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Internships & thesis suggestions

Here you will find thesis and project suggestions and internships, both from our own researchers and from outside the department.

In business, research or organisations outside the department

In research groups within the department

In business, research or organisations outside the department


Scholarships abroad for geography & environmental science students

Offered by GoEco, who describe themselves as a "leading eco-tourism company with a varied selection of affordable, ethical volunteer projects abroad".

Volunteering for Students of Geography and Environmental Science
Volunteer Scholarships

BSc/MSc project: Can we simulate the giants of the rainforest (and all the little trees as well)?

When: Anytime from autumn 2020

What: Tropical rainforests not only have an almost mystical allure, but also an enormous impact on the world's climate, taking up as much as a quarter of annual anthropogenic carbon emissions 1. Much of the carbon that they hold is stored within the trunks of the largest trees 2. This means that being able to correctly simulate the range of tree sizes and types within the rainforest is fundamental to being able to predict how the ability of the forest to take up carbon might change in the future. The LPJ-GUESS vegetation model developed at INES is regularly used to make assessments of forest carbon uptake across the world 3,4. LPJ-GUESS is, in principle, capable of capturing the structural complexity of rainforests, but new observations offer the opportunity to improve our ability to simulate these fascinating ecosystems.

This project will use observations of tropical tree allometry 5,6 to update how tropical tree species are simulated in LPJ-GUESS and evaluate the resulting size structure against observations from forest inventory plots. Sensitivity studies, changing the values of difficult-to-observe parameters, such as vulnerability to mortality, can be used to give insight into how differences in the strategies of tropical trees can lead to the complex size structures found in reality.

There is scope to adapt the project to focus on particular aspects of forest dynamics or particular forest regions.

The project will contribute towards a wider development agenda working to improve our ability to simulate tree mortality (, linking with researchers across the world.

Advanced programming skills are not a pre-requisite, as the LPJ-GUESS modelling can be done without changing the underlying C++ code (only requiring some basic commands in Linux). But ability to analyse datasets using a programming-based software such as Matlab or R will be fundamental to the project, as well as a basic understanding of the concepts of ecosystem modelling.

Contact: Thomas Pugh, t [dot] a [dot] m [dot] pugh [at] bham [dot] ac [dot] uk


  1. Pan, Y. et al. A large and persistent carbon sink in the world’s forests. Science (80-. ). 333, 988–93 (2011).
  2. Bastin, J. F. et al. Seeing Central African forests through their largest trees. Sci. Rep. 5, 1–8 (2015).
  3. Friedlingstein, P. et al. Global Carbon Budget 2019. Earth Syst. Sci. Data 11, 1783–1838 (2019).
  4. Pugh, T. A. M. et al. Role of forest regrowth in global carbon sink dynamics. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 116, 4382–4387 (2019).
  5. Feldpausch, T. R. et al. Height-diameter allometry of tropical forest trees. Biogeosciences 8, 1081–1106 (2011).
  6. Blanchard, E. et al. Contrasted allometries between stem diameter, crown area, and tree height in five tropical biogeographic areas. Trees - Struct. Funct. 30, 1953–1968 (2016).

BSc/MSc project: Calculating rates of tree mortality from observations

When: Anytime from autumn 2020

What: When is a tree not a tree? When it's a data-point. This is not some bad joke, but a reality. When we observe or measure a tree, we store one or more pieces of information about it, but never everything we might like to know. Depending on the way we are observing the tree, the kind of data we can collect might be very different. Seen from an aircraft or satellite, a tree covers a certain amount of ground area 1, whereas a person measuring on the ground is much more likely to measure the circumference of the stem 2. As a result, the many different ways of collecting information about forests leads to many different kinds of data being stored. This creates a problem when we want to make consistent assessments of forest function across space and time. And if we want to understand how the world's forests are changing, that's exactly what we need to do.

Through the activities of the International Tree Mortality Network (ITMN; we are hitting just such problems. We need to convert ground-based observations of tree mortality, based on the presence or absence of a stem, to a change in canopy area, so that we can compare them with remote sensing observations. This project would combine tree mortality information from forest inventory data with information on the allometries of trees to generate estimates of mortality rates that can be compared with remote sensing observations. You would focus on one or more regions or countries for which such data is available, either in Europe or North America. The results could contribute towards the methodology used by the ITMN.

