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Internships & thesis suggestions

Here you will find thesis and project suggestions from our researchers, and jobs, internship and thesis announcements from outside the department.

Internship at project VattenAtlas

VattenAtlas (literally, Water Atlas) is a web GIS that collects different map information related to water, in order to increase accessibility and number of applications. They want the student to work with them during first or second part of this fall. The student should be interested in hydrology and water management, and have some experience in using the hydrological tools in ArcMap or equivalent.

Contact: Maja [dot] Jensen [at] Trelleborg [dot] se (Maja Jensen)
Added: 2019-04-29

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.

Added: 2019-04-08

Internships in research teams abroad

Read more here

Date added: 2019-04-01

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

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 me if you are interested.

Anders Ahlström

Date added: 2019-03-28

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 me for more information.

Anders Ahlström

Date added: 2019-03-28

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 me if you are interested: Anders Ahlström.

Date added: 2019-03-28

Internships at Sustainergies

Do you, as a student, want to engage in challenges, projects and tasks related to sustainability issues? During March and April there are many opportunities - especially internships - available at Sustainergies.

To "current assignments" page at Sustainergies (in Swedish)

Added: 2019-03-21

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)

Internship: develop and plan the Swedish Wind Energy annual conference

 Are you passionate about the transition to renewable energy? Then this internship is for you! Swedish wind energy offers a place in their team to work with communication and impact work and learn everything about wind energy. Your main project will be to help make the annual conference "WIND" a success.

Read more here

Added: 2019-03-04

Two thesis suggestions offered by Miljöbron

Miljöbron Skåne describes themselves as "The leading actor in creating value in the meeting between students, society and a sustainable future".

Miljöbron Skåne, thesis suggestion

Help Närab to survey the surface water runoff and create a model for the water balance in the area for their waste facility
(Google translated)


Miljöbron Skåne, thesis suggestion

Help the Kulla Peninsula's largest vineyard to map its unique terroir
(Google translated)


Added: 2019-02-12

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

Top volunteer programs for 2019:

Added: 2019-02-07

Master thesis work

A tale of two years

Topic: A tale of two years: comparing the vegetation condition of 2017 and 2018 over southern Sweden using Sentinel-2 satellite imagery
When: As soon as possible
What: The summer of 2018 was one of the driest in recent years. The Swedish agricultural sector was particularly impacted by drought. The cereal grain harvest of 2018 was 3.2 million tonnes, compared with 5.9 million tonnes in 2017. This is a decrease of 45 percent, and it is estimated that Swedish farmers’ total income fell by around SEK 10 billion.

The objective of this study the relative difference in the vegetation condition between 2017 and 2018 over southern Sweden using data from the Sentinel-2 satellites. You will be provided with a complete set of satellite images from which you will extract relevant vegetation indices. You will then integrate these indices with crop, land cover and climate maps over southern Sweden and test different hypotheses.

The ideal candidate should be a self-starter and have strong foundations in remote sensing, GIS and basic statistics as exemplified by passing graduate-level coursework. In order to successfully complete the project, you will (learn to) use GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS/QGIS), programming languages (e.g. R, Python, JavaScript), and quantitative methods (e.g. random forest). 

Contact: Hakim Abdihakim [dot] abdi [at] nateko [dot] lu [dot] se

Date added: 2019-01-22

Master thesis work

Topic: The carbon balance of perennial crops
When: Spring 2019
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

Date added: 2019-01-18

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)
Date added: 2019-01-14

Bachelor thesis suggestion: Water levels at the baltic sea

Water level measurements have been performed at an island in the Baltic sea for roughly a year. There is one nearby official station and two which are slightly more far away measuring water levels since several decades. For the island which has a lot of coastal birds breeding at it, there is a need to know the water levels for the last 40 years for which breeding success has been monitored. Aim of this study is to relate the differences in water levels to the weather pattern and to build a conversion model translating water levels from the official station to the water level at the island.
Contact: Veiko Lehsten
Date added: 2018-11-26

Bachelor thesis suggestion: Environmental envelopes and dynamic vegetation models

LPJ-GUESS is predicting the occurrence of tree species based on their competitive ability and their environmental envelops. The aim of this study is to use an external dataset containing potential natural vegetation and to extract the variables needed for the envelopes of LPJ-GUESS. Finally one run of LPJ-GUESS with the new set of parameters will be performed and a comparison of the outcome with the original set of parameters is to perform.

Contact: Veiko Lehsten
Date added: 2018-11-26

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
Date added: 2018-11-12

Ideas for MSc projects at the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland

In the PDF below you will find 7 MSc project suggestions.

