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Internships & thesis suggestions

In this page, we will post suggestions and offerings. Latest posts are on top. Posts will be removed as they become obsolete, thus, any announcement on the page is to be regarded as current.

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, we have been in 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 [dot] mazzuoli92 [at] gmail [dot] com

MSc Project: Evaluating LPJ-GUESS net CO2 fluxes against atmospheric CO2 concentration observations

The project aims at evaluating the simulated NEP by LPJ-GUESS against observations of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The prospective student will analyse modelled atm CO2 concentrations based on LPJ-GUESS fluxes with respect to different signals contained in the atmospheric CO2 concentrations such as seasonal cycle, interannual variability and long-term trend. The student will carry out LPJ-GUESS simulations and couple these to pre-computed atmospheric transport matrices. The student needs to have a strong interest in computer modelling and programming (Fortran and C++) and ideally have some experience with a LINUX-based operating system.

Contact: Marko Scholze

MSc Project: Analysing parameter sensitivities in the LPJ-GUESS-WHyMe model with respect to methane fluxes

The project aims at analysing the sensitivity of simulated methane fluxes by LPJ-GUESS-WHyMe with respect to the underlying parameter values. The LPJ-GUESS-WHyMe model includes process descriptions of wetland hydrology, soil freezing and wetland carbon (carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)) emissions and many of the parameters governing these process equations are poorly constrained. The prospective student will make use of an efficient parameter sensitivity analysis tool to objectively identify those parameters which have the most significant effect on the modelled methane fluxes. The student will adapt the LPJ-GUESS-WHyMe model to be used with the parameter sensitivity analysis tool, perform the respective LPJ-GUESS-WHyMe simulations and analyse the output in terms of the sensitivity of the methane fluxes with respect to the parameters. The student needs to have a strong interest in computer modelling and programming (Fortran and C++) and ideally have some experience with a LINUX-based operating system.

Contact: Marko Scholze



MSc Project: Including carbon isotopes in the LPJ-GUESS model as a diagnostic tool to evaluate modelled CO2 fluxes

The stable isotope 13C : 12C ratio (13C) of air and terrestrial biomass samples provides information on the carbon cycling in the Earth system. Of particularly interest in using isotopic information is a better understanding of the mechanisms controlling
13C carbon assimilation and water transpiration by the terrestrial biosphere and the global land carbon sink. In addition, simulations of the so-called iso-flux can be used to evaluate models of the terrestrial carbon cycle against such measurements of the isotope ratio. The prospective student will further develop the LPJ-GUESS model to include a description of the isotopic discrimination of carbon uptake by photosynthesis and extend the model to be able to follow the cycling of 13C through the models carbon pools. The work will be based on the existing isotope-enabled LPJ model. he student needs to have a strong interest in computer modelling and programming (Fortran and C++) and ideally have some experience with a LINUX-based operating system.

Contact: Marko Scholze


Mapping of green ceilings in Malmö for environmental management in Malmö city


The task is to make a survey of existing green roofs in Malmö. By looking at aerial photos, it can be mapped where in the city there are green ceilings and how big the area is.
Examples of questions we want answers to:

  • Roof size - are the majority large or small?
  • Location of the roof - is it most prevalent in residential areas or business areas?
  • Geographical location of the roof - which areas in Malmö have the most green roofs? Which one has the least?
  • Roof characteristics - How large is the proportioon of extensive vs intensive ones?

We are quite flexible with the layout and more tasks / questions can be added.
Ulrika Poppius, Project Secretary at the Environmental Strategy Department
ulrika [dot] poppius [at] malmo [dot] se
0721 84 25 98

PDF iconOriginal announcement, in Swedish

GIS development in Alvesta municipality

Note! This text has been machine-translated from Filegis_alvesta_2018-01-09.docx

Alvesta municipality with approximately 20,000 inhabitants - southern Sweden's center. Our starting point is local accommodation with global opportunities. There are good living environments close to both the city and the countryside and rich opportunities for active leisure.

The map and GIS operations are located under the Civil Planning Administration and work closely with the units plan, engineering, construction and the environment. We have a municipal license for ArcGIS and Geosecma, which means that we have access to many useful tools in ESRI's service catalog.

The need to make available geodata and simplify the use of the map in the daily work is great. The many internal webGIS we have today are heavy and complex, which means they are good for experts, but not for generalists. We are in the process of initiating the development of a webGIS that will provide a quick viewing service for internal users. In the long run, hopefully the service can also be used externally to the public via our website.

Our needs are to be able to obtain a map service containing several basic maps, such as the municipality's primary map, the topographical map of the survey, etc. and several orthophotos, including the current orthophoto and the historical orthophoto of the land surveyor. On the map services, we need to report property data and be able to link to search and identification of properties against the land survey property information. Furthermore, we need to be able to present municipal data in the form of detailed plans, pipelines etc. We also want to be able to build on more layers of geodata, including government plans and knowledge bases / inventories.