Ability to analyse datasets using a programming-based software such as Matlab or R will be fundamental to the project.

Contact: Thomas Pugh, t [dot] a [dot] m [dot] pugh [at] bham [dot] ac [dot] uk


  1. Senf, C. et al. Canopy mortality has doubled in Europe’s temperate forests over the last three decades. Nat. Commun. 9, 4978 (2018).
  2. Ruiz-Benito, P. et al. Climate- and successional-related changes in functional composition of European forests are strongly driven by tree mortality. Glob. Chang. Biol. 23, 4162–4176 (2017).

BSc/MSc project: Grow faster, die faster? Forest dynamics under environmental change

When: Anytime from autumn 2020

What: Tree mortality rates have been observed to increase in many forests of the world 1–3. Climate change is almost certainly one driver behind this. But are all the trees dying because they are doing worse under the new conditions, or actually because they are doing better?! Although at first glance it might seem backwards, as trees grow they compete with their neighbours, with the weakest trees losing the competition and dying - a process known as self-thinning4. If trees grow faster, then this process is sped up, causing an increase in mortality rates5. This project asks the question, how much of current trends in tree mortality can be explained by increased competition, as opposed to increased environmental stress from climate change?

The project will use the LPJ-GUESS vegetation model to assess how tree mortality rates are affected by different levels of climate change and changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and nitrogen deposition rates.

The project can look globally, or with a focus on specific world regions (potentially in comparison with mortality observations 1–3). It will contribute towards a wider development agenda working to improve our ability to simulate tree mortality (, linking with researchers across the world.

Advanced programming skills are not a pre-requisite, as the LPJ-GUESS modelling can be done without changing the underlying C++ code (only requiring some basic commands in Linux; although ability to work with C++ would increase the range of study possibilities). But ability to analyse datasets using a programming-based software such as Matlab or R will be fundamental to the project, as well as a basic understanding of the concepts of ecosystem modelling.

Contact: Thomas Pugh, t [dot] a [dot] m [dot] pugh [at] bham [dot] ac [dot] uk


  1. van Mantgem, P. J. et al. Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the western United States. Science 323, 521–524 (2009).
  2. Hubau, W. et al. Asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests. Nature 579, 80–87 (2020).
  3. Senf, C. et al. Canopy mortality has doubled in Europe’s temperate forests over the last three decades. Nat. Commun. 9, 4978 (2018).
  4. Westoby, M. The Self-Thinning Rule. Adv. Ecol. Res. 14, 167–225 (1984).
  5. Pretzsch, H., Biber, P., Schütze, G., Uhl, E. & Rötzer, T. Forest stand growth dynamics in Central Europe have accelerated since 1870. Nat. Commun. 5, 4967 (2014).

MSc project: How do forests respond to drought? Merging models and satellite observations

When: Anytime from autumn 2020

What: Droughts driven by climate change are being linked to increasing levels of tree mortality 1. To understand how our forests will change in the future we need to be able to accurately simulate the response of forests to drought. But this is a big challenge for ecosystem modellers. One problem has been the lack of observations of forest water status on scales that are comparable to those at which we make simulations of forest, however, with new remote sensing techniques that is changing. Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) observations have now been processed from satellite remote sensing data for the whole world, for a timescale covering the last 30 years 2. VOD is well established to be very sensitive to vegetation water content and has been linked with forest functioning relevant to drought 3,4.

This project will use the LPJ-GUESS vegetation model to try and explain variations in plant water content caused by drought, as captured by VOD observations. For instance:

  • Do the spatial and temporal variations in forest water status simulated by the model correspond to those in the VOD dataset? I.e. can we explain the observations based on modelling from first principles?

  • To what extent are these drought events expected to cause tree mortality, based on the model? Can we link this to observed hotspots of tree mortality?

There is flexibility in the focal region(s) and exact formulation of the research questions.

The project will contribute towards a wider development agenda working to improve our ability to simulate tree mortality (, linking with researchers across Europe, in the case of this project, especially from Munich.

Advanced programming skills are not a pre-requisite, but ability to analyse datasets using a programming-based software such as Matlab or R will be fundamental to the project, as well as a basic understanding of the concepts of ecosystem modelling.

