Researcher in Climate Science

Stockholm University

Researcher in Climate Science, with a focus on Modelling Local Climate Conditions

Ref. No. SU FV-0438-21


at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Closing date: 23 March 2021.

At the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University, research and education is conducted in an international environment. The subject areas are Ecology and Evolution, Ecotoxicology, Marine Biology, Plant Physiology and Plant Systematics. Some of the research has direct environmental and societal relevance and the approach is often broad and interdisciplinary. About 140 people are working at the Department, of which ca. 35 are teachers and researchers and 50 are PhD students.

Project description

We are looking for a person with a background of climate modelling, physical geography, microclimate processes and familiarity with geographic information systems. The position will be placed at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences at Stockholm University, but there will be close collaboration with the Rossby Centre at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). At the host departement, we study the biological aspects of the environment, and are now looking for a person with complementary skills to what is available in our department.

The broader project aim is to understand the relationship between climate, pathogens and coffee yield, and use this information to optimize management for smallholder farmers. The study area is the Afromontane mountains in southwestern Ethiopia, which is the center of origin of Arabica coffee. Arabica coffee grows here along a narrow altitudinal range, due to its high sensitivity to climate conditions.

During the project, we have used loggers in the soil and air to gather climatic data (soil temperature, air temperature, air humidity) from sixty smallholder coffee farms in an approximately 50 × 30 km landscape. The loggers made one recording per three hours for two years. There are also two climate stations within the area with c. 40 year time series on temperature and precipitation. Within all 60 farms, we have also recorded yearly coffee yield, and the pests and diseases that harm coffee.

We would now like to hire a researcher to use the climate logger data to advance insights into how the microclimate in shade coffee farms varies across time and space in the study region. In addition, regional and large-scale climate data from other observational sources, atmospheric re-analysis products and climate models will be used to asses how local climate conditions may change in the future. Finally, it will be investigated how such predicted changes in climate may affect coffee  yield and diseases.

Main responsibilities

As described above, we would like to use the climate logger data to advance insights into the current and future climate in the study region, and how such predicted changes in climate may affect coffee  yield and diseases. Some promising approaches might be:

1) Empirical or statistical down-scaling of regional or global climate models and re-analysis data, and establishment of the statistical link between the regional scale weather patterns and the sixty sites with dataloggers. This would allow addressing future local climate conditions within the sixty farms as projected by large-scale climate models.

2) Use topographical maps and other GIS layers, in combination with the climatic data from the dataloggers in the sixty sites, to describe the microclimate across the landscape. Examples of such layers could be elevation, relative elevation, topographic wetness index, solar radiation, distance to agricultural edge and field measures such as canopy cover.

3) Use the climatic predictions to map the areas where coffee can give high yields in future, and provide predictive maps for coffee pests and diseases

Qualification requirements

Researchers are appointed primarily for purposes of research and must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to good skills in analysing and visualizing gridded climate data, climate modelling, experience of developing and using programs written in Phython, Matlab and/or R and knowledge of geographical information systems to make predictive maps (GIS). It is not necessary to master all skills.

Terms of employment

This is a full-time one year position with a possibility for up to one year extension depending on available funding. Start date as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.


Further information about the position can be obtained from Assoc. Professor Ayco Tack, telephone: +46 8 16 39 59,, and Prof. Erik Kjellström, telephone: +46 11 495 85 01,

Union representatives

Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, and (SEKO).


Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

You are welcome to apply!

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Closing date: 23/03/2021