PhD position – focus on mesozooplankton

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), division of “Biosciences”, section “Shelf Seas Systems Ecology”, is seeking to appoint within the framework of the BMBF funded ‘Verbundprojekt’ BIOACID phase II consortium 1 a PhD candidate (f/m) (with a focus on mesozooplankton).

Description: Located within the framework of BIOACID II (Biological Impacts of Ocean ACIDification,, consortium 1 (‘Pelagic ecosystems under ocean acidification: ecological, biogeochemical, and evolutionary responses’) will investigate we will investigate how mesozooplankton in different ecosystems is affected by ocean acidification. The effects can be either (a) of direct nature by e.g. changes in physiology and metabolism associated with increases in CO2 and/or decreases in pH, or (b) of indirect nature, for example based on altered elemental and biochemical composition of autotroph production and trophic interactions.

Several intertwined work packages that rely on joint mesocosms experiments will allow a thorough analysis of food web and ecosystem changes.

We seek a candidate for work package 1.7 ‘Response of subtropical Atlantic (Gran Canaria) and North Sea (Gullmar Fjord) mesozooplankton to ocean acidification’. The candidate should analyse and interpret mesozooplankton data
with an emphasis on copepods and jellyfish. The following tasks should be carried out (?):


  • Analysis of the mesozooplankton community structure (abundance, biomass and taxonomic composition) during the mesocosms experiment
  • Determination of mesozooplankton growth under different CO2 conditions
  • Biochemical and physiological analyses (fatty acid composition, stable isotope ratios, activities of enzymes involved in nutrient allocation and growth, respiration rates)
  • Analysis of mesozooplankton grazing patterns (in cooperation with WP 1.6 and 1.10) to quantify grazing impacts of mesozooplankton on phytoplankton standing stocks
  • Analysis of seston stoichiometry and fatty acid composition

The successful candidate will be based at the AWI Helgoland on the Island of Helgoland (North Sea). The station provides excellent facilities for marine field- and laboratory research and offers a highly dynamic working environment. The candidate will obtain the opportunity to subscribe to the Helmholtz graduate school for Polar and Marine Research ‘POLMAR’(

Requirements: Diploma/MSc degree in biology, ecology, genetics, limnology, environmental science, marine or fisheries sciences. We expect a strong interest in general ecological questions and some experience in carrying out and analyzing ecological experiments including general statistics. A good knowledge in written and spoken English is expected. The candidate should be prepared to participate in several expeditions.

The position is limited to 3 years, the salary will be in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst (TVöD Bund): salary group 13 (50% minimum). Official starting date for this position is September 1st, 2012. The availability of the position is subject to the final funding decision, which is expected for summer 2012.

The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees within the scientific staff and especially invites female scientists to apply for the position. Handicapped applicants with comparable qualifications receive preferential status. Please see the notification on our homepage under job_offers/jobs.

AWI supports balanced work-life career development via a variety of schemes.

To apply for the position, please cite the code 55/D/Bio and send your application by June 29th, 2012, to:
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar- and Marine Research, Personnel Department, P.O. Box 12 01 61, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
or by email (all documents merged into one PDF file) to: Petra.Breyer(at)
Questions regarding the project should be directed to Dr. Arne Malzahn (Arne.Malzahn(at) or PD. Dr. Barbara
Niehoff (Barbara.Niehoff(at)


  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: