PhD training in Soil Science

Last changed: 04 October 2019

The department of Soil and Environment offers PhD training in Soil Science. A PhD program is four years (240 hp) of which the major part (195 hp) consist of individual research and writing of a PhD thesis.

To qualify for postgraduate education, a degree at advanced level is required or at least four years full-time studies, of which at least one year at advanced level. To be admitted to postgraduate studies in Soil Science, a minimum of 60 credits in Soil Science or equivalent is required.

PhD candidate positions are advertised at Jobs and vacancies at SLU.

In order to enhance the quality in graduate education the department is a joint organizer of  the graduate school Focus on Soils and Water in collaboration with other departments at SLU.

General information about postgraduate education at SLU you can find both on the external web and at the staff web

Application for admission

This is a description of the requirements for admission to PhD training in Soil Science and of the application process. Links to documents, instructions, templates and forms needed for the application are found in the column to the right. Rules and regulations can be found in SLUs antagningsordning (in Swedish) and in the NL faculty guidelines for postgraduate studies. Please contact the director for post-graduate studies at the department before you apply.


The general requirement for becoming a PhD student at the department of Soil and Environment is that you have a BSc in a relevant natural science discipline and at least one more year of university studies on a more advanced level like MSc. If you do not have a higher degree than BSc you also need to have completed an independent study of at least 15 hp at a higher level than BSc.

Supervision and selection

Only PhD students that can be guaranteed supervision can be accepted. Selection of applicants are made on a competative basis where the candidates capacity to succesfully complete postgraduate studies are evaluated.


According to the Swedish decree of higher education funding for the complete education (4 years effective studies) should be available and the candidate should be employed as a doctorate student. The department may also accept PhD candidates with other types of funding if it is likely that the funding can be secured for the complete education and that the applicant can use so mucjh time for the education that it can be completed within 8 years.

Feasibility of the PhD project

The board for postgraduate studies makes an assessment of the application based on PhD candidate qualifications, possibilities for supervision, quality of suggested reserach, available funds and suggested time plan.


The application for admission is prepared by the applicant in collaboration with the main supervisor.

Documents that should be submitted to the director of post-gradiuate reserach electronically includes:

  • Individual study plan (ISP)
  • Application form
  • Form 2: Recommendation of admission
  • Copy of external funding contracts
  • CV of the applicant
  • Study records that proves that you fulfill the formal requirements and English proficiency
  • A copy of the advertised announcement of the PhD position
  • The supervisor's motivation for the choice of candidate including a brief description of the selection process

Application process

The application should be sent to the director of post-graduate studies for a pre-evaluation at least three weeks before the meeting of the board for postgraduate studies at the department (see calendar at the internal homepage).

The application is considered by the board for postgraduate studies and subsequently approved by the head of department.

Please note that the application has to be approved by the department before it is passed on to the faculty. It is the faculty that takes the final decision on admission.

PhD project monitoring

PhD students

PhD students at the Department of Soil and Environment

Karl Adler
Digital soil maps as decision support for precision agriculture -the case study of N mineralization potential and micronutrient maps

Karin Andersson
Treatments of manure to improve nitrogen efficiency

Elsa Arrazola
Ecosystems Engineering by earthworms: soil bioturbation in relation to mechanical resistance and available energy resources

Daniel Aviles Ribera
Characterisation of the susceptibility of soils to erosion by water-induced forces using soil physical parameters

Ulf Axelsson
Molybden variation in soil and plant

Jens Blomquist
The effect of liming on yield and aggregate stability in clay soils

Sabina Braun
Long-term phosphorus supply in soils – Evaluation of P-AL and the significance of stable P forms

Elisabeth Bölenius
Spatial distribution of soil physical properties

Hugo de Campos Pereira
Sorption of perfluoroalkyl substances in soils – mechanisms and modelling

Louis Dufour
Decomposition of soil organic matter in diversified Salix plantations

Jumpei Fukumasu
Effects of soil organic carbon fractions on soil structure and preferential solute transport

Gizachew Tarekegn Getahun
Improvement of the upper subsoil through loosening and structure stabilisation using crop residues or lime

Benjamin Gossweiler
Spatial and temporal variations in water regimes and quality in waterways and soils in a peri-urban/rural catchment

Fahri Hasby
Meta-transcriptomic analyses of microbial traits to study carbon dynamics in managed forests

Qarin Hellner

Mitigation of critical transport pathways for phosphorous and pesticides from common marine clay soils

Anna Hess
Quantifying macropore flow by X-ray tomography to improve model predictions of contaminant leaching
in soil

Reza Hosseinpour
Post-tillage evolution of soil structural pore space: measurements and modelling

Johan Iwald
Spatial and temporal trends in soil acidity and carbon pools in Swedish forest soils – evaluation of data from the Swedish Forest Soil Inventory

Karolina Jörgensen
Comparing effects of endogenic and anthropogenic  N-supply on ectomycorrhizal fungi

Anders Lindsjö
Modelling of phosphorus storage and mobilisation in Swedish agricultural soils

Mona Mossadeghi Björklund
Effects of compaction on the morphology and function of the soil pore system and on soil mechanical properties

Marguerite Mukangango
Acacia angustissima, Mimosa scabrella and Leucaena pallida in agroforestry systems on Rwandan Ferralsols: tree growth, digestibility, manure fertilizer value and soil fertility improvement

Gerrardo Murillo
Influences of rainfall pattern and land management on erosion rate and streams water quality in Nicaragua's tropical hilly areas

Lina Nolin
Decision Support for Real-Time Control of soil and crop amendments in agricultural production,based on sensor data,databases and model-based simulation

Jelena Rakovic
Consequences of the future bioeconomy on Nordic surface waters with a focus on phosphorous in Swedish agricultural streams

Katrine Rychel
Fertilizer placement to increase nitrogen use efficiency and N2O mitigation 

Frank Schmieder
Turnover of P in Soils Rich in Organic Matter

Marius Tuyishime
Phosphorus in managed forest soils: effect of whole-tree harvesting, ash fertilization, and climate change

Olive Tuyishime
Impact of irrigation and drainage management on nitrogen/salt dynamics and rice yield in irrigated Muvumba soils, Rwanda 

Sandra Wolters
Crop production recommendations for precision agriculture from smart
decision support systems


Dissertations at the Department of Soil and Environment

Licentiate theses at at the Department of Soil and Environment

The Department of Soil and Environment was established 2008 through an amalgamation of the Department of Soil Sciences and the Department of Forest Soils. Theses published at these departments can be found under the links below.

Department of Soil Sciences (2002 - 2007)

Department of Forest Soils (2002 - 2007)

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