The service needs to be smooth and have a simple and clear interface.

The service can be developed either with scripts (such as Or with ESRI's products.

For more information, please contact


Patrik Karlsson
Planning Director, Alvesta Municipality
patrik [dot] karlsson [at] alvesta [dot] se

Air pollution monitoring with Earth observation satellites

Air pollution is the world’s deadliest environmental problem. It kills seven million people each year, or one in eight deaths globally [1]. Satellite remote sensing of air quality has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Global observations from Envisat satellite, NASA’s Aura and Terra missions, and most recently ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite mission [2] are now available for a wide range of species including common pollutants in surface air (e.g. aerosols, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide) [3]. But these observations are either not available in the form of end-user data products or, if they are, they basically have different properties (e.g. spatial and temporal resolutions, spectral range and resolution) which both make it difficult to choose and generate data series of a specific pollutant for a specific region.

This project aims at developing methods to generate time series of the main air pollutants form EO satellites at a regional scale. Such reliable data series enable estimation of spatio-temporal variability in air pollution concentration and its association with other relevant factors such as land use change, traffic volumes, and health parameters etc., considered as the second aim of the project.

The ideal candidate is a (geomatics) student who has passed advanced remote sensing and GIS courses, and has experience or is interested in data processing and programming.

Contact: Sadegh Jamali (sadegh [dot] jamali [at] tft [dot] lth [dot] se), Ali Mansourian (ali [dot] mansourian [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se)

Forest degradation caused by small scale farming

While a lot of focus is placed on negative effects of forestry and e.g. oil palm plantations in tropical rain forest areas, less attention is paid to forest degradation by small scale farming. However, especially in areas with high human population densities, small scale farming can be a major driver of changes of intact forest cover, and sometimes even in protected forests.

In this project an analysis of the extent of forest degradation caused by small scale farming inside and near protected forests in tropical Africa is to be performed.

During previous field visits, field data on small scale farm clearings, together with estimated times since clearing (ranging from 2-10 years in most cases), were collected for ca. 40 points. From the RS group in Maryland yearly cloud free Landsat composites covering the survey area have been generated for the period 1984-2016. For the sample points, a time series analysis is to be performed to find the signature of the forest degradation in the remote sensing data.

After this signature has been detected,  a map of forest degradation has to be generated for the area. This theme is suitable for a distance student. 

Contact: Veiko Lehsten

Temporal changes in water levels of the baltic sea in the past and the future

At the island of Langenwerder, the oldest nature reserve in Germany, breeding success of shore birds has been recorded in a systematic manner since the 70s. Shorebirds have their nesting sites very close to the shore. Any short term high water level can destroy their nest and lead to a loss of their eggs or chicks if they are not old enough to run up shore.

Over the last years the breeding success is said to have decreased due to May or June high water levels. The task of this thesis is to find out whether

(I) there has been a change in the frequency of the high waters during breeding season over the last decades and 
(II) whether there is a change to be expected in the frequencies of the high water levels in the breeding season.

Datasets available:

  • measurements of relative water levels at the island (1.5 years). 
  • minute wise water level measurements close by (ca 5 km; 20 years). 
  • daily water levels close by 50 years
  • 2 daily snapshot water levels from a water level projection models for the place (1976-2098).

Contact: Veiko Lehsten

M.Sc. Project: Building and city models

When: Spring 2018

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

Techniques for handling and distributing grid data at ICOS-CP

When: Spring 2018
What: ICOS Carbon Portal (ICOS CP) is a European portal for distribution of data on carbon (and other green house gases) measured by ICOS stations, see The portal is hosted by the department of Physical geography and ecosystem science at Lund University. ICOS CP will handle gridded data such as flux model data based on the ICOS data. This master thesis work is concentrating on evaluating methodologies and tools for handling and distributing large amount of gridded data at ICOS CP.   
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 with knowledge in spatial databases and programming.
Contact: Lars Harrie

Master thesis work

M.Sc. Project: OpenStreetMap
When: Spring 2018
What: In an ongoing project at the department we have created an algorithm that link OpenStreetMap (OSM) to Swedish authority data. This work opens up several possibilities to novel studies of the quality of OSM in Sweden as well as semantic issues of OSM.
Notes: This is a suitable master thesis for a geomatics student. It requires that the student has read the geographical database and the GIS-algorithm courses as well as has experience in programming.
Contact: Ali Mansourian, Lars Harrie

M.Sc. project: Classification of UAV images.

Time: spring 2018

The project aims at testing methodology for classifying multispectral imagery from cameras on-board UAVs. The prospective student will collaborate with a student from Dept. of Mathematics in testing old and new algorithms for classification of drone imagery covering vegetated areas. The students will carry out flights together with technical personnel during the growing season, and data will be prepared and analysed with image processing tools. The student from Physical geography will focus on existing tools whereas the student from mathematics will explore new developments in machine learning. The student needs to have passed an advanced remote sensing course and needs to be interested in data processing and image analysis.

Contact: Lars Eklundh

M.Sc. project: Photo-chemical reactivity of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in subarctic lakes

Time: Spring 2018, start asap

Photo-chemical degradation of DOC by sunlight represents a poorly studied potential source of globally significant emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This project will carry out photo-chemical degradation experiments, and explore the landscape controls of DOC photo-reactivity in subarctic lakes from northern Sweden. An archive of recently obtained samples from more than 100 lakes will be made available to the student. Ultimately, the project will test a set of specific questions related to how climate and vegetation gradients (possibly hydrological factors) influence DOC composition and photo-chemical reactivity.

Contact: martin [dot] berggren [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se (Martin Berggren)

M.Sc. project: Within and between species variation in root traits along a boreal forest chronosequence

Time: Spring 2018 or as agreed

Plant traits provide a useful way to link community ecology and ecosystem biogeochemistry. But, the explosion of research on this topic has overwhelmingly focused on leaves rather than roots, which constrains both ecosystem understanding and global models. This project would help to fill this gap in our knowledge by recording an array of root traits within boreal forest plant communities along a natural gradient in ecosystem development and soil fertility encompassing 30 islands in northern Sweden ranging in age since major wildfire disturbance from ~50 to ~5000 years. The overall outcome will be an improved understanding of patterns in, and regulators of, boreal forest species traits below-ground.

Contact: dbmetcalfe [at] gmail [dot] com (Dan Metcalfe)

M.Sc. project: Measuring phenology by UAV camera

Time: spring 2018

The project aims at testing methodology for estimating the seasonal vegetation development (phenology) at high spatial detail by using images acquired from multispectral cameras on-board UAV. The project is part of investigations carried out within the SITES Spectral Thematic Centre for developing working routines for all SITES stations in Sweden. The first task will be to investigate radiometric properties of the multispectral camera. Secondly, flights will be performed together with technical personnel during the growing season, and data will be investigated to elaborate the best methods for estimating seasonal vegetation plant growth.  The student needs to have passed an advanced remote sensing course and needs to be  interested in data processing and fundamental remote sensing.

Contact: Lars Eklundh

M.Sc. project: Classifying land cover using high-resolution data from Sentinel-2

Time: spring 2018

This project is about improving the classification of new data from Sentinel-2 satellite. It involves investigating pre-processing (radiometric correction) and testing the effects of this on classification accuracy. This fundamental knowledge will be incorporated in Lund University's operational scheme for Sentinel-2 processing. The project also involves testing of different band combinations, time-series data, and applying novel machine learning algorithms. Validation data will be collected mainly by aerial orthophoto interpretation. The student needs to have passed an advanced remote sensing course and needs to be interested in data processing and fundamental remote sensing.

Contact: Lars Eklundh

Map and analyze pristine ecosystems in Sweden or globally

The proposed project is a part of a larger research project that addresses questions on climate mitigation by reforestation or extended use of bioenergy. The project would focus on producing key datasets on the location of pristine ecosystems (an ecosystem largely unaffected by humans) and important information about these ecosystems. The scope can be varied to include Sweden, Scandinavia or a global dataset, most important is the production of quality data that can be used in research to which the student would contribute.

The student would work independently and the following steps are anticipated:

  1. Perform a literature and data search of information on pristine ecosystems. Collect information on pristine ecosystems, this can include digitizing maps in paper format, or collecting various digital datasets on pristine forests, depending on what is available. Multiple datasets that are differentiated by the origin or type of data would be ideal and depends on what is available.
  2. Collect important information on the pristine ecosystems, this includes but is not limited to; time since last human disturbance, biomass, soil carbon content, biodiversity metrics, ecosystem type and environmental information.
  3. Perform initial analysis on the data, this depends on the students interest and ideas and could include investigation of the pristine ecosystems such as their age and extent. If time allows it could also include more advanced analysis on the difference between pristine and managed ecosystems, such as investigation of carbon storage in vegetation and soil, productivity, leaf area, biodiversity etc.

The ideal candidate is a driven student that is prepared to work independently and wants to contribute to a research project as an integrated team member. This contribution could include the use of the dataset and analysis performed in a larger study. It could also include the writing and publishing of a scientific paper.

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.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested: Anders Ahlström

17 internships / thesis suggestions at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Read more here (In Swedish, use Google translate if needed)

Internships at the National Knowledge Center for Climate Change

Read more here (Google translated)

M.Sc. project: Carbon dioxide exchange at Hyltemossa ICOS site

The ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) research infrastructure is a new European research infrastructure which will provide researches with data on ecosystem scale carbon fluxes in 13 counties. ICOS Sweden is operating 6 ecosystem stations ranging geographically from Skåne to northern Swedish Lapland, and covering forests, wetlands and agriculture.