PDF iconms_thesis_projects.pdf

Contact: jens [dot] ingensand [at] heig-vd [dot] ch (subject: Ideas%20for%20MSc%20projects%20at%20the%20University%20of%20Applied%20Sciences%20Western%20Switzerland) (Jens Ingensand), +41 24 55 763 84
Added: 2018-11-08

Master thesis (spring 2019): Characterization of maize field properties from drone based imagery acquisition and structure from motion techniques

Yield estimates and yield gap analysis are important to identify poor agricultural productivity. Remote sensing holds great promise for measuring yield and thus aiding in estimating yield gaps. Farming systems in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) are commonly characterized by small field sizes, intercropping, different crop species with similar phenologies, and sometimes high cloud frequency during growing seasons, all of which pose real challenges to remote sensing. The aim of this project would be to investigate whether high-resolution imagery in combination with, for example, structure from motion techniques can be used to derive important properties such as plant density, biomass volume, field slope etc. Data from fieldwork 2016-17 including imagery are made available to the project. Additional data capture can be needed. More information the study site can be found here.

Contact: Ola HallPer-Ola Olsson
Added: 2018-11-05

Master thesis: monitoring bark beetle damage with Sentinel-2 data

The drought in 2018 triggered several bark beetle outbreaks in spruce forests in southern Sweden. We have previously developed methods to monitor birch moth outbreaks in northern Sweden with MODIS data. These birch moth outbreaks covers large areas and the birch trees are often totally defoliated. Bark beetle outbreaks cover small areas, often just a few trees, so a high spatial resolution is required to enable detection. The aim of this master thesis is to study if methods to detect bark beetles outbreaks with time-series of Sentinel-2 data can be developed.

Contact: Per-Ola Olsson
Added: 2018-11-05


M.Sc. project: Dynamics in ecosystem properties of semi-arid savannas and their impact on the ground surface reflectance

Hyperspectral measurements of the Earth’s surface provide relevant information for many ecological applications. The basis for upscaling using Earth observation (EO) data is to study how spectral properties are related to ecosystem properties. 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 this instrumental setup is to gain insight into the relationships between ground surface reflectance and savanna ecosystem properties for EO upscaling purposes. This master thesis will make use of a unique in situ data set of hyperspectral reflectance and investigate how ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna ecosystems influence the reflectance from the ground surface.

Added: 2018-10-24
Contact: Torbern Tagesson

M.Sc. project: Counting trees using very high spatial resolution imagery data

The American government has purchased commercial very high resolution imagery (sub-meter resolution for the past 10 years) globally, and this data set has recently been made freely available for researchers associated with NASA. This data is a unique opportunity for any type of classification of land cover across the earth. We currently have parts of this data set for the Sahel region in Senegal, where this sub meter spatial resolution data possibly has the potential to estimate the numbers of trees, their crown area and their height within these images. By the use of tree allometric relationships, we hope to give rough estimate of C storage in individual trees. In case the method works properly, it can be extended to semi-arid ecosystems across the world.

Added: 2018-10-24
Contact: Torbern Tagesson

M.Sc. project: Evaluation of an earth observation based net ecosystem exchange product

The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission Level 4 Carbon (L4C) product provides model estimates of the Net Ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) incorporating SMAP soil moisture information. The L4C product includes NEE, computed as total ecosystem respiration (Reco) less gross photosynthesis (GPP), at a daily time step posted to a 9-km global grid by plant functional type. The project aims at evaluating the simulated NEE, Reco and GPP against observations of atmospheric CO2 concentration and against eddy covariance based fluxes from FLUXNET.

Added: 2018-10-24
Contact: Torbern Tagesson

Shrub encroachment detection using satellite based remote sensing

Shrub encroachment, Öland
Shrub encroachment is a problem in many semi-natural areas dependent on grazing. In a previous study, shrub encroachment has been studied on the island of Öland, on adjacent areas with different grazing intensities, using aerial photographs. This method is very time intensive since the shrubs need to be manually digitized as, due to the given differences in qualities and the low availability of aerial photographs, an automatic detection algorithm did not work effectively. Therefore a manual estimation of shrub encroachment is only possible for small areas. In this thesis, shrub encroachment shall be estimated using coarser remotely sensed data sets, starting from drone images to be collected in the thesis via aerial photographs to the satellites Sentinel and MODIS, by relating optical properties at certain times of the year as well as the variability of those properties in relation to shrub cover. The final aim of the study is to produce a shrub encroachment map of the whole Alvar on the island of Öland.

Contact: Veiko Lehsten
Date added: 2018-10-15

Internships  at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) is currently offering internship options Read about them here (in Swedish) or download flyer (in Swedish): PDF iconpraktikplatser_vt2019.pdf.

Added: 2018-10-10

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

When: Spring 2019

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

Added: 2018-10-08

M.Sc. project: Comparing the 2004 and 2007 desert locust outbreaks using satellite remote sensing

M.Sc. project: Comparing the 2004 and 2007 desert locust outbreaks using satellite remote sensing

The desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål, 1775) outbreaks of 2004 and 2007 have had a large impact in West Africa and the Middle East. Not only had these outbreaks taken a humanitarian toll in terms of food security, they also devastated economies in their wake. For example, the 2004 outbreak caused an estimated US$ 2.5 billion in harvest losses.

