Sediment cores from lakes and oceans are archives of the past. In the Polar Terrestrial Environmental System section we examine DNA and microfossils from sediments, which provide us with conclusions about the species composition of ecosystems and their dynamics through the past.

Your task will be to carry out molecular genetic and protein-based work in the (Paleo) genetics laboratories, and the microfossil analysis laboratories. You will carry out sediment core sampling, molecular genetic and protein-based methods and the purification of microfossils in our laboratories. Your work will make an essential contribution to the collection of DNA, protein and microfossil data from sediments, which is the basis for the research questions of our section and will contribute to the understanding of ecosystem change in polar regions.


  • Laboratory activities in the genetics laboratories and the paleogenetics laboratory, including DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and preparation for NGS sequencing procedures
  • Extraction of proteins from sediments
  • Independent organization of the genetics laboratories (ordering consumables and small equipment)
  • Sampling of sediment cores
  • Independent organization of the microfossil laboratory
  • Preparation of microfossil samples
  • Familiarization of students with laboratory methods;
  • Supervision of student assistants and interns


  • Completed training as a biology laboratory technician or biological-technical assistant (BTA) or comparable qualification, with practical experience in molecular genetic work
  • practical experience in microfossil extraction
  • good written and spoken English language skills
  • willingness to familiarize yourself with new laboratory methods

Additional skills and knowledge

  • Experience in (paleo)proteomics, protein extraction and sequencing

Further Information

For any questions you may have, you are very welcome to get in touch with Prof. Dr. Ulrike Herzschuh (; +49 331 58174-5601) and Dr. Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring (; +49(331)58174-5662).

This position is limited to 2 years. It is also suitable for part-time employment. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 9a.The place of employment will be Potsdam.

The AWI is characterized by

  • our scientific success – excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation – intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop – on the job and towards other positions
  • an international environment – everyday contact with people from all over the world
  • flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working up to 50% of regular working hours
  • health promotion and company fitness with EGYM Wellpass
  • support services and a culture of reconciling work and family
  • occupational pension provision (VBL)

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of employees who are women, and therefore, strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Applicants with disabilities will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!
Please submit your application by April 7th 2024, exclusively online.
Reference number: 24/27/G/Geo-b

Find out about this opportunity here.

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