This job has expired

Bachelor- or Master-Thesis: Effects of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine invertebrate life...

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Closing date
13 Jun 2023

View more

Earth Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

Area of research:

Diplom & Master

Job description:Bachelor- or Master-Thesis: Effects of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine invertebrate life cycle and larval development

The ever-increasing human activities at sea (e.g. cargo shipping, oil exploitation, offshore windfarm construction and operation) are progressively changing the marine acoustic environment by the introduction of anthropogenic underwater noise (AUN). While the effect of AUN on marine mammals has been studied for years, little is known on how marine invertebrates are affected by AUN. Recent studies showed that boat noise or seismic survey have the possibility to interfere with invertebrate live cycles and larval development, possibly causing long lasting alterations in the ecosystem. As in coastal seas ever larger areas are covered by offshore windfarms it is crucial to understand whether the continuous low frequency noise emitted by them, has the potential to interfere with the live cycles and larval development of the invertebrate communities of these seas.

The thesis is part of the international project ORCHESTRA (ecOsystem Responses to Constant offsHorE Sound specTRA), funded within the framework of the JPI-Oceans joint action on Underwater Noise in the Marine Environment ( which investigates the response of marine invertebrates to anthropogenic noise. The data resulting project will be combined with information on local soundscapes and species abundances to identify in turn areas with the largest risks of being affected by AUN.

This study aims to experimentally investigate the effects of AUN on the live-cycle and larval development on common marine invertebrates (such as the sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris) from the North Sea. Specifically it will be investigated how low frequency noise affects fertilization success, larval development, larval morphology, larval settlement, larval feeding and juvenile fitness (i.e. growth and respiration).

Specific tasks will be
  • Carrying out literature surveys on the effects of
    noise on aquatic invertebrates
  • Carrying out experiments investigating sound effects on selected benthic invertebrates and their planktonic larvae.
  • Taking part in the international project meetings, offering the opportunity to work with an international team.
  • Depending on whether you are a Bachelor or Master candidate the scope of the experiments (e.g. number of investigated species, measured parameters, live stages) will be adapted to your interests and needs.

  • You study biology, marine biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • You look for an interesting topic for your bachelor or master thesis.
  • You are interested in environmental sciences and environmental protection.

Further Information
You are interested?

You are interested?
Then please send us your application with Cover letter an CV (with all documents merged into one PDF file) by e-mail to: Dr. Alexa Wrede (

For further information please contact Dr. Wrede also.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation.


The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges to assure the future of our society. With more than 39,000 people on staff in 18 national research centres, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization. The name Helmholtz stands for concerted research in which networks form the key principle behind inquiring thought and action. Concerted research is efficient and flexible.

The profile of the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association performs cutting-edge research which contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry. To succeed in meeting these responsibilities, Helmholtz concentrates its work in six research fields: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Matter, as well as Aeronautics, Space and Transport. Within each of these fields, research programs are developed by our scientists and regularly evaluated by renowned international experts. Their evaluation forms the basis for the programme-oriented funding that is allocated to Helmholtz research. Within the six research fields, Helmholtz scientists cooperate with each other and with external partners – working across disciplinary, organizational and national borders.

Promoting young academics

Helmholtz scientists, a high-performance infrastructure and modern and efficient research management are the ingredients to the Helmholtz Association‘s success and global impact.
Promoting young researchers is a major priority for the Helmholtz Association. Its qualification schemes for young researchers are geared mainly towards PhD students, postdocs and young managers. The Helmholtz Association has set high standards for its talent management. Its strategy begins with targeted recruitment of highly qualified staff at all levels, followed by comprehensive support aimed at further developing their potential. Ensuring equal opportunities is an essential element in all talent management activities undertaken by the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Graduate Schools and Research Schools at almost all Helmholtz Centres provide doctoral students with the general and specific skills and training they need, as well as ample opportunity to network with other working groups. The period following a doctorate is decisive in determining the direction and success of a scientific career. For this reason, we are about to establish Career Centers for postdoctoral researchers in the Helmholtz centres and a mentoring programme for especially gifted PostDocs in order to foster career orientation. This equips young researchers with the skills they need to go on to head a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, for example. As a Young Investigator Group leader, junior scientists can independently set up their own group to conduct research in their specialist field.

Within its talent management strategy, the Helmholtz Association pays special attention to the increased recruitment of talented female scientists both from Germany and abroad. To this end, there are currently two funding programs supporting this policy Funding of first-time appointments of excellent women scientists (W2/W3)’ and ‘Funding to recruit top-level international women scientists (W3)’.

The increasing complexity of the content, structures and framework conditions of scientific work today requires researchers to organise their projects, their employees and, of course, themselves in a highly professional and effective way. In response to these demands, we have set up the Helmholtz Management Academy to provide junior leaders in science with professional management training. Furthermore, the Helmholtz network provides a platform for the alumni of the Helmholtz Management Academy and Mentoring programme to come together and share their experiences of leadership, career development and lifelong learning.

Find Us

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert