Current PhD students

Accepted PhD students within the ClimBEco graduate research school are enrolled during two years of their PhD studies. Recruitment to the program is open during spring and accepted PhD students begin their programes in August every year.

There are two groups of PhD students enrolled simultaneously, with PhD students from both Lund university and the University of Gothenburg. 

Group 9 (2019–2021)

Alexandra Pongracz (INES, Lund University)

Alexandra Pongracz. A photo.

My PhD project WINTERGAP aims at improving physical winter process representation in the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model. The development phase consists of three sub-projects that will enhance the performance of LPJ-GUESS in simulating arctic conditions:

  1. Snow insulation
  2. Vegetation damage due to extreme events
  3. Cold season fluxes

By implementing proposed developments, we will be able to assess how the warming winter season may affect arctic ecosystems, evaluate regional permafrost-climate feedbacks and discuss the role of the Arctic in the global carbon cycle.

Antje Gärtner (INES, Lund University)

Antje Gärtner. A photo.

I investigate carbon cycling in global forest ecosystems with a focus on the decomposition of dead wood using a dynamic global vegetation model. Dead wood accumulation and decomposition are heavily affected by climate, climate change and management decisions. It has important, potentially conflicting, functions for carbon storage, biodiversity and may also increase the frequency and intensity of forest fires. Therefore, we are developing the first individual based decomposition model for a global dynamic vegetation model to provide the first estimate of dead wood in potential natural vegetation and to test the effect of dead wood management options on carbon storage and fire hazard.

Aurora Patchett (Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg)

Aurora Patchett. A photo.

My research focuses on the impacts of extreme winter events on Arctic ecology. I am interested in a community of organisms made up of cyanobacteria, mosses, lichen, bacteria and fungi called the biological soil crust (BSC). I am studying the structure and function of these BSC communities to determine their contribution to key ecosystem processes (i.e. carbon and nutrient cycling), and assess their stability under climatic change.

Chiara Ileana Paleari (Geology, Lund University)

Chieara Ileana Paleari. A photo.

My research project aims to better understand the occurrence probability of extreme solar storms during the Holocene, in order to get a statistical basis for a better risk assessment. To do so, I look at cosmogenic radionuclides in ice cores to search for peaks caused by these events.

Didac Pascual Descagerra (INES, Lund University) 

Didac Pascual. A photo.

My work aim to improve the understanding and future predictions of ecosystem change in subarctic regions.

Erica Jaakola (INES, Lund University) 

Erica Jaakkola. A photo.

"Stress-induced BVOC emissions from a Swedish spruce forest" is the title of my PhD project. I am studying how different abiotic or biotic stress factors are affecting the BVOC (Biogenic volatile organic compound) emissions from mainly spruce trees. Bark beetle attacks and ozone effects are two stresses that are under analysis/planned to be analyzed.

Ethan Silvester (Geology, Lund University)

Ethan Silvester. A photo.

My project is aimed at investigating the environmental impacts of major volcanic eruptions over the past 2000 years. This research involves using diatom assemblages found in varved lake sediments as a proxy for catchment ecosystem response and recovery following volcanic deposition events.

James Hagan (Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg) 

James Hagan. A photo.

My research focuses on whether biological diversity matters for the functioning of ecosystems and the delivery of ecosystem services. Specifically, I work on the effect of scale in mediating the relationship between biological diversity and ecosystem functioning.

Johan Eckdahl (INES, Lund University) 

I study ecosystem recovery after boreal forest fires and the specific dynamics of recovery in relation to burn intensity and geography.

Lena Uldal Hansen (Geology, Lund University) 

Lena Uldal Hansen. A photo.

My research is focused on how a glacier moves. By characterizing the physical properties at the glacier base, we aim to understand the processes of deposition. These processes strongly influence how a glacier moves and can help to improve future predictions of glacier movement.

Long Nguyen (Geology, Lund University) 

Long Nguyen. A photo.

My project title is “Long-term changes in solar activity inferred from ice core cosmogenic radionuclide records”.  I trace the past activities of the Sun and Earth’s magnetic field using 10-Beryllium, i.e. a radioactive nuclide that are produced by cosmic rays coming from outside of our solar system. 10-Beryllium in my project are measured from 500-metres-deep ice formed during the end of the last ice age (~20 thousand years ago) in Antarctica.

