PhD fellow in Earth Observation of terrestrial ecosystem stability to climate extremes

The Department of geosciences and natural resource management at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Earth Observation and ecosystem science, with a focus on studying large-scale vegetation die-offs using high to very high-resolution satellite imagery.

The PhD position is part of the newly funded ‘DRYTIP’ project (5 years), financed by the VILLUM FONDEN and lead by Associate Professor Stéphanie Horion. The project aims at advancing fundamental and technical knowledge related to drought-induced vegetation die-offs by coupling insights from Earth observation (EO), Dynamic Vegetation Model and Field ecology.

The role of the PhD student will be (1) to investigate a global set of drought-induced vegetation die-offs combing field data with climate and EO proxies; and (2) to develop advanced EO based methods to monitor vegetation die-offs and quantify ecosystem stability to climate extremes (i.e. ecosystem response to disturbance and recovery potential). The project includes fieldwork to key case studies and international research stay.

The position is open from 1 August 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry out your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department and take part in IGNs PhD-community

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Geography, Geoinformatics, Environmental Sciences, or related. We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious individual with good interpersonal and communication skills. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. As criteria for the assessment, emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any), relevant experience in remote sensing and ecology, as well as on programming skills (e.g. r, python). Fieldwork experience and experience with dense time series of remote sensing and climate data are an advantage.

Work environment
Your work place will be the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), which conducts research and education on the past, present and future physical, chemical and biological environments of the Earth and their interactions with societal and human systems to provide graduates and research in support of sustainable future solutions for society. The department has strong experience in interdisciplinary collaboration within and beyond the department.

Further information on the Department can be found at

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 330,817 (approx. €44,108) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Please include

  • A cover letter (1 page) describing your background, personal qualities, research interest and motivation for applying for this position
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • A short abstract of the MSc Thesis (max. 300 words)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any)

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

The deadline for applications is 15 April 2021, 23:59 GMT +2.

Application and more information possible at

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