Environmental changes such as warming and alterations of dissolved nutrient concentrations place phytoplankton under enormous pressure by radically changing the conditions in which they live. For instance, analyses of the Helgoland Roads long-term time series highlight species-specific phenological shifts in response to altered physico-chemical conditions. Changing environmental conditions may also induce physiological acclimatization and genetic adaptations in populations, which potentially dampens the influence of new environmental settings on population dynamics and allows species to persist.We are searching for an enthusiastic postdoctoral candidate, who will investigate phytoplankton population dynamics and the associated eco-evolutionary responses to warming and changing dissolved nutrient concentrations. The comparison of different phytoplankton taxa will allow us to observe whether certain populations are more prone to instability under stress. To test this, the candidate will conduct long-term exposure chemostat experiments to assess the interactions between different stressors and their effects on fitness-relevant life-history traits of phytoplankton populations.


  • Isolate phytoplankton from field samples and conduct long-term eco-evolutionary laboratory experiments
  • Analyse adaptation of cellular characteristics related to fitness
  • Link the outcome of these laboratory experiments to long-term shifts in phytoplankton dynamics in the field
  • Evaluate complex datasets, and present research results to experts and non-experts (scientific journals, conferences, workshops)


  • Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) in Aquatic Sciences.
  • Strong background in Phytoplankton Ecology, good taxonomic knowledge of North Sea phytoplankton.
  • Working experience with experimental ecology, including phytoplankton culturing.
  • Working experience with eco-evolutionary dynamics.
  • Strong team player skills.
  • Strong communication skills in the English language, both written and oral

Further Information

For any questions you may have, you are very welcome to get in touch with Maarten Boersma (+49 4725 819 3350, is a part-time position, limited to 3 years. 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 13. The place of employment will be Helgoland.

Postdocs must register with AWI’s postdoc office PROCEED, thereby gaining access to a set of tailor-made career development tools.

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
  • 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 female employees, 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, including:
(1) a letter of motivation,
(2) a 2-pages research plan
(3) CV and copies of relevant certificates (Ph.D. degree; training),
(4) two letters of recommendation or the contact information of two references and
(5) a list of publications,by April 21st, 2024, exclusively online.

For more information about the opportunity click here.

via AWI
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