Luis Filipe Escusa dos Santos (Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg) 

Luis Filipe Escusa dos Santos. A photo.

Within my PhD project, I try to assess the ability of ship exhaust particles to form liquid droplets and ice crystals in the atmosphere with regards to ship fuel regulations limiting the sulphur content in marine fuels as well as the observed Arctic sea-ice decline due to climate warming. I investigate these effects using different marine fuels as well as a seawater scrubber under laboratory conditions. Future work will consist of modelling studies, which will try to investigate the potential impact on mixed-phase clouds.

Mayra Pinheiro Dutra Rulli (INES, Lund University) 

Mayra Pinheiro Dutra Rulli. A photo.

My research in the Aquatic Biogeochemistry group focus on how organic nutrients bioavailability controls productivity in freshwater and coastal ecosystems. More specifically, the effects of nutrient loadings from the terrestrial environment (by natural and anthropogenic drivers) into aquatic ecosystems on productivity and diversity of microorganisms.

Michelle Nygren (Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg) 

Michelle Nygren. A photo.

My research is focused on two main research objectives. The first one is to define the impact of climate change on groundwater recharge and storage in Sweden. The other one seeks to further understand the intricacies of groundwater response by determining hydro(geo)logical (environmental) controls on the response to climate forcing.

Ross Petersen (INES, Lund University)

Ross Petersen. A photo.

For my PhD research topic, I study the ecosystem-scale fluxes of Biogenic Volatile Compounds (BVOCs) from boreal forests. These BVOCs have significant impacts on global climate, and can influence regional air quality by interacting with anthropogenic pollution. Thus, by studying these BVOC fluxes, we hope to improve the current understanding of these processes.

Ruud Scharn (Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg) 

I study the effect of climate warming on artic plant biodiversity. I am especially interested using phylogenetic (evolutionary) relationships in assessing diversity, and its effects on ecosystem functions and services.

 Sven Magnusson (INES, Lund University) 

Sven Magnusson. A photo.

I´m interested in studying Intra African bird migration by tracking migrations pathways and habitat use of some African bird species.

Theodor Kindeberg (Biology, Lund University) 

Theodor Kindeberg. A photo.

I am interested in coastal ecosystems in a changing world. Within my PhD project, I study how nature-based solutions for coastal protection are affecting ecosystem functioning in the coastal zone. Specifically, I am focusing on the effects of seagrass restoration on coastal biodiversity where I explore the spatiotemporal variability in ecosystem connectivity between marine and terrestrial habitats.

Tzu Tung Chen (Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg) 

Tzu Tung Chen. A photo.

Rooted in dendroclimatology, my current research seeks to explore the climate change impacts on human health in the pre-industrial era.


Group 10 (2020–2022)

Akash Deshmukh (INES, Lund University)

Akash Deshmukh. A photo.

My research topic is the physics of ice initiation in clouds and numerical modelling of storms. The modelling includes some processes which contribute to the generation of secondary ice.

Arti Jadav (INES, Lund University)

Arti Jadav. A photo.

My research topic will be numerical modelling of the role of primary ice initiation in clouds for the climate system. The goal is to develop aspects of a global model to develop new treatments of ice initiation based on lab observations from the observation campaign Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E).

Carlos Gómez-Ortiz (INES, Lund University)

Carlos Gómez-Ortiz. A photo.

My thesis project aims to develop a reliable and transparent method for quantifying fossil fuel CO2 emissions for Europe across countries, local regions and larger cities, combining high precision observations of atmospheric CO2 and radiocarbon 14CO2 with a model of fossil fuel emissions in a Fossil Fuel Data Assimilation System (FFDAS).

Cecilia Kardum Hjort (Biology, Lund University)

Cecilia Kardum Hjort. A photo.

My research project combines conservation biology and molecular ecology, where I want to understand the adaptive responses to environmental changes that populations of bumblebees in Sweden are facing. Since I am part of a Joint/Cotutelle program between Lund University and Macquarie University, I will spend one year of my PhD at Macquarie Uni studying the invasive Bombus terrestris adapting to a novel environment on Tasmania.

Cecilia Larsson (CEC, Lund University)

Cecilia Larsson. A photo.

