Postdoctoral researcher in Ecology: Ecology of crop protection in agriculture

Ref SLU ua 2019.2.5.1-130

Ecology of crop protection in agriculture

We are searching for a motivated postdoctoral researcher interested in developing population and food web ecology in order to achieve more sustainable crop protection in agriculture. Crop pests that affect oilseed rape in the establishment phase (mainly slugs and flea beetles) and their predators (primarily ground beetles) will be used as a model system. The project has strong elements of field experiments and also includes analysis of already compiled long term population time series data. The successful candidate will enter a strong international research environment addressing topical basic as well as applied ecological research questions.


The postdoctoral researcher will explore the long term population trends and dynamics of insects that are functionally important in agriculture (pests and/or natural enemies) using extensive long term monitoring datasets. The empirical part will use field experiments to explore how agricultural diversification (e.g. intercropping, conservation tillage, crop rotation) affects slug and insect pest control. Feeding interactions and the role of ground beetles in controlling the pests will be explored with molecular analysis of predator gut contents. The research will be conducted in collaboration with external research partners and stakeholders. The postdoc will actively design experiments, coordinate empirical work and analyze data, and write and publish scientific papers in collaboration with the research team. The successful candidate will enter a strong research group led by Professor Riccardo Bommarco with technical support and extensive in-house expertise ( The project is specifically supported by developed molecular methods and infrastructure for gut contents analysis. The postdoc will also assist in the supervision of students, engage in and lead lab activities, and communicate with stakeholders.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate pursuing an academic career in ecology with an interest in population ecology, biological control and crop protection. The required qualification for the position is a PhD in ecology, biology, entomology or equivalent. Documented expertise in statistical analyses is required. Skills in population, insect and/or slug ecology are meriting, as is experience of ecological field and lab work. The candidate is expected to be capable and willing to take initiative and work independently as well as in a team. The candidate should have documented skills in scientific writing. Excellent communication skills in English, both written and oral, are required. Field work will take place in multiple locations; a driver’s license is therefore required.

Place of work:

The position is based at the Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), in Uppsala, Sweden. We conduct research for sustainable agriculture, forest production and biological conservation. Our basic research on populations, communities and ecosystems forms the foundation for understanding influences of land use and climate on animals, plants and soil nutrient status and greenhouse gas balance. Solutions are sought that will mitigate climate change, preserve threatened species, benefit biological diversity and ecosystem services and control pests in managed agricultural, forested and urban landscapes. Active dissemination, outreach and frequent contacts with stakeholders are key activities. We build on extensive national and international research collaborations to generate cutting-edge research and outreach to further ecology as science and promote sustainable agriculture.

Form of employment:

Employment full time (100 %). Time limited position as postdoctoral researcher for two years.

Starting date:

According to agreement. 


We welcome your application no later than 29 March 2019, use the button below.

Applications must be written in English and contain (i) a statement of academic interests and motivation for applying to this position (max 8000 characters including spaces), (ii) Curriculum Vitae including a complete publication list separated into peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed publications and (iii) contact information to two reference persons.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact person

Ola Lundin


Riccardo Bommarco


Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Friday March 29th, 2019