Department of Aquatic Resources (SLU Aqua)

A 24-month full-time postdoctoral position is available at the Department of Aquatic Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Stockholm, Sweden. The postdoc will join the EU DIASPARA project, (DIAdromous Species: moving towards new PARadigms to achieve holistic scientific Advice), which aims at improving stock assessment models for diadromous fishes by increasing the biological realism of models,  enhancing computational efficiency and advancing the methodology for assessing populations at multiple nested spatial scales.


Fish population dynamics depend on numerous processes such as growth, maturation and survival, often referred as life-history traits (LHTs), that vary across populations and through time. LHTs directly influence reference points (such as maximum sustainable yield), that are used in the management of exploited fish stocks, but their variability (both temporal and among populations) is often not captured by assessment models. The European eel and Atlantic salmon are diadromous species whose distributions extend over transnational boundaries and a variety of ecotypes. While a large quantity of biological data have been collected for both, through European (e.g. the Data Collection Framework, DCF) and national programs, there is a need to inventory the available data on LHTs across the species’ ranges. Improving the biological realism of assessment models for salmon and eel stocks by accounting for spatio-temporal variability in LHTs is of high priority to refine estimates of management reference points and improve short-term predictions of stock development.


  • Inventory available data - creating an inventory of available and potentially available data on Atlantic salmon and European eel LHTs as well as collating information on environmental covariates. Identify gaps in data collection for LHT estimation under the DCF and make recommendations for improvements in data collection.


  • Analyse spatial and temporal patterns in LHT - develop hierarchical Bayesian models for somatic growth and size/age at maturity to estimate spatiotemporal variation in fish LHTs. Investigate inclusion of suitable covariates for variability in LHTs (for example, sea surface temperature) to improve the predictive ability of assessment models.


Collaborations and research network


The postdoc will be based at SLU’s Freshwater Research Institute near Stockholm and will include at least one visit to the Thünen Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany (supervisors Rebecca Whitlock, SLU and Reinhold Hanel, Thünen Institute). The postdoc will also have access to a network of expertise in statistical inference and ecology through the DIASPARA project. Regular online and in-person meetings with the DIASPARA team are scheduled throughout the project.

Required qualifications:


  • PhD degree in quantitative ecology or a relevant subject
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Proven record of publishing in international scientific journals
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Qualifications considered a merit:

  • Experience of Bayesian statistics and hierarchical/multi-level models
  • Strong interest in fisheries stock assessment and management
  • Previous experience working with diadromous fish species


Read more about our benefits and working at SLU by visiting:


Sötvattenslaboratoriet, Drottningholm

Form of employment: 

Temporary substitute employment 24 months 



Start date:

1st October 2024, or after agreement


Please submit your application before deadline 30th August 2024. You can submit your application by clicking the button below.

We prefer applications written in English.

Applications must contain 1) CV and copy of PhD diploma, 2) statement of scientific interests and motivation for applying for this position, 3) description of research experience and other activities of relevance for the position including a list of publications, 4) contact information for three referees.

Union representatives:


The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Contact person

Rebecca Whitlock

Reinhold Hanel

Johan Östergren