Contact: Thomas Pugh, t [dot] a [dot] m [dot] pugh [at] bham [dot] ac [dot] uk


  1. Hartmann, H. et al. Research frontiers for improving our understanding of drought-induced tree and forest mortality. New Phytol. 218, 15–28 (2018).

  2. Moesinger, L. et al. The global long-term microwave Vegetation Optical Depth Climate Archive (VODCA). Earth Syst. Sci. Data 12, 177–196 (2020).

  3. Rao, K., Anderegg, W. R. L., Sala, A., Martínez-vilalta, J. & Konings, A. G. Remote Sensing of Environment Satellite-based vegetation optical depth as an indicator of drought-driven tree mortality ☆. Remote Sens. Environ. 227, 125–136 (2019).

  4. Konings, A. G. & Gentine, P. Global variations in ecosystem-scale isohydricity. Glob. Chang. Biol. 23, 891–905 (2017).

  5. Pan, Y. et al. A large and persistent carbon sink in the world’s forests. Science (80-. ). 333, 988–93 (2011).

Internship in research groups abroad

Are you considering a career in research? If so, you might want to make your internship in a research group. Here you'll find information on how to proceed.

Thesis suggestions from Miljöbron

Below only a selection, there are much more at miljöbrons web page sv /en

Internships and student jobs in sustainability  via Sustainergies

Sustainergies keeps an eye open for student opportunities at many interesting employers in Sweden:
Sustainabilities student jobs page (in Swedish)

M.Sc. Project at Miljömatematik Malmö AB: Swedish carbon sequestration in Halland


Right now, a project is underway, "Swedish carbon sequestration", which aims to create incentives to transform the agricultural system into a carbon sink instead of an emission source.

The project is run by Miljömatematik Malmö AB in collaboration with Elin Röös, SLU Uppsala, Albaeco, Wim Carton at LUCSUS, Max hamburger restaurants and Oatly.

During the spring of 2020, a number of test farms in Halland will begin with the carbon storage methods that the project will follow. We need students who can look at different methods, both innovative and traditional for measuring carbon storage, and test these in the fields of our test farms to provide a basis for which measurement methods are the most reliable and cost-effective, and obtain a zero basis measurement for carbon content at the different fields in the farms.

We would like to see more than one student. We may offer travel reimbursement for trips linked to the work. Do you want to know more?

Contact: jessica [dot] johansson [at] miljomatematik [dot] se

Student job offer at Vattenhallen Science center


Vattenhallen Science Centre needs students to work at the exhibition "Earth- and climate through time". The exhibition has various interactive parts where visitors need help. You will receive a brief training on what to do from the educational staff. You can determine how much and when you work, in cooperation with the Science Centre. The intention is that the time spent at Vattenhallen should not interfere with your studies. Would be good to have a background in Physical Geography with knowledge on the effects of climate change and the carbon balance. Within the exhibition there is a data exercise where Python programming is used and which has to be supervised. So, some knowledge of Python is good but is not a requirement. You can learn how. Also some knowledge of Swedish is preffered. You will be paid for the time.

Are you interested? Register here:
Read more about Vattenhallen at

For more information about the assignment contact:
rolf [dot] niemann [at] vattenhallen [dot] lu [dot] se
stefan [dot] zamudio [at] vattenhallen [dot] lu [dot] se

Also Harry Lankreijer at INES/ICOS Carbon Portal can tell you more.

Swedish environmental protection agency has many openings for students

Internships, summer employments, and thesis suggestions. Many student opportunities in climate, communication, environmental protection, environmental law and more.

To the Naturvårdsverket jobs page (in Swedish)


Mapping distribution and density of coconut farm in Indonesia (Bachelor Thesis suggestiion)


Are you looking forward to take part of a project in the other side of the world? Then, join our Coco Husk Team and you will not regret it!