The Hyltemossa station in Skåne is situated in a managed Norway spruce forest. The flux measurements conducted routinely at the site provide total ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange. The proposed project is to quantify the contribution of ground vegetation to the total exchange. This would be done by conducting measurements using manual soil chamber. The work requires field work over growing season at the site.

Contact: Janne Rinne

M.Sc. project: Representativeness of Swedish (Nordic, European?) flux measurement network in the climate and ecosystem space.

Ecosystem-atmosphere carbon dioxide measurements are done by networks of measurement stations distributed across different ecosystems and climatic regions. However, the locations of these stations may be due to logistical and historical reasons, rather than due to diligent network design. Thus, the representativeness of the network may not be optimal. The proposed M.Sc. project would investigate the representativeness of Swedish flux measurement network under e.g. ICOS Sweden SITES in the climate and ecosystem space. This could be expanded also to Nordic, or European scale. This would be done by analysis of climate data, land use data, and possibly remote sensing data across the chosen study domain.

Contact: Janne Rinne

M. Sc. Project: Characterization of surface fluxes at ICOS Sweden measurement sites.

The ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) research infrastructure is a new European research infrastructure which will provide researches with data on ecosystem scale carbon fluxes in 13 counties. ICOS Sweden is operating 6 ecosystem stations ranging geographically from Skåne to northern Swedish Lapland, and covering forests, wetlands and agriculture. The infrastructure in in starting phase with first official data available in 2018. In the proposed project one would analyze and characterize the surface fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane, sensible and latent heat, and radiative energy across the Swedish ICOS network. The aim is to produce a first synthesis on the similarities and differences of the surface exchange processes in these sites, and where possible compare with older datasets.

Contact: Janne Rinne

M.Sc. project: Stable isotope (13C) signature of methane emission from wetlands in relation to production, oxidation and transport.

Carbon-13 is a natural stable carbon isotope making up 1.1 % of carbon on earth. Its slightly higher mass as compared to the more abundant carbon-12 leads to slight differences in its diffusion and reaction rates. Thus, small differences in carbon-13 signature (delta13C) in e.g. methane emissions can be indicative of different processes in play. In the proposed project one would look at differences in delta13C in methane emitted from microtopographically different wetland surfaces, as well as d13C in dissolved methane, and delta13C in nocturnal boundary layer for ecosystem scale signal. The aim is to constrain the mechanisms resulting in different flux rates from different peat surfaces and to advance upscaling of methane emission to ecosystem scale. The project requires field work during summer, probably near Vänersborg.

Contact: Janne Rinne

Internship in research groups abroad (LERU-STREAM)

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.

International Renewable Resources Institute (IRRI), Mexico

IRRI is very interested in receiving students for interships or other relevant opportunities for collaboration. See attached PDF for more information about IRRI.

Open GIS position at European Agency - GIS Data Analyst (Stockholm):

  • Support the process of analyzing the user GIS requirements for a determinants platform at the European Agency for the purpose of epidemiologic analysis of communicable disease risk;
  • Support the process of analyzing the user GIS requirements for mapping:
    • air transportation data, such as the distribution of number of travelleres arriving into European airports from areas with active Zika, dengue, Chikungunya, etc transmission with a time slider to map the passenger volume by month
    • areas suitable of mosquito-borne disease transmission in Europe based on temperature threshold; both empirical and observational temperature thresholds will be considered for a specific pathogen and vector and determined by the European Agency
  • Analyze and support implementation of determinants platform at the European Agency for the purpose of epidemiologic analysis of communicable disease risk;
  • Produce new and update existing maps, web-maps and map services, as requested, for the determinants platform at European Agency for the purpose of epidemiologic analysis of communicable disease risk;
  • Support the design of geospatial databases, implementation and maintenance of their content;
  • Perform quality control on geospatial data (currency, accuracy, usefulness, quality and completeness);
  • Assist in establishing data preparation standards, procedures and scripts for data to be published in the determinants platform, for example:
    • Air traffic data
    • Temperature:
      • Current temperature data
      • Monthly and seasonal outlooks for temperature
  • Prepare and update metadata and other technical documentation to support the processing of geospatial data;
  • Perform visual exploratory analysis on disease data using web enabled GIS applications, ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Desktop;
  • Perform SQL Geo database operations, spatial query design and optimization;
  • Support ECDC staff in providing an professional opinion on establishing and applying stable geographic information systems and best practices.