My doctoral research project concerns policy promoting the use of agricultural biomass for energy in Sweden, to stimulate replacement of fossil fuels. Selecting a policy requires making trade-offs between societal goals that are sometimes conflicting, including energy demand, agricultural production/food security and environmental impacts. I use economic and environmental modelling to study farm production decisions and land use changes in response to policy change, to evaluate policy options.

Dániel Tajmel (Biology, Lund University)

Dániel Tajmel. A photo.

The main focus of my PhD is to understand the thermal dependencies of soil microorganisms, if and how they will feedback to climate change. I study the effects of soil warming on microbial growth and respiration in different biomes across seasons.

Deborah Zani (INES, Lund University)

Deborah Zani. A photo.

I seek to improve the representation of tree migration and incorporate the feedbacks with additional species in the LPJ-GM model. Will migration lags slow down the spatial adaptation of vegetation to climate/land use change? Can the new model (LPJ-GMINT) be successfully applied in case studies of different interaction and dispersal types, e.g. invasive tree pests, symbionts?

Deepak Waman (INES, Lund University)

Deepak Waman. A photo.

Aerosol can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice nuclei (IN) and affects cloud microphysical properties and precipitation. Present study investigates the effect of CCN and IN on cloud microphysical characteristics and precipitation using our Aerosol-Cloud (ACM) model. Properties such as liquid water content, droplet mean size, ice concentration, and radar reflectivity from simulations are studied and compared them with aircraft and radar observations. Sensitivity tests will be performed by changing CCN and IN number concentrations.

Hani Younes (INES, Lund University)

Hani Younes. A photo.

I am working mainly on the dissolved organic carbon cycle in boreal freshwater. Right now, I am working on the project ''Understanding the role of freshwater respiration in the carbon cycle'' funded by the Swedish Research Council VR trying to investigate the variations of the pelagic respiratory quotient (RQ) in the fresh water marine systems. I also have a strong background in Geology, Geophysics and Sedimentology where I did work with stable carbon isotopes C13 to study the Lau Event minor turnover of the Late Silurian.

Hui-Wen Lai (Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg)

Hui-Wen Lai. A photo.

I am interested in doing model simulations on the dynamics and importance of convection for precipitation in the Third Pole region. My research questions are: What are the variabilities of extreme weather events over high mountain environments? How do extreme weather events over the Tibetan Plateau change under a warming climate?

Jalisha Theanutti Kallingal (INES, Lund University)

Jalisha Theanutti Kallingal. A photo.

I am interested in modelling of vegetation dynamics and methane emission in boreal wetlands. Currently I am working on model optimisation algorithms to improve the LPJ-GUESS methane simulations. 

Johan Kjellberg Jensen (CEC, Lund University)

Johan Kjellberg Jensen. A photo.

My PhD project focuses on the impact of urbanization on organismal health and biodiversity. The aim is to investigate the interactions taking place in the cities, e.g. how avian health is affected by local prey diversity, or how the well-being of school children is impacted by contact with nature. Much of my work focuses on the complex relationship between trophic levels and diet, together with a broader perspective where urban nature is evaluated as an ecosystem service.

Josefin Winberg (Biology/CEC, Lund University)

Josefin Winberg. A photo.

I am a part of the multidisciplinary research project Land4Biomass that focus on the potential of producing biomass for bioenergy on marginal land and abandoned farmland in Sweden and the ensuing consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services in doing so. My contribution to the project involves i) an integrated analysis of the available marginal land using databases, remote sensing, GIS, and field work, and ii) an assessment of ecosystem services and biodiversity impact from the potential bioenergy-related land use change through empirical and literature studies.

Linda Lundmark (CEC, Lund University)

Linda Lundmark. A photo.

In my doctoral project I focus on policy tools used to compensate for the loss of biodiversity, caused by development projects. I am mainly looking at how this policy is applied and how it have been implemented at the Swedish (national and municipal) level by tracing the transfer of the policy from the international context. In combination with a narrative analysis, I am interested in understanding the influence of norms on the non-linear, complex processes involved in the movement and implementation of the policy.

Linjie Li (Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg)

Linjie Li. A photo.

My research topic is about investigating volatile organic compound (VOC) oxidation and the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation with laboratory experiments, field observations, and modeling.

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren (Design Sciences, Lund University)

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren. A photo.

I do research on how inhaled ultrafine particles are transported and deposited in our lungs with the goal to understand how ambient air affects humans, and to explore if we can use this information to diagnose lung disease. I also study the emission factors and spread of atmospheric biological aerosol particles. I measure fluorescent aerosol particles of biological origin at Hyltemossa, an atmosphere and ecosystem research station in Skåne, with the aim to understand which factors that are crucial for the generation and spread of bioaerosols.

Melanie Karlsson (CEC, Lund University)

Melanie Karlsson. A photo.

In my PhD I am investigating the constraints of organic farming in Sweden. I am especially interested in how the yield and success of organic farming is affected by, and is affecting, biodiversity and ecosystem services. And which role the composition of the landscape around farms have.

Paola Micaela Mafla Endara (Biology, Lund University)

Paola Micaela Mafla Endara. A photo.

My PhD project aims to investigate how the soil microorganisms are affected by the presence of different types of micro(nano)plastics. To achieve this goal, I will use micro-engineered chips that contain microstructures simulating the soil pore space. These chips will be filled with several combinations of soil microbes and micro(nano)plastics and their interactions will be analyzed under a microscope. 

Pedro Rosero (CEC, Lund University)

Pedro Rosero. A photo.

Biological control of pests in agricultural landscapes relies in ecological interactions between the pest and its natural enemies (e.g., predators, paraistoids). Many are the processes that affect these interactions across different spatio-temporal scales. Nevertheless, this scaling has not been properly taken into consideration when studying biological control. My PhD aims to understand biological control better across different spatial (local and landscape) and temporal (ecological and evolutionary) scales. 

Raül López I Losada (CEC, Lund University)

Raül López I Losada. A photo.

The aim of my research is to understand the environmental trade-offs of economic policy interventions targeting the increase of biomass production for biofuels in Swedish agricultural land. I will combine several modelling tools and impact assessment frameworks to compare the impacts of pesticide and fertiliser applications under different economic scenarios.

Sara Ullström (LUCSUS, Lund University)

Sara Ullström. A photo.

My research focuses on the growing movement in Sweden to reduce air travel because of its climate impacts, and the potential shift in social and cultural norms it represents. In particular, I investigate how narratives associated with avoiding flying have emerged, evolved, and spread in Swedish news media and social media, and analyze the power of these narratives in fostering collective action and transformational change towards more sustainable air travel behaviours.  

Theresia Widhalm (CEC, Lund University)

Theresia Widhalm. A photo.

In my research, I am trying to find out how the ongoing pollinator declines influence the functioning of grassland ecosystems. I want to find out how the plant community changes when pollinators become scarce and how these changes in turn affect mutualistic relationships and ecosystem functioning.

Tjördis Störling (Geology, Lund University)

Tjördis Störling. A photo.

For my PhD I am investigating changes in the silica composition of the global ocean through geological time using silicon stable isotopes ratios on sponge spicules. A major goal of my PhD is to understand the interactions between biosilicification in organisms and how these interactions have evolved through Earth’s history. I am particularly interested in how the cycling of silica changed across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary 66 Ma ago after a large meteorite struck the Earth causing mass extinction of life.

Tristan Bakx (INES, Lund University)

Tristan Bakx. A photo.

In my project, I study how a landscape approach can be used to balance ecosystem services provided by Swedish production forests. I use models to plan forest management strategies and predict their outcome for several ecosystem services. I am interested in the effects of management strategies on levels of carbon stocks, soil and water quality, biodiversity and economic value and the sensitivity of these services to spatial scale.

Wilhelm Osterman (Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg)

Wilhelm Osterman. A photo.

In my Ph.D. project, I aim to investigate how Arctic plant communities in various ways respond and adapt to global warming. By comparing plant community composition and functional trait composition between sites in different parts of the Arctic and within sites with different microclimate, I will be able to predict how arctic plant communities will respond to a warmer climate.

Ville Inkinen (Economics, University of Gothenburg)

Ville Inkinen. A photo.

In my PhD dissertation, I will evaluate environmental policies using microeconometric methods. Currently, I am working on projects where our primary aim is to evaluate how institutional factors have contributed to the development of biodiversity offset markets.

Zachary Nolen (Biology, Lund University)

Zachary Nolen. A photo.

My research focuses on how climate change and land use has impacted genetic diversity, demography, and evolvability in insect species, particularly pollinators. To do this, I am extracting and comparing genomic sequences from modern field caught individuals with those from museum specimens collected before the onset of large scale agriculture in Sweden.