We are working to improve the life of local villages in coconut plantations in Riau province in Indonesia. 
In particular, we are trying to say stop burning coco husk and figure out other ways of using this raw material with the help of Design Centrum and Mechanical Engineering here in Lund. 
But now we also need the help of Geographers that are willing to help us in mapping the area where we are planning to introduce our new eco-sustainable system of treating coco husk.
In December, went to Sungai Guntung and Tembilahan and saw local villages in coconut plantations and saw how people harvest coconut and process its derivatives like copra, shell and husk.
Therefore, we need to map the distribution and density of coconut farms in Indonesia.
We also need to investigate how much Indonesia peat land contributes to global warming, and eventually, if you get passionate about it, map the distribution of different types of bio masses that grow in Indonesia starting from coconut plantations :) 

Contact: sara.mazzuoli92 [at]

Master theses at the Center for Mathematical Sciences

Some of their projects currently may be of interest for physical geographers.

Read more here.


In research groups within the department


Optimizing the locations of bike sharing stations based on spatio-temporal demand coverage

As an environmentally friendly, economical, and convenient transport mode, bikes have been considered as an effective means for those short-distance automobile trips. In recent years, bike sharing systems (BSS) have been commonly adopted in many cities around the world, which are used to solve the first- and last-mile problem, and alleviate traffic congestion and air pollution.

However, the site selection of bike sharing stations is still one of the main problems under the construction and operation of BSS. The locations of bike sharing stations determines the performance and service level of BSS.

Theoretically, the site selection of stations relies heavily on people’s cycling demand, which has been paid little attention in previous studies. Especially, the demand is heterogeneous and dynamic in time and space.

Motivated by this, the goal of thesis is to develop an approach on optimizing the locations of bike sharing stations based on spatio-temporal demand coverage. Challenges to be addressed include:

  • extracting spatio-temporal demand from massive bike GPS data,
  • designing a spatial optimization method based on the extracted demand information, and
  • evaluating the performance of the optimization model.

A more specific introduction to the topic will be given by the supervisors upon request.

Interest in spatial data analysis and mining. Knowledge of Python is beneficial.

Supervisors: Pengxiang Zhao and Ali Mansourian

Visualisation of carbon and climate data

maps and graph examples of  data visualisations

When: From January 2021

What: ICOS Carbon Portal (ICOS CP) is a European data portal responsible for disseminating long timeseries of high-quality greenhouse gas measurements from all ICOS stations (see The data portal stores data and metadata from stations belonging to three different domains; atmosphere, ecosystem and ocean. The portal is hosted by the department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University. ICOS CP provides functionality to analyze and visualize ICOS data with the support of Jupyter notebooks ( The main aim of this master thesis is to improve these Jupyter notebooks in terms of visualization, by e.g. adding cartographic animations and/or enabling cartographic story telling.

Requirement: The work is conducted at the LU campus. The student must be either a geomatics student or an LTH student in geographic information technology with knowledge in visualization/cartography and Python programming.

Contact: Lars Harrie

Karolina Pantazatou

M.Sc. Project: Linked geospatial data

When: Spring 2021

Semantic web techniques and linked data (knowledge graphs) are increasingly used in the geospatial domain and are interesting for e.g. the next generation of spatial data infrastructure. At the department, we have conducted some research in linked geospatial data and are open for master thesis in the topic. The thesis could either be devoted technical issues (ontologies, RDF stores, etc.) or have a more applied focus.

Contact: Lars Harrie

Geo spatial linked data schematic illustration




Master thesis work: Readability of dynamic maps 


When: Spring 2021
What: Most readability studies for maps has concentrated on static maps (on paper and screen), while the actual use of maps is more dynamic today. To design future map services we need better knowledge about how user perceives dynamic maps. This project aims at both studying the theoretical background to reading dynamic maps (based on theories of reading static maps and theories of reading dynamic graphics and animations) and practical studies using eye-tracking (in cooperation with the humanity lab at LU).
Requirement: The work is conducted at the LU campus. The student must be either a geomatic student or an LTH student in geographic information technology.

Contact: Lars Harrie

Fragmentation of snow in collisions with graupel/hail observed in a lab experiment


The ice phase of storms is the cause of many aspects of severe weather. Freezing rain, hail and lightning from ice in clouds together cause many billions of euros of damage per year in Europe and USA. Yet the processes of ice initiation in storm clouds are still uncertain. There is evidence from aircraft observations that fragmentation of ice somehow can generate most of the ice particles in such clouds. Thus, lab experiments are required to quantify some mechanisms of fragmentation.

The prospective student will perform an experiment in our laboratory at INES to characterise one such mechanism. The student will create apparatus to observe collisions between a graupel particle grown by riming and a snow particle from by accretion of crystals using a cold box in an open-top freezer. Video imagery will be analysed computationally so as to count the numbers of fragments from snow-graupel collisions in the cold-box at various temperatures. An existing theoretical formulation will be adapted to fit the results (e.g. for application in a numerical model of clouds). The student should have an interest in the physics of materials and have experience in programming and in practical experimentation.

Contact: Vaughan Phillips

    Vegetation productivity trends across global drylands using different satellite sources


    When: 2020

    This purpose of this project is to quantify and understand the role of dryland ecosystems in the global carbon (C) cycle. Recent work show increasing importance of drylands in the global C cycle [1-3] and regional studies using Earth Observation (EO) report increasing greenness in several dryland areas [4-9]. While the increasing role of drylands in the global C cycle is well-grounded, is the knowledge regarding the related magnitude, spatial, temporal variability and process understanding still uncomplete [10].

    This project aim to quantify the temporal and spatial characteristics of C fluxes of drylands and their contribution to the global C cycle using EO data (MODIS time series of PPI, EVI,NDVI based on the BRDF corrected MOD43A4, latest collection, MOD17 GPP and NPP etc.). The EO data will be stratified using biome data sets, the aridity index etc.

    Suitable for student with interest in remote sensing, GIS and the global carbon cycle. Programming skill is a benefit


    1.      Poulter, B., et al., Nature 2014, 509 (7502), 600-603.
    2.      Ahlström, A., et al., Science 2015, 348 (6237), 895-899.
    3.      Zhu, Z., et al., Nature Clim. Change 2016, advance online publication.
    4.      Osborne, C. P.; Woodward, F. I., International Journal of Remote Sensing 2001, 22 (10), 1895-1907.
    5.      Herrmann, S. M., et al., Global Environ Chang 2005, 15 (4), 394-404.
    6.      Olsson, L., et al., Journal of Arid Environments 2005, 63 (3), 556-566.
    7.      Nielsen, T. T.; Adriansen, H. K., Land Degrad Dev 2005, 16 (2), 151-161.
    8.      Runnstrom, M. C., Ambio 2000, 29 (8), 468-476.
    9.      Fensholt, R., et al., Remote Sensing of Environment 2012, 121, 144-158.
    10.    Seddon, A. W. R., et al., Nature 2016, 531 (7593), 229-232.


    Contact: Jonas Ardö

    Master thesis work: The carbon balance of perennial crops

    When: 2020
    What: This project aim to investigate the carbon balance of a perennial cereal intercropped with a nitrogen fixing legume. Field measurements of CO2 fluxes will be done in Högesta (close to Ystad). Part of a larger scientific effort to increase soil carbon sequestration using perennial crops.
    PDF iconRead more in attached PDF.

    Contact: jonas [dot] ardo [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se, lennart [dot] olsson [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se




    MSc Project: Develop new methods for linking precipitation observations to sub-catchments in hydrological models


    Develop new methods for linking precipitation observations to sub-catchments in hydrological models

    If you have good programing skills, and want to try solving one of the hottest problems in hydrological modelling then maybe this is a good opportunity for you.

    Rainfall-Runoff hydrological models are very important tools to predict e.g. when and where floods and droughts may happen, and how water quality and other hydrologically important factors crucial for our life and for the environment may vary in time and space. Moreover, using a good Rainfall-Runoff model will help saving the environment but also money. All Rainfall-Runoff hydrological models (e.g. HYPE, SWAT, MIKE basin, etc...) need precipitation observations as input data to run them and to calculate results. One of the main problems in catchments modeling is the method used in linking model forcing climate data (precipitation & Temperature observations) to sub catchments.

    The main aim of this research program is to develop several new methods for linking precipitation observations to sub-catchments in hydrological models. The newly developed methods will improve the performance of all Rainfall-Runoff hydrological models, which will lead to more accurate flood forecasting, drought analysis, water quality assessments, as well as all other modeling results.

    Contact: Abdulghani Hasan



    MSc Project: Generating a state-of-the-art satellite product of vegetation productivity


    Given the importance of gross primary production (GPP) for monitoring of the terrestrial biosphere and its response to climate change, a consortium earth observation-based GPP products is of high societal relevance. Today, the publicly available satellite based products derives from just a few satellite sensors. In order for spatially explicit GPP to be properly assessed, it is extremely important that monitoring products are independent and based on different input data. Sentinel is a series of newly launched satellites having global coverage of reflectance in high spatial and spectral resolution, but there are still no GPP products generated from the Sentinel data. The overarching objective of this thesis is to combine information from the Sentinel-3 satellite with light use efficiency estimates from a dynamic global vegetation model to generate a state-of-the-art satellite product of GPP. The product will thereafter be evaluated against ground observations.

    Contact: Torbern Tagesson

    M.Sc. project: Impact of ecosystem properties of semi-arid savannas on dynamics in ground surface reflectance

    The Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established as an in-situ research site to improve our knowledge regarding properties of semi-arid savanna ecosystems and their responses to climatic and environmental changes. A strong focus of the instrumental setup is to gain insight into the relationships between ground surface reflectance and savanna ecosystem properties for earth observation upscaling purposes using satellite data. This master thesis will make use of a unique in-situ data set of reflectance between 350-1800 nm and investigate how ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna ecosystems influence the reflectance from the ground surface.

    Contact: Torbern Tagesson

    M.Sc. Project: Modelling long-term carbon dynamics for High-Arctic dry and wet ecosystems

    The ongoing rapid warming over the Arctic has caused dramatic changes in environmental conditions (e.g. snow cover thickness and duration, active layer depth and soil moisture and temperature) and ecosystem dynamics. The carbon cycle in dry and wet ecosystems may respond to climatic warming in contrasting ways.

    This project aims to elucidate the long-term dynamics of CO2 fluxes for the neighboring High-Arctic dry and wet ecosystems respectively and identify their biotic and abiotic drivers. The results will improve our understanding or prediction on how dry and wet Arctic ecosystems contribute to greenhouse gas emissions due to the present or future climate change.

    The main research work will be based on an integration of a process-oriented model and fluxes measurement data sets (the method is similar to Zhang et al., 2018). 

    This project should not necessarily require the candidate to have advanced programming skills, but the candidate should know about ecosystem modelling and be able to make statistical analysis and plotting using Matlab or R or other similar tools.

    Added: 2019-10-22
    Contact: Wenxin Zhang

    M.Sc. Project: Cartography and text setting to promote urban walking

    When: Spring 2021

    High quality maps are indispensable for wayfinding in e.g. urban environment. Therefore, main cities (such as London in the example below) are setting up maps within the city to inform citizens and tourists with navigation information to promote urban walking. To create this high quality maps there is a need for better methods to automate the cartographic work, especially in text setting. So, if you are interested in promoting urban walk in London, NY, Tokyo and other main cities this is a master thesis for you. You should ideally be a geomatics student or LTH student or LUMA student with interest in maps and programming. The thesis is a cooperation with the company T-kartor with its head office situated in Kristianstad, Skåne, but with activities all around the world.

    Contact: Lars Harrie

    M.Sc. Project: Cartography and text setting to promote urban walking.png


    M.Sc. Project: Building and city models

    When: Spring 2021

    There is an increasing amount of 3D building models (BIM) and 3D city models. There are currently several research and innovation projects of the usage of these models in the digitalization of planning and building processes in the society, concentrating on issues such as automation of building permits, 3D cadaster issues and environmental modeling. The department is involved in several of those projects (many as part of the Smart Built Environment program – see We are open for M.SC. projects in several topics concerning the usage of BIM and city models connected to our projects.

    Contact: Lars Harrie


    Building and city models illustration



    Continental-scale analysis of water quality in Europe

    BSc thesis or MSc thesis

    When: 2020

    The European database "Waterbase - water quality" (33 million data entries), maintained by the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, is together with "Waterbase - water quantity" the most extensive water monitoring data database on earth.

    There are countless of opportunities for thesis work based on this database, e.g. focusing on time trends in nutrient and organic carbon concentrations, and/or biological oxygen demand. Possible GIS-focused studies studies could address links between land-use change and water quality, or the spatial distribution of chemical constituents at present.