If you are interested, please send your CV to jon [dot] granadero [at] drivebost [dot] com

Master’s thesis work

Topic: Mapping insect disturbance with MODIS data

When: 100% spring 2017

What: We have developed a method for near real-time detection of birch moth outbreaks in the mountain birch forests around Abisko. In this thesis work we want to study if the method can be applied over larger areas and to map birch moth outbreaks over northern Fennoscandia during the period 2000-2014.

Contact: per-ola [dot] olsson [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Master’s thesis work

Topic: Any topic related to forest, agriculture, nature conservation, urban development - climate impact, vulnerability and adaptation

When: 100% spring 2017

What: Up to two Master's thesis projects can be carried out together with Prof. Anna Maria Jönsson in spring 2017. The exact topic will be decided in a dialogue between student and supervisor. Contact Anna Maria to discuss ideas.

Contact: anna_maria [dot] jonsson [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Semantic Structure from Motion

Read more here.

Master’s thesis work

Topic: Measuring planktonic CO2 production and O2 consumption rates in the water by using automatic under-water chambers

When: Suggestion 50% during 2017

What: Surface water respiration represents one of major processes on earth which transforms organic carbon into CO2. Most assessments of aquatic respiration are based on models using the daily oscillations in open water gas data. However, several assumptions need to be made to operate these models, some of which are uncertain. Surprisingly few direct measurements of water column respiration exist. This project will test a prototype of an automatic under-water chamber which opens and closes on given intervals, logging the CO2 production and O2 consumption rates in the water around the clock. A “handy” student is sought, interested in taking part in building and testing a raft with mechanics needed to open and close a chamber equipped with gas loggers. Due to the nature of the work (waiting for parts to arrive, season for field testing etc), part-time commitment during two semesters is ideal, spanning a summer. Therefore, the project is suited for a 50% pace student, or someone who can do part of the project in summer.

Contact: martin [dot] berggren [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Projects in climate and consumption and environment, Helsingborg Municipality

See description here (Google translated)

Internships at Sustainergies

Right now (2016-10-31) Sustainergies is offering a number of internships for ICA, Myrorna, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Sustainergies themselves. All internships are for students interested in sustainability.

Read more here (In Swedish):

Internships at the Swedish National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation, SMHI

The Swedish National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation at SMHI is looking for interns for Spring 2017. The focus of the work lies in designing descriptive examples of climate adaptation work in Sweden. You need to have good basic knowledge in the areas of climate or environment.

Read more here (in Swedish)

Vegetation productivity trends across global drylands using different satellite sources

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.

When: 2018

Contact: Jonas Ardö

Afforestation of southern Sweden pastures, mapping, cause and effect

This work aims to identify and quantify the land use changes in the form of pastures planted with forest.

Background: In areas where profitability to keep animals is marginal, a conversion of pasture land to forest land by planting both leave forests and pine forests. This implies a change in the landscape, affects the production of animal products (meat, milk, cheese, etc.) and affect biodiversity and occasionally other ecosystem services. The reasons for this change is, among others, lower profitability in the livestock sector.

More information:

Data: SENTINEL-2, LANDSAT, Aerial photographs (2011) and older aerial photographs. Various GIS data. Meadow and pasture inventory, block data (EU support requests) from the Agriculture Department, complaints to the County Administrative Board (afforestation of pasture to be notified, authorization is not required). The data that will eventually be used depends on how the objective is defined. Knowledge of remote sensing and GIS is required, knowledge in ecology or environmental conservation is relevant. Swedish language proficiency is preferred.

When: 2018

Contact: Jonas Ardö


Master Thesis Work

Topic: Evaluating an indoor positioning system
When: October 2016 – June 2017
Contact: Ali Mansourian
Indoor positioning is one of the growing research and development areas. The aim of this study is to install and evaluate (accuracy and efficiency of) an existing indoor positioning system, which is based on Ultra Sonic technology. In a later stage, the applicability of the system for indoor navigation will be evaluated. The thesis includes small programming to use the indoor positioning system for indoor navigation. Background knowledge in surveying (engineering) is required.

Bachelor Project / Internship

Topic: Developing a tool for styling features in a Web GIS
When: October 2016 – July 2017
Contact: Ali Mansourian
Web GIS Risk Assessment and Analysis System (WGRAS) is being developed by Lund University GIS Centre, based on a collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO). A module for creating SLDs, based on user inputs, for styling vector features and raster data, is going to be developed and linked to the WGRAS. Students who are interested in Web GIS are welcome to do their final project on this topic. They receive help from the development team. Knowledge in programming is required. Background in Python, HTML and JavaScript is an advantage.


Topic: Data preparation and styling for Web GIS
When: October 2016 – July 2017
Contact: Ali Mansourian
Web GIS Risk Assessment and Analysis System (WGRAS) is being developed by Lund University GIS Centre, based on a collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO). As an intern you will work as part of our research team, helping with data preparation, storage and styling. QGIS and WGRAS are the main software you will use. You will definitely receive help from our research team how to use the software.

