PhD Applied Ecology

  • Duration: 3
  • Spring semester
  • ECTS 180 ECTS
  • Application period See vacant positions

About the research programme

The PhD program in Applied Ecology at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN) will teach candidates to link ecological theory, concepts, models and methods to address specific management-related issues. The program focuses on the application of these ecological principles to understand the effects of manipulating or exploiting biological resources.

Our ultimate aim is to produce competent and responsible future scientists, managers and advisors that can advance the field of Applied Ecology and develop improved management practices.

Our research is mostly related to economically important biological resources such as crops, fish, wildlife, forest and livestock, and how such resources can be extracted sustainable. There are four main themes in the PhD program in Applied Ecology:

  1. Human impact in nature
  2. Measures we can take to mitigate negative effects of human impact on nature
  3. Sustainable use of biological resources
  4. Environmental monitoring of populations and habitat to ensure sustainable use of natural resources

Why applied ecology?

The objectives of applying ecological science can be linked to human exploitation of nature, such as sustainable harvesting of fish and wildlife, or the utilization of other ecosystem services. However, ecological science may also be applied to preserve the biological diversity of ecosystems affected by man. Human impacts such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, harvesting, biological control, the introduction of alien species, and discharge of environmental poisons or climatic gasses all contribute to changes in the environment. Today these changes are occurring at a much faster rate and to a greater extent than species are able to adapt to. We aim at training PhD students in applying ecological knowledge to reduce these detrimental effects.

Our PhD candidates

The candidates are expected to conduct independent research, as well as working in research groups consisting of students, researchers and professors who are interested in the same issues. All teaching will be given in English and the candidate will become part of our international environment with students and staff from around the world. The candidates should obtain sufficient knowledge to communicate results both orally and in writing, in various popular and scientific forums.

All candidates within the PhD program in Applied Ecology are members of the International Research School in Applied Ecology (IRSAE). IRSAE is an international and scientific network for young researchers, and candidates are expected to engage in courses and workshops organized by IRSAE.

PhD representative is  Zea Walton. Subsitute is Jeremy Monsimet.

International Research School in Applied Ecology (IRSAE)

IRSAE is an academic network for young researchers and has 15 partners in Europe. The Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology at INN University is the coordinating partner, and IRSAE has more than  150 PhD students and 50 researchers. The mission of IRSAE is to advance the quality of PhD education within various research fields coupled to applied ecology thereby producing responsible future scientists and managers that can progress the present-day front in applied ecology further. The  summer school is the largest IRSAE event of the year and in 2019 the summer school will bring 60 PhD candidates and 20 researchers together at one of the IRSAE partner institutions; Hólar University College in Iceland.

IRSAE is organized into functional working groups, to strengthen the cooperation among the PhD candidates from our different partners, and enable PhD candidates to lead discussions, exchange ideas, promote their research and create a strong research network that will persist after their PhD project. The working groups are organized by:

  1. Movement and Population Ecology. Theme leaders: Francesca Cagnacci (Fondazione Edmund Mach), Øyvind Steifetten (University College of Southeast Norway) and Erlend Nilsen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research).
  2. Ecosystem Services. Theme leaders: Harry Andreassen (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences) and Anna Gudrun Thorhallsdottir (Agricultural University of Iceland/Hólar University College).
  3. Freshwater Ecology. Theme leaders: Jon Museth (Norwegian Institute of Nature Research) and John Piccolo (Karlstad University).
  4. Understanding and Managing Biodiversity Conflicts. Theme leaders: Steve Redpath (Aberdeen University) and Henrik Andrén (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).
  5. Climate Change Ecology. Theme leaders: Toke Thomas Høye (Aarhus Univeristy), Jane Jepsen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) and Rolf Anker Ims (The Arctic University).

Key documents

How to apply

If you want to become a candidate in out PhD program, please applying for research fellowships with us.

See available research fellowships under vacant positions

You can also contact us directly about admission to the PhD program if you are self-funded through work or otherwise.

More information


Funded through advertised fellowships or other external funding