PhD student Evaluation of molecular marine metazoan community analyses

Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz-Center for Polar and Marine Research - AWI - Helmholtz Association

Bremerhaven, Germany

Area of research:

Scientific / postdoctoral posts

Job description:

The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

The research institute HIFMB (Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg) invites applications for a

PhD student
Evaluation of molecular marine metazoan community analyses

Background and Tasks:
Assessing and better understanding spatial and temporal patterns of marine biodiversity including all organisms from the smallest to largest, is a key research goal of the HIFMB. In this context, the HIFMB Focus Group on Marine Molecular Ecology helps to estimate marine metazoan biodiversity change by using novel molecular tools with the focus on establishing and evaluating work flows for NGS-based metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA). With this, the group will evaluate biodiversity data on selected marine communities, single taxonomic groups or target organisms to be compared or supplemented to other methods assessing biodiversity and spatial and temporal patterns in the field and/or to analyse ecological trade-offs.

You will evaluate different options for using, handling and interpreting eDNA data within the context of their applicability in marine metazoan biodiversity research. The work will consolidate both, the design and performance of laboratory experiments and data analysis and interpretation. Furthermore, you will develop innovative ideas and pipelines on the applicability of eDNA biodiversity data across disciplines. Your work will be part of integrative and interdisciplinary research projects in close cooperation with scientists at the HIFMB.

You will be situated at the Oldenburg campus with laboratory facilities at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.

Mandatory requirements for application are an outstanding Master degree in biology or related disciplines including molecular genetics for single and multi-species identification, ideally eDNA analyses and we are expecting skills in basic and advanced molecular techniques and experiences in NGS-data evaluation. Fundamental knowledge on marine biology and ecology, metazoan taxonomy, biochemistry, statistical analysis and experimental design is advantageous. The applicant needs very good English language skills.

For further information please contact Dr. Silke Laakmann ( or Prof. Helmut Hillebrand (

The position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund), salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Oldenburg.

We offer you a multi-disciplinary, international, and fascinating professional environment with flexible working hours, state-of-the-art research equipment, and a first-rate infrastructure.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family through various means. Because of our engagement in the area of work-life compatibility we have been awarded the certificate “Career and Family”.

As Ph.D. student at AWI you will be member of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research ‘POLMAR’ ( or another graduate school.

Please forward your applications with the standard documentation (CV including publication list, letter of motivation, name and address of two references) by January 15th, 2019 referencing code 155/D/HIFMB by e-mail (all documents merged into one PDF file) to:

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-155/D/HIFMB