Master thesis work

Contact: Emma Li Johansson

Background information: Currently there is a wave of foreign investments in land taking part in the economically poor regions of the world. These particular types of land investments affect people who previously used that land as small-scale farmers, who often have no other option than to keep farming in smaller or more marginal areas around the foreign investment.
Topic #1: Socio-environemtal effects from land-use change in the context of large-scale land acquisitions
Large-scale land use changes affect the water balance, especially when land cover is changed to water intensive crop production. Land-use change affects the quantity, quality and accessibility of water for people and ecosystems in those areas. Either directly through irrigation, or by planting non-native crop species that dry out the soils. Accessibility to water is also affected by fragmenting the landscape and making traditional water sources inaccessible or unusable to local communities. I have both quantitative and qualitative data (or knowledge about where to look for data) from large-scale land acquisitions in Sierra Leone and Tanzania that could form one or several smaller studies:
•    Impacts of teak plantations on the hydrological cycle  (Literature review). Teak trees have effects on water quantity in the way that their roots absorb water and and dries out the soils. They also loose their leaves in the dry season, which dries out soils even more (compared to natural forest). This affects water systems, which in turn affects local livelihoods of fishing and farming. There is a company called KVTC in Kilombero Valley, Tanzania, who are planting 8000 ha of teak where there previously was natural forest . Here you can look at the teak trees' effects on water systems, and how that in turn affects ecosystems and people. 
•    Similar project can be developed with case studies in other parts of Tanzania (rice production,sugarcane production) and Sierra Leone (sugarcane production).

Topic #2 Analyzing past and present land-use in Africa by using Google Earth (in the context of land grabbing)
Research about the scale of land grabbing needs to be improved by analyzing how much land is actually in production. In Africa about 22 million ha has been contracted to foreign investors, but only 3% is currently in production. There is data available online from multiple sources about the current state of land deals, but they are constantly changing as companies often leave their operations or sell to other agricultural businesses. It would be interesting to explore what the previous land use was in areas of land grabbing (e.g. Small-scale farming, forest, grazing land, or marginal land) in order to get a better idea about the potential ecological and societal effects of such investments. 


Master thesis work

Topic: MODIS collection 5 vs collection 6. Improvements and differences.
When: January-June 2017.
What: Comparing MODIS collection 5 vs collection 6 for semi arid regions. Data produced by the MODIS is released in collections, the lastest collection is number 6 and it have been produced to increase the quality and reliability of the data. This Msc will look at three aspects 1) Differences in reflectance, 2) differences in time series and trend analysis and the effect of applying LUE models using collection 5 vs collections. Reference data from sites in Sahel is available.

Background: Terra MODIS has no sensor shift issue, the sensor degradation introduced a significant negative trend globally in collection 5 (Wang et al. 2012). This problem has been addressed in the version of collection 6 recently released (Detsch et al. 2016; Lyapustin et al. 2014).

More info/references:

Remote Sens. 20168, 359; doi:10.3390/rs8050359

Detsch, F., Otte, I., Appelhans, T., & Nauss, T. (2016). A Comparative Study of Cross-Product NDVI Dynamics in the Kilimanjaro Region—A Matter of Sensor, Degradation
Calibration, and Significance. Remote Sensing, 8, 159

F. Tian et al. / Remote Sensing of Environment 163 (2015) 326–340

Lyapustin, A., Wang, Y., Xiong, X., Meister, G., Platnick, S., Levy, R., Franz, B., Korkin, S.,
Hilker, T., Tucker, J., Hall, F., Sellers, P., Wu, A., & Angal, A. (2014). Scientific impact
of MODIS C5 calibration degradation and C6+ improvements. Atmospheric Measurement
, 7, 4353-4365

Wang, D., Morton, D., Masek, J., Wu, A., Nagol, J., Xiong, X., Levy, R., Vermote, E., &
Wolfe, R. (2012). Impact of sensor degradation on the MODIS NDVI time series. Remote
Sensing of Environment
, 119, 55-61

Contact: jonas [dot] ardo [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se (Jonas Ardö)

Bachelor thesis work (possibly Master)

Topic: Organic nutrient delivery to the sea
When: As agreed
What: Over the past decades, organic carbon concentrations have doubled in many Baltic Sea river mouths, with consequences for the biogeochemistry, ecology and gas budgets of coastal marine environments. Similar trends have been observed in rivers across widespread areas of the northern hemisphere. However, there is surprisingly little knowledge on whether or not organic N concentrations have increased proportionally with the increases in organic C. Shifts in the relative delivery of organic N, organic C and other nutrient fractions would have large impact on the functioning of estuarine ecosystems in particular. This project will use data from the Swedish national monitoring program for water chemistry to test hypotheses regarding the relative delivery of different organic nutrients from land to sea.

