years

Traces of historical reindeer grazing can still be observed after 100 years

With the holiday season around the corner, most people may first think of reindeer as Santa Claus' trusted helpers. But it turns out that reindeer are not only good at pulling Santa's sleigh; they can also teach us important lessons about the functioning of ecosystems. By studying small meadows in the Swedish mountains, formed by historical traditional reindeer herding practices, Dagmar Egelkraut revealed long-lasting ecological effects induced by reindeer grazing in her doctoral research. Read more

Top Research News

Nutrient limitation constrains arctic stream responses to climate warming

Nutrient limitation constrains arctic stream responses to climate warming

Many current climate studies focus solely on increases in temperature, and in doing so, the ecosystem effects caused by climate change may be misinterpreted. In a new study, Umeå researchers are emphasising that shortage of nitrogen can limit how arctic streams respond to global warming. The results are published in the journal Global Change Biology. Read more

Director of PhD-studies

Ryan Sponseller
institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap/Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Tel:  +46(0)90-786 65 50

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