PhD scholarship in Migration Ecology

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Ph.d. & forskning
Udlandet (Sverige)

Frist 1. oktober 2019

A PhD Scholarship in fish migration ecology is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua), Denmark, with starting date 15. October 2019. The scholarship is part of a larger Nordic collaborative project, MarGen_II, financed by the EU Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak Programme, the Danish Rod and Net License Funds and the National Institute of Aquatic Resources. The project will primarily be carried out at the Section for Freshwater fisheries and ecology situated in Silkeborg, Denmark. DTU Aqua is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark.

The section applies a range of advanced biotelemetry methods with the aim to gain knowledge on how to preserve and manage recreational fisheries as well as biodiversity conservation. Knowledge is achieved through research into the evolutionary processes responsible for generating and maintaining genetic diversity within and among populations of marine and freshwater fishes.

Responsibilities and tasks
Migration is a fundamental aspect of the life history of many animals. Migration in fish has often been regarded as an adaptive behaviour for increasing growth, survival, reproductive success, and hence overall fitness, but is notoriously difficult to study. This is especially true for a range of highly migratory species e.g. salmonids and tunas. However, new advanced methods in biotelemetry, physiology, genomics, chemical fingerprinting and combinations thereof provide unprecedented insights and resolution on migration.

It will be the purpose of this PhD, using multiple fish species, to increase our understanding of how and why animals are distributed through time and space in the biologically highly productive marine and freshwater regions encompassing Skagerrak, Kattegat, Øresund and the North Sea region. Such basic ecological knowledge is an essential prerequisite for effective conservation and management of the fish stocks, also under changing environmental pressures.

The successful candidate will be responsible for collecting, analysing and publishing large telemetry data sets and for coupling these datasets with information from population genetic analyses, physiology and chemical fingerprinting; thus strong analytical skills and interests are required. The candidate will also contribute to teaching at the Aquatic Science & Technology Masters programme at DTU Aqua and to the supervision of Bachelor and Master students.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

In addition, we are looking for candidates who have:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Biology, Aquatic Science & Technology or similar
  • Strong analytical skills/interest
  • A background in ecology is preferred
  • Experience with telemetry and migration ecology
  • Keen interest in research and the field of marine and aquatic sciences
  • Good collaborative skills
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Kim Aarestrup, Professor Anders Koed and Senior Scientist Henrik Baktoft, DTU Aqua.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The PhD student will be based at DTU Aqua in Silkeborg, Denmark, and will be integrated within the MarGen_II project and freshwater fishery and ecology section, DTU Aqua. Exchange visits to MarGen_II partners at the University of Gothenburg, Tjärnö, Sweden, and the University of Agder, Norway, are expected as well as a certain amount of field work can be expected.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Kim Aarestrup, tel.: +45 35883142, email:

You can read more about the institute at

Please submit your online application no later than 1 October 2019 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

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

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

The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has 290 employees of whom 120 are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections, which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Lyngby, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana. You can read more about DTU Aqua on

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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