Contact: Martin Berggren.

Master thesis work

Topic: Readability of dynamic maps

When: From January 2017. 
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

Master thesis work

Topic: Integration of building information models and geodata
When: From January 2017. 
What: Digitalization is currently one of the main drivers of improving the process in the built environment sector, i.e., planning, creating and maintaining buildings and infrastructure. A main problem here is the integration of building information models (BIM) and geodata/GIS. The aim of this project is to develop methods to import a BIM-model into a GIS environment. This implies work with simplifying the model and transforming it to a geometric representation used in GIS. If time permits the project will also include quality issues in the integration process. 
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


Master thesis work

Topic: Semantic web and GeoSPARQL

When: From January 2017 

What: There is currently a trend of using semantic web technology for storing geographic data (in RDF) and retrieving data (e.g. using GeoSPARQL). This thesis aims at providing an overview of the field as well as practical studies of GeoSPARQL. It also will look at applications of the new standard from OGC for land infrastructure. The thesis is a cooperation with the Swedish Transport Administration.

Requirement: The work is conducted at the LU campus (or at a Swedish Transport Administration site). The student must be either a geomatic student or an LTH student in geographic information technology.

Contact: Lars Harrie

Thesis project in cooperation with the Moseten indigenous people in Bolivia (OPIM)

See PDF.

Atmosphere-wetland water balance at a boreal fen

B.Sc./M.Sc. project

The water balance of a wetland is composed of evaporation, rainfall, horizontal water flows and change in water storage. In the suggested project you will analyze how much of the water table (water storage) variations can be explained by the local evaporation and rainfall, and how much can be attributed to horizontal inflow and outflow. The project can be either M.Sc. or B.Sc. thesis, depending on the width and breadth of the analysis. We have a long data set of evaporation, rainfall, and water table position measured at a boreal fen site in Southern Finland, that can be used for the analysis.

We are seeking for a student who is interested in analyzing flux data and other time series data. Skills in Matlab or R languages will be needed in the analysis. Understanding the flux measurements and wetland functioning are assets.

Contact: Janne Rinne

Trainee position at Geodata

Geodata is a Norwegian IT company that helps businesses and organizations in all areas of society to see new opportunities using geographic information systems (GIS). We are now seeking GIS consultants and system developers to our trainee program starting fall 2016.

As a trainee in Geodata you get:

  • Challenges through a tailored program over 12 months , with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development
  • Fast job from day one
  • A dedicated mentor who will follow you through the program
  • A five-week learning stay in California, where you get to learn from the best at our main supplier of software, Esri

Geodata is certified as one of Norway's most attractive employers. Read more and apply for the position here (in Norwegian).

MSc. Project proposal

Automatic detection for the best location of proposed dams using spatial analysis, hydrological modelling, and optimization.

Summary: one of the main approaches for an efficient use of water resources in many regions in the world is to harvest all the runoff water through constructing small to medium size dams. In this proposal, we suggest using hydrological modelling, spatial analyst tools, optimization, and programing to automate the site selection of a proposed dam/s through automatically detect the best location/s for a specific region. Additionally some other hydrological and engineering characteristics of the proposed dams and lakes will be automatically deducted.

The main goals of this proposal are:

  1. Create new computer program
  • To automatically identify all possible sites that can be used to construct a dam for a specific area.
  • To automatically estimate the optimal dam height.
  • To automatically estimate the volume and coverage area of the detained water (volume and area of lake).
  1. To rank all possible sites for dam construction according to general criteria and regional criteria using optimization.

Data needed:

Digital elevation model (DEM) for the selected area.
Regional criteria related to the purpose of the dam/s for that region.


  • MATLAB programing is to be used to calculate: flow direction, Flow accumulation, slope, and aspect for all points in the study area.
  • MATLAB function is to be created to automatically find all possible points for the proposed dams.
  • Optimization is to be used to rank all possible points for the proposed dams according to predefined criteria (Dam height, Volume of lake, surface area of lake, distance from urban area, etc…).
  • ArcGIS is to be used for visualization.

Proposed by Abdulghani Hasan & Petter Pilesjö

For further information please contact Abdulghani Hasan

Object-based segmentation and classification of agricultural fields using remote sensing and GIS data

Reliable estimates of areas planted to certain crops and of crop production are needed for:

  • proper planning,
  • monitoring and
  • improvement of the development process and
  • for policy decisions.

Reliable and timely estimation of agricultural production can improve import/export and allocation policy for resources and inputs, such as

  • seed,
  • fertilizer,
  • pesticides,
  • fuel and storage, as well as
  • improve crops natural hazard damage assessment for the agricultural insurance funds.

Recent developments in Earth observation satellites, modeling of crop production processes and geo-information systems have created promising opportunities for upgrading agriculture statistical systems.

However, when accurate mapping of agricultural fields is required, available multispectral classification of satellite data cannot directly yield the information demanded, due to the complexity of real world images.

In this research an innovative applications will be developed in order to extract the required information for monitoring agricultural fields (such as field boundaries and crop type present in a growing season) using freely available remote sensing satellite images (like Landsat 8 data) and ground reference training generated data addressing supervised classification (knowledge-based and object-based).

The available (ground) data for use in the classification process includes, for example, Google Earth, as well as data from farmers (GPS data) and other existing GIS project. The focus of this research will be on developing and evaluating application tools of object-based image analysis that will provide users with up-to-date boundaries of agricultural fields as well as crop type.

Contact: ali.abkar [at], Petter Pilesjö

Estimating the surface shortwave radiation components using MODIS and field spectrometer data

Accurate estimation of surface shortwave radiation budget is needed for various applications including agricultural meteorology, weather prediction, climate monitoring, and solar power generation. Surface incident shortwave radiation is a significant variable of many numerical models to estimate soil moisture, evapotranspiration and photosynthesis. The most practical and reliable method to capture the spatial distribution of solar radiation is based on remote sensing compared to location based measurements. Over the past years, many models for estimating surface shortwave radiation or its components have been developed from various remote sensing observations by combining remote sensing observations with ancillary surface and atmospheric data. Recent studies have shown that the accuracy of existing models for the estimation of solar radiation was not always satisfactory. In this research, after understanding the available uncertainties in these models through literature study as well as using field spectrometer data, we envisage how the estimation of the irradiance components can be improved. Thus, this research tries to provide accurate solar radiation data based on the data and products from MODIS, on board the Terra and Aqua satellite platforms, as an alternative solution for existing unreliable or limited amount of ground Pyranometer data.

Contact: ali.abkar [at], Petter Pilesjö

Stranderosion i Skåne knutet till länsstyrelsen i Skåne Län

When: As agreed
What: Någon eller några kommuner som funderar på åtgärder mot erosion skulle kunna väljas ut (t. ex Ängelholm och Kävlinge se länkar nedan). Studenten kan då utifrån kommunernas dokument och genom intervjuer försöka beskriva föreslagna åtgärder och kanske också identifiera några genomförda åtgärder. Efter att åtgärderna har beskrivits skulle studenten utifrån naturgeografisk litteratur beskriva och eventuellt räkna på effekter av åtgärderna och beskriva vilka konsekvenser och påverkan som åtgärderna kan innebära på naturliga processer och kritiskt granska sekundära effekter. Det skulle också kunna ingå intervjuer med olika företrädare för kommunen för att identifiera vem som tar initiativ till åtgärder och vilken litteratur och annan kunskap man bygger sina förslag på och också intervjua t. ex kommunekologer som ju ofta inser konsekvenserna av åtgärder men som inte brukar ses som en viktig del i beslutsprocessen. Eventuellt skulle också effekterna av någon genomförd åtgärd i utvalda kommuner kunna studeras.
Notes: LänkLänkLänkLänk.
Contact: Ulrik Mårtensson

Master´s or Bachelor´s thesis - aquatic biogeochemistry

Topic: Aquatic Biogeochemistry
When: As agreed
What: A total of 3-4 student projects on the BSc/MSc level are carried out each year in the Aquatic Biogeochemistry group, with Martin Berggren and collaborators. Students are encouraged to define their own research question within the scope of ongoing research projects. Admitted students are expected to take part in biweekly research group meetings, where they also get training in presentation techniques for the final seminar.

Titles of completed aquatic biogeochemistry BSc/MSc projects:

  • Production and biodegradability of dissolved organic carbon from dIfferent litter sources 
  • Bacterioplankton nutrient limitation in the Öre estuary: constraints on winter carbon metabolism
  • Impact of photochemical processing of DOC on the bacterial respiratory quotient in aquatic ecosystems
  • Bioavailability of macro-nutrients in Swedish Baltic Sea river catchments
  • The suitability of using Landsat TM-5 images for estimating chromophoric dissolved organic matter in subarctic lakes
  • The effect of the freshwater-sea transition on short-term dissolved organic carbon bio-reactivity: The case of Baltic Sea river mouths
  • How does urban discharge affect a lake in a recreational area in central Sweden? - A comparison of metals in the sediments of three similar lakes
  • Land use impact on water quality in two river systems in South Africa
  • Ocean acidification - Effects of an increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration on the pH of the Baltic Sea
  • The changing sea ice cover of the Arctic and Antarctica
  • Nutrient limitation of bacterioplankton in a boreal humic lake during different flow conditions

Notes: The project is typically carried out with collaborators from INES or other departments at Lund University or elsewhere
Contact: Martin Berggren.

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Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
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S-223 62 Lund