    NB! Requires student with independent skills and knowledge on database handling. The database files are provided in SQLLite and CSV formats. They can hardly be managed using a standard program such as Excel. For a GIS-project, independent skills are needed to extract site location metadata, potentially delineate catchments and download/process land use data. This latter option is only recommended for students who are skilled and comfortable with using GIS independently.

    Contact: Martin Berggren



    Internship at Hyltemossa and Norunda Research Station (

    The Internship offers the opportunity to learn about greenhouse gases measurements within ICOS but also to get involved within field work of the various projects running at each of the Stations. The internship is organized in the course NGEA51 (, timing of the course is flexible and can also be taken over the summer. Even though it is a Bachelor level course it can be taken during the Master as well, especially as the internship offers the opportunity to produce a data set that can later be analyzed within a thesis. 
    For further information contact the respective Station personnel:

    Hyltemossa: Michal Heliasz

    Norunda: Meelis Mölder

    Master thesis work: Carbon storage and ecosystem functioning in old-growth forests


    Do you want to help us understand old-growth forests in Sweden (gammelskogar)? This project is suitable on for both MSc and BSc level. It can start at any time.

    We have recently produced a digital (GIS) map of old-growth forests in Sweden. In a larger long term project we aim to investigate if old-growth forests store more carbon than production forests do. In the suggested project the student would perform carbon inventory in a single or a few old-growth forests and in the surrounding managed ecosystems (forest plantations, pastures or croplands). The work would be performed in collaboration with a PhD student. Several old-growth forests are located in Skåne and in Southern Sweden, but there are sites all over the country. 
    Because there are multiple forests there are multiple projects, and two or more students could collaborate. Because the project involves field work the ideal candidate(s) would be willing to organize and perform field trips and measurements. The project also involves analysis of collected data and existing inventory data.

    We also welcome other ideas that are related to this topic.

    Please contact Anders Ahlström if you are interested.

    Carbon storage and ecosystem functioning in old-growth forests

    Master thesis work: Detection and analysis of e large scale ecosystem functional relationships

    Detection and analysis of e large scale ecosystem functional relationships

    Functional relationships are powerful tools to analyze large datasets, from dynamic models and from upscaled observations. The aim of the project would be to find new regions where a functional relationship between environmental drivers and ecosystem response can be found. Suitable regions vary mainly along a single environmental variable, such as water availability or temperature, but not both. That way the ecosystem response to a single environmental driver can be analyzed.

    The proposed workflow involves scientific programming to identify potential regions, regions that mainly vary in one variable across space. The second step would be to compare the functional relationships of empirical datasets on ecosystem carbon cycle (GPP, NPP, biomass, soil carbon etc) as well as outputs from climate models and ecosystem models. The project therefore involves handling of large datasets, something that is common in global analysis and climate change research.

    The ideal candidate has some knowledge in scientific programming and spatial data.

    For more information see our previous publication on a functional relationship in Amazonia (

    Please contact Anders Ahlström for more information.


    Master thesis work: Map and analyze pristine ecosystems in various regions


    Map and analyze pristine ecosystems in various regions    Map and analyze pristine ecosystems in various regions

    This project is suitable on for both MSc and BSc level. The project also works for E-learning program theses. Any semester, there are multiple projects that can start at any time.
    There are still large uncertainties on how land use, such as forestry and agriculture affects the carbon cycle and biodiversity. A larger long term project at the department aims to further our knowledge on this by contrasting pristine ecosystems (ecosystems that are more or less natural, such as old growth forests) to surrounding ecosystems under land use. Right now we have produced a digital map (GIS map) of old growth forests in Sweden, but we are also interested in expanding the map to more countries. Data also exists for European Russia, but we have not analyzed it.
    This project can therefore take many shapes, e.g.;

    1. Produce a map for an unmapped region. This can be done by collecting information from known sources, digitizing older maps or using remote sensing information such as aerial or satellite images to digitize known forests. Our long term aim is to build a global map, you would contribute to this.
    2. Analyze our already mapped old-growth forests in Sweden. There are several questions here; (a) if old-growth forests differ in terms of their topography or soil characteristics from surrounding ecosystems. This is important to know when performing paired analysis, if the old growth forest has been left unused because it is a mountain or a wetland, then the paired analysis of that forest will need to be modified. This mainly involves GIS analysis. (b) Use forest inventory data or remote sensing data to compare carbon storage between the old growth forests and surrounding ecosystems under land use.
    3. Perform the first analyses on old growth forests in European Russia, all of the above types analysis can be performed.
    4. A topic of your own that uses our new old growth forest map.

