At the Department of Biology, SDU we are pleased to announce a fully-funded PhD position to investigate how sediment movement within the ocean impacts benthic carbon and nutrient cycling. Sediment resuspension, turbidity currents, and mass wasting events are major transport pathways of sediments and associated constituents. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and the intensity of sediment movement, altering ocean carbon and nutrient budgets. However, the sporadic nature of sediment fluxes makes it difficult to obtain a comprehensive understanding of its ecosystem impacts using conventional measurement techniques.  

In this project, the candidate will investigate marine benthic carbon and nutrient cycling using novel Lab-on-Chip chemical sensors. Lab-on-Chip sensors are miniaturized versions of traditional laboratory benchtop systems that perform automated measurements of carbon and nutrients. This exciting technology opens many new avenues for ocean research. Through a series of field and laboratory experiments, the candidate will explore dynamics of carbon and nutrient cycling on the seafloor, from shallow coastal zones to deep ocean trenches. We are particularly interested in exploring the roles of resuspension events induced by storms, turbidity flows and other intermittent events important to mobilize and transform organic carbon and nutrients. 

This project is jointly funded by the Department of Biology, the HADAL Center, and the Danish Institute for Advanced Study. The candidate is expected to work closely with a dedicated team of technicians and scientists to integrate, test and apply the new sensor systems. Specific tasks may include but are not limited to: quantification of biogeochemical fluxes using in situ and laboratory techniques, sediment solid phase and porewater analysis, quantifying sediment chronology, dynamic modelling of ecosystem processes, scientific writing and outreach. Training will be provided on all aspects of this work. 

The ideal candidate should have strong analytical skills, should be passionate about fieldwork, should be willing to work at sea onboard research vessels, and should be able to work independently and as part of a team. The candidate is expected to engage with multidisciplinary research groups including HADAL and Nordcee at the Department of Biology, the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, and with international collaborators. A background in biogeochemistry, marine science, environmental chemistry, or a related discipline is desired. 

What we offer: The PhD student will join a vibrant, diverse, and international group of scientists at Nordcee and at the HADAL Center. The PhD programme at SDU is an extensive programme aimed at personal and professional development. PhD fellows will have opportunities to teach and to co-advise students, to undertake international courses and to spend time abroad at another leading laboratory.

The application deadline is 15 November 2021, with a flexible start date in early 2022.

For questions or other inquiries, please contact Assistant Professor Karl Attard ( or Professor Ronnie Glud (

Application, salary etc.
Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Application must be made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:
• A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)
• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box “Application form”)
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information
• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades
• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail: mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

Send application
Deadline 2021-Nov-15

You can apply for the job at Faculty of Science by completing the application form


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