PhD Fellow in Marine Ecology and Biogeochemistry

Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University, invites applications as a PhD Fellow in Marine Ecology and Biogeochemistry. The position is limited to a period of 3 years (full-time studies) with expected start date from November 1st, 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the PhD project
In this PhD project, you will determine how leaf epiphytes (i.e., microalgae and bacteria) affects the seagrass ecosystem function as greenhouse gas sink and the greenhouse gas production under environmental stress. Such knowledge is important to optimize the beneficial role of seagrass habitats, worldwide. In brief, you will be using cutting-edge microsensor and chemical imaging techniques to unravel how eutrophication-induced leaf epiphytes affects: (i) the seagrass ecosystem function as an overall greenhouse gas sink, via descriptions of effects on optical properties and photosynthetic capacity, (ii) the leaf phyllosphere metabolic activity and greenhouse gas production under environmental stress conditions including hypoxia and high temperatures, (iii) the potential night-time production/emission of the potent greenhouse gas N2O from anoxic epiphytic biofilms, and (iv) key decomposition processes and microbial populations affecting carbon accumulation and greenhouse gas production in seagrass sediment during fresh litter decomposition.

What the PhD study can offer: A fully funded position with enrolment at Roskilde University Doctoral School of Science and Environment in the research group of Associate Professor Kasper Elgetti Brodersen ( The planned research is highly interdisciplinary, involving environmental biologists, molecular biologists, and chemists (on this project, funded by the Villum foundation, there will be hired 1 PhD Fellow and 2 postdocs over a 5-year period). The graduate program includes experimental research training, specialized courses in experimental and transferrable skills, attending scientific meetings and research stays at other institutions (e.g., Melbourne, Australia). For the right candidate, there will be excellent opportunities to influence the direction of their project.

The Doctoral School
The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Doctoral School of Science and Environment in accordance with the rules issued by the Ministry of Technology and Science and additional regulations issued by Roskilde University. The PhD Fellow will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish confederation of Professional Associations). The Doctoral School of Science and Environment is an international graduate school that covers a broad range of research topics within the areas of science and environment.

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The Department of Science and Environment
Department of Science and Environment is one of four departments at Roskilde University. The Department conducts basic and applied research within chemistry, physics, medical biology, molecular biology, environmental sciences and mathematics. Bachelor programs are offered within these areas, as are interdisciplinary Master programs. The Department’s laboratories are well-equipped with modern infrastructure and shared state-of-the art instrumentation. This includes recently acquired NMR, mass spectrometry (LC- and GC-MS, including high-resolution measurements and proteomics), and microscopy (AFM, confocal and fluorescence) instruments, microscope with cold stage, rate freezer and climate cabinets, GMO class 2 labs, flow cytometry, NGS, Q-PCR facilities together with calorimetry (ITC and DSC), chromatography (HPLC), and scattering (DLS, SAXS) instruments. For environmental science research is microsensor setups, PAM imaging setup, biochemical imaging setups, FireSting PRO systems, TOC, AAS, FTIR, ICP MS, GC MS, HPLC, CHNS elemental analyzer, ion chromatograph, FIA and electronic particle counters (i.e., Coulter counters) available.

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Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD position is an educational position, and the main tasks are in accordance with chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (

The ideal candidate is expected to:

  • Lead a PhD project in the research group as a team member.
  • Determine how nutrient-induced leaf epiphyte overgrowth affect the seagrass leaves optical properties and thereby the plants photosynthetic capacity and carbon absorption potential.
  • Unravel key biogeochemical processes and chemical conditions in anoxic epiphytic biofilms, and link this to potential production and release of greenhouse gas and how this is affected by Anthropogenic environmental stressors.
  • Investigate the fate of fixed carbon in seagrass meadows: incl. decomposition processes, leaf decay rates and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Mentor younger students within the focus of the research project or contribute to undergraduate teaching.


The ideal candidate holds an MSc in life science, environmental biology or molecular biology, and has an outstanding track record and a critical mindset. Moreover, an open mentality with focus on research communication, inter-disciplinary curiosity and teamwork will be required to succeed. Moreover, the following qualifications are sought for:

  • Key knowledge of marine biology/ecology, plant physiology and/or sediment biogeochemistry.
  • Experience with using electrochemical microsensors, PAM imaging (e.g., light sheet microscopy), chemical imaging (e.g., planar optodes and optical sensor nanoparticles), and/or DNA extraction/sequencing (e.g., 16S rRNA amplicon gene). 


You are required to be enterprising and to possess good communication skills and to be a visible, involved participant in the department’s daily activities and in the INM PhD network, in addition to being willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration also across the department.

In the assessment of candidates, consideration will be given to:


In the assessment, regarding enrolment in the graduate program consideration will also be given to the following criteria:

  • Educational skills and any further professional qualifications.
  • Grades at Master’s programme or equivalent.
  • Quality and relevance of your description of the Ph.D. project (see application requirements below) – Here you describe in which direction you would like to work and especially how your qualifications fit into the project (approximately 0.5-1 page).
  • Ability to complete the PhD project.


For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Kasper Elgetti Brodersen (email:

Terms of employment
The employment is full time, and you will refer to Dean Susanne Sørensen.

The position will be filled according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) and Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities.  

Application procedure 
After the deadline for applications the Dean will shortlist applicants for assessment with assistance from the recruitment committee including the chairperson of the assessment committee.

Shortly after the application deadline all applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been selected for assessment.

The shortlisted applicants will be informed about the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will be given the opportunity to comment on the composition of the committee and - later on - their assessment.

Once the recruitment process is completed, all applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application.

To apply for the position go to 

Only applications in English are accepted. 

Applications must include: 
1. Cover letter
2. CV
3. Documentation of education including grades from Master’s programme or equivalent
4. Your own description of the PhD project – Here you describe in which direction you would like to work and how your qualifications fit into the project (approximately one page)
5. Your suggested time schedule of the PhD project
6. Letters of recommendation
7. If applicable: Documentation for any research experience, work experience or publications.


Please submit your application no later than 5 August 2024. 

Material received after this date will not be taken into consideration. 

Roskilde University wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 

Application due date

Institut for Naturvidenskab og Miljø/Department of Science and Environment 

Ph.d. stillinger
Kasper Elgetti Brodersen

Roskilde University

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Deadline: 2024-08-05
Location: Denmark, Roskilde
Categories: biogeochemistry, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, LifeScience, Molecular Biology, PhD,


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