PhD Scholarship on Baltic Cod Migrations

DTU Aqua
onsdag 30 jan 19

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Frist 1. marts 2019
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A PhD Scholarship on Baltic cod migrations is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) with starting date spring 2019. The project will be carried out in affiliation to the Sections for Oceans and Arctic and Marine Living Resources, both located at the DTU Lyngby Campus.


Knowledge of fish stock’s geographical distribution and migrations is among the basic requirements for sustainable management. In the Baltic Sea, genetically distinct cod stocks are known to mix. Since the 1950’s stock sizes have varied extensively and hydrographic conditions have changed. The impact of biological and environmental drivers on migration patterns is unknown. This project will focus on spatial and temporal dynamics of migrations in cod from the Kattegat to the eastern Baltic Sea.

The research will be based on:
  • Different types of tagging data from the 1950-1980 and the 2000’s covering the Kattegat to the eastern Baltic Sea
  • Chemical analyses of archived otoliths which provide the opportunity to study migration history of individual fish from hatch to capture.

Responsibilities and tasks

This project will focus on both spatial and temporal dynamics of migrations in cod, combining information from the different data sources.

Tasks may include:
  • Map horizontal and vertical migration patterns of cod using tagging and otolith chemistry data
  • Estimate the influence of biological and environmental drivers on migration patterns
  • Evaluate the impact of increased hypoxia and higher temperatures on vertical migrations
  • Compare results from tagging and otolith data to link individual migration patterns and stock mixing
  • Estimate the extent of migrations between management areas
  • Optimize routines for how stock mixing is implemented in stock assessment

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.


We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Aquatic Science & Technology or similar.
  • Keen interest in exploring and analyzing complex data
  • Experience with mathematical modelling and statistical data treatment
  • Background in marine ecology, preferably with experience in fish biology
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Strong interest in participating in cross-disciplinary research environment
  • Desire and capability to contribute to collaboration with a team
  • Interest in participating in relevant ICES working groups

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by senior scientists Karin Hüssy and Anders Nielsen

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information

Further information can be obtained from senior scientists

Karin Hüssy, +45 9351 1840 -, Section for Oceans and Arctic Anders Nielsen, +45 3588 3454 -, Section for Marine Living Resources


You can read more about Sections for Oceans and Arctic and Marine Living Resources at


Please submit your online application no later than 1 March 2019.


To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

In addition to the cover letter, we wish to receive a one page motivation letter together with the application.


Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.


Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.


All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


The section for Oceans and Arctic is focused on research in the marine environment. The research spectrum is broad covering marine ecology, oceanography, observation technology and the Arctic. The research in marine ecology has a special focus on populations and ecosystems. The general field is quantitative marine ecology, i.e. establishing how processes affecting individuals shape populations and ecosystems. Our focus is on fish, but not exclusively as we also include lower trophic levels, and species and environmental interactions when relevant.

The Section for Marine Living Resources focuses on population genetics, statistical stock assessment models and bio-physical modelling from individual to system. All lines are aimed at providing strong and operational scientific support for sustainable management of the marine living resources. Advanced mathematical and statistical models of aquatic populations and systems are developed based on knowledge of individual behavior and life history, population structure and dynamics as well as ecological mechanisms derived from controlled studies, natural and data storage tags as well as fisheries and oceanographic data.


DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies