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PhD Scholarships in Trait-Based Marine Ecology (Denmark)

/upload/oceanlife/berggylte_150.jpgCentre for Ocean Life ( offers a number of 3-year PhD scholarships within the general topic of Marine Ecology. The PhD students will be employed at DTU Aqua (The National Institute for Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Charlottenlund, Denmark), or at one of the collaborating institutes or universities in the Copenhagen area.

The overarching goal of the Centre is to develop trait-based models of marine ecosystems. We do this through three interconnected main activities: (i) Identification of essential traits and quantification of the associated tradeoffs for the main life forms in the ocean (from microbes to mammals); (ii) development of trait based models of marine populations, communities, and ecosystems; (iii) descriptions of spatio-temporal patterns and distributions of species and ‘traits’ in marine systems.  Further information on these main activities and examples of possible projects can be found on the Centre’s homepage.

We currently have a group of about 20 young researches associated with the Centre (PhD and Postdocs). They are working on various aspects of marine life using diverse approaches (observational, experimental, theoretical) while collaborating through weekly science meetings, annual science retreats, numerous working groups, and collaborative projects. Their scientific backgrounds are as diverse as are those of the principal investigators of the Centre; from physics and mathematics to biology and chemistry, and we spend considerable effort developing cross-disciplinary communication and projects as we believe that the potential for discovery and progress may be achieved by confronting the different disciplines. We invite applications from experimental, observational or theoretical ecologists and from students with relevant basic training in a natural science discipline. You can apply with your own project ideas (as long as they accord with the goal of the Centre), perhaps inspired by the current running projects outlined on our home pages. Candidates are selected based on their qualifications and commitment.

We are looking for ecologists with quantitative skills or physicists/mathematicians/engineers with a keen interest in ecology. Candidates should have a master’s degree in engineering, biology or equivalent.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of applicants will be made by Thomas Kiørboe and Ken H Andersen in consultation with the relevant members of the Centre.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
For further information please contact Professor Ken Andersen ( or Professor Thomas Kiørboe (

For questions regarding the DTU Aqua PhD school please contact Ulla Heiberg (

You can read more about DTU Aqua at

Please do not send applications to the above e-mail addresses, instead apply online as described below.

Please submit your online application no later than 8 September 2013.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link « Apply online, » fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Publication list (if any)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

Candidates may apply prior to ob¬tai¬ning their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Centre for Ocean Life is a Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of excellence for the study of life in a changing ocean. The Centre is a collaborative effort between the Technical University of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, and Roskilde University. The goal of the Centre is to develop a fundamental understanding and predictive capability of marine ecosystems through the use of trait-based approaches, involving observations and experimentation as well as modelling. The Centre brings together biologists, physicist, chemists, and mathematicians, funds PhD and postdoctoral fellows, offers PhD summer schools international workshops, and operates a Researcher Visitors Centre.

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