    The student will work with our project on these questions. There are many things to do, the projects can be varied to focus on carbon cycle, ecology or technical GIS / remote sensing aspects.
    The scope of the project and analysis can be adjusted to the type of thesis (bachelor or master) and it is also possible to divide the work between multiple students. The project is not limited to the allocated time allocated for the thesis; it could start earlier and continue after. Multiple students are also welcome, working in groups or focusing on different regions.

    Please email Anders Ahlström if you are interested.


    M.Sc. thesis: Machine learning for analyzing trend in time series of satellite data

    Machine learning and deep learning algorithms are getting more attention due to not only their advantages over traditional methods but also because of the availability of vast amount of Earth Observation (EO) data. The overall goal of this thesis project is to study the feasibility of developing a methodology for analyzing time series of EO data (e.g. NDVI), detecting breakpoints, and identifying the driver of the detected changes. Specifically, it aims at 1) comparing existing machine learning methods used for detecting change in time series of satellite (vegetation) data and identifying the change driver, 2) proposing a conceptual model as a basis for further development of machine-learned change/trend detection in time series of satellite sensor data, and 3) apply the conceptual model in a case study to understand the drivers of change. 
    Ideal candidate is a master (geomatics) student with experience in satellite remote sensing and high interests in programming and algorithm development.

    Contact: Sadegh Jamali (Sadegh [dot] jamali [at] tft [dot] lth [dot] se); Hakim Abdi (hakim [dot] abdi [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se); Niklas Boke Olén (niklas [dot] boke_olen [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se)

    Master thesis: Monitoring coastal erosion in Kristianstad municipality with UAV

    Coastal  erosion is a natural process, occurring through the action of wind, waves and currents. The most erosion prone coastal areas in Sweden are  sandy beaches in the southernmost part of the country. Here, sea level  rise is not countered by land uplift, as is the case further north,  leading to an expected increase in coastal erosion and flooding problems during the coming decades.The  42 km long coastline of Kristianstad municipality holds multiple values related to tourism, recreation, environmental and cultural habitats as  well as highly attractive residential areas. Investigations have shown  that certain sections of the coastline are more sensitive to erosion,  especially in a changing climate with increasing sea levels. As a complicating matter, in these particular sections  residential buildings and cottages are located close to the shoreline,  leaving little space for natural coastline variability in general and  increased erosion problems in particular. Kristianstad  municipality has intensified its work with protection and management of its coast. One of the measures taken is a novel monitoring programme  of beach zone seasonal dynamics. At one of the erosion prone sections,  monitoring is pursued using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to produce  digital elevation models (DEM) using photogrammetric methods. The purpose is to use the DEMs to analyse changes in sand  volumes over the course of a year. This knowledge is needed to be able  to separate the short term, seasonal variations from long term trends.
    An  MSc project can focus on technical aspects related to efficient data  handling and method development for image analysis, as well as the analysis of  the seasonal variability in shoreline and beach volume in relation to  the overarching coastal erosion issue.


    Contact: Per-Ola Olsson

    Charge separation in ice-ice collisions in the absence of liquid:  simulations of published lab experiments

    When: any time

    What: Lightning in storms is caused by electric fields arising from charge separation in re-bounding ice-ice collisions. The project aims at evaluating laboratory observations of charge separation in ice-ice collisions in the absence of liquid. This is a weaker form of charging than that usually studied but may be significant owing to the prevalence of ice-only cloud in storms.

    The prospective student will simulate the ice crystal growth and collisions in a specific experiment observing charging that was performed years ago and described in a published paper in 2016. The student will create a simple model to replicate the experiment and then do variational analysis to deduce a formulation for the charge separation that can be applied in cloud models. The student should have an interest in computer modelling and programming (Fortran or C) and should be familiar with a LINUX-based operating system.

    Contact: Vaughan Phillips


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