Phd student, developing maps of Swedish soils with LiDAR and AI


Department of Forest Ecology and Management
The department includes about 100 people of which 11 are professors. Our mission is to advance the understanding of forest ecosystem processes and to progress the principles of forest ecosystem management. For more information:

Improving sustainable planning with high quality AI-developed soil maps
The PhD position is part of a joint project between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and The Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) focused on spatial planning. Airborne laser scanning is a relative new technique where the ground surface is scanned with laser from low flying aircrafts. These laser scans have provided incredible detailed information on the surface topography in Swedish forests. Only a handful of nations have access to similar national point cloud datasets and Sweden is a prominent player in this research field. We are now looking to hire a PhD candidate that will work on combining these laser scans with AI in order to develop high resolution maps of soils and soil depths. The overall objective of this project is to develop maps that enable detailed spatial planning of infrastructure, forestry, environmental restoration and climate adaption. Improved maps about the essential foundations in nature will become important tools for sustainable planning and future land-use management which are facing the challenges of climate change adaptation of management strategies.

Academic requirements include a M.Sc. (or comparable degree*) in forestry, soil science or a closely related discipline. We are seeking a creative and enthusiastic candidate with excellent communication skills in written and verbal English. Communication skills in Swedish is a merit as the SGU database than underlie this project are in Swedish. We are looking for a candidate that is eager to learn new tools and want to work with applied and interdisciplinary science. A strong interest for spatial analyses and programing in R and python is preferred. The successful candidate need to be able to work in a team context as well as independently. Applications from both Sweden and elsewhere in the world are welcome, and we particularly look forward to applications from under-represented groups in this area of research.

Place of work:      

Forms for funding or employment:
Employment as a PhD student for 4 years.

Starting date:
Anticipated start date in February 15 2022, or after agreement.

Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is January 7 2022

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to 1) a 1-2 page cover letter in English, describing yourself and your motivation and match to the above-mentioned project; 2) a curriculum vitae, including your education, publications (if any), and relevant work experience; 3) certified copies of degrees, degree project and transcripts from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution and one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree; 4) a list of at least three references familiar with the applicant's qualifications; 5) certified knowledge of the English language. An interview be the final part of the selection for top-ranked candidates.

More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.


  • Arbetsplats: Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
  • 1 plats
  • 6 månader eller längre
  • Heltid
  • Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön
  • Publicerat: 1 december 2021
  • Ansök senast: 7 januari 2022

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