Desert locust outbreaks are strongly linked to climate as water from excess rainfall triggers the dormant desert locust eggs that are buried in the soil and creates a favorable setting for the newly hatched locust nymphs. Additionally, the new vegetation that emerges after these rains provides nutrition for the nymphs, which enables them to rapidly undergo their growth cycle and congregate into swarms. 

The purpose of this master’s project is to compare the conditions leading to the 2004 and 2007 desert locust outbreaks and the aftermath in terms of net primary production. This will be accomplished by analyzing the climatic and vegetative conditions before, during and after the two outbreaks using multitemporal remote sensing data (e.g. Landsat, MODIS, CHIRPS).

The ideal candidate should be a self-starter and have strong foundations in remote sensing, GIS and basic statistics (exemplified by passing graduate-level coursework). In order to successfully complete the project, you will (learn to) use GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS/QGIS), programming languages (e.g. R, JavaScript), and quantitative methods (e.g. random forest). 

Contact: Hakim Abdi

Project timeline: January 01 – June 30, 2019.


Google Earth Engine mapping of agricultural greenhouses in northern China

The freely available Landsat and Sentinel imageries provide an unprecedented opportunity for global land monitoring at high spatial resolutions (up to 10 m). However, for studies and applications at continental to global scales, handling such huge amount of satellite data are impossible without super computing powers. Google Earth Engine (GEE) is designed to do this job, freely and easily accessible for everyone with a laptop (, which is a promising way of future Earth science data processing.

One interesting project to use GEE is to map the spatial distribution of agricultural greenhouses in northern China, which are built for growing vegetables and fruits during the winter seasons to fed the large Chinese population. This will be a pioneer project paving the way for many important social-environmental studies.

Welcome to contact me if you are interested to discuss more about it!

Contact: Feng Tian

Date added: 2018-08-28


Several MSc projects on the impacts of reindeer grazing on tundra landscapes and carbon dynamics

Reindeer are known to control the composition of vegetation across tundra landscapes and even shift the vegetation type to another state. These changes have cascading effects on ecosystem Reindeer grazingfunctioning and the carbon cycle – but to most parts, the mechanisms behind have not yet been verified in the nature. In this project, we focus on one reindeer-induced vegetation change - suppressed abundance of deciduous shrubs - and aim to assess how this shift in vegetation feedbacks on ecosystem processes. 
In the next summer, we A) will quantify the functional traits of the vegetation under contrasting grazing pressures, and use literature to project the impacts of the trait shift on ecosystem processes. We will also B) look at plant biomass distribution to different soil depths, and see whether this explains different nutrient dynamics and C concentrations in soil layers. Additionally, we C) will monitor how reindeer grazing is reflected on the mycorrhizal community composition and the key mycorrhizal-driven soil processes that have been suggested to control soil carbon decomposition rates. Lastly, we D) will assess how reindeer grazing has affected the sensitivity of soil carbon release to altered temperature or altered moisture conditions with a thorough lab experiment. 
All these questions are possible to be shaped into timely Masters Projects from the field of Ecosystem Science. 

We preferably look for Masters Students who would be interested to take part in the data collection already this summer (takes place in July, see separate announcement). Yet, there are parts that can be conducted from Lund exclusively. In all cases, the projects will include laboratory work that should be conducted during the study year 2018-2019. It will also be possible to finish the thesis within the next study year. We hope to hear from the interest during May 2018. 
If you became interested, I’d be happy elaborate more about the specific hypotheses of the individual projects – and there is scope to discuss the framing of project.

Contact: Henni Ylänne, CEC, henni [dot] ylanne [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se

Time series analysis of Earth Observation data on Google Earth Engine

Earth Observation satellites (e.g. Landsat, Terra/Aqua MODIS, and Sentinel) have provided a multi-petabyte catalog of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets. To analyze such big data to detect changes and map trends on the Earth’s surface, suitable time series analysis methods and processing platforms are needed. The purpose of this project is therefore to implement two recently developed time series algorithms (DBEST and PolyTrend) on the most advanced cloud-based geospatial processing platform (Google Earth Engine). This will make it possible for scientists, researchers, and developers to rapidly and accurately process vast amounts of satellite imagery and identify changes on the Earth’s surface.

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

Feel free to contact me if you are interested: Sadegh Jamali, sadegh [dot] jamali [at] tft [dot] lth [dot] se

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 [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

M.Sc. Project: Building and city models

When: 2019

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
Updated: 2018-11-08

Techniques for handling and distributing grid data

When: 2019
What: ICOS Carbon Portal 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 Carbon Portal 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 Carbon Portal.   
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


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.

Semantic Structure from Motion

Read more here.

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: 2018-2019

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: 2019

Contact: Jonas Ardö

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: Readability of dynamic maps

When: From January 2019. 
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: Spring 2019. 
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
Updated: 2018-12-19

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