PhD position: Zooplankton and Noise – Deadline 20 May 2023

At the Research- and Technology Centre West Coast (FTZ) of Kiel University, starting at the earliest possible date, the position is to be filled within ECOLAB in Büsum of a PhD position for “Zooplankton and Noise” (wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter*in, salary level TV-L E13 50%)

The increase of anthropogenic underwater noise (AUN) through oil exploitation, shipping, and the construction and operation of offshore wind farms has altered the marine acoustic environment significantly and is now a global challenge. AUN can harm a variety of marine taxa by impairing an individual’s physiology directly and by interfering with fitness-relevant behaviours such as communication, orientation, predator avoidance and foraging, all potentially leading to increased mortality and decreased reproduction. Planktonic invertebrates play a key role as a link between lower and higher trophic levels in the world’s oceans. However, data on the effects of continuous AUN on these
organisms are scarce, which impedes our predictive capabilities on the effects of AUN on ecosystem functioning and the services marine ecosystems provide.

The 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, will investigate the response of marine invertebrates to anthropogenic noise. The resulting data 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. Within this collaborative project, Kiel University will especially investigate the effects on AUN on zooplankton by conducting lab and field experiments on zooplankton.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Conducting lab experiments on AUN effects on behavior, physiology, fitness, and species interactions
  • Planning and carrying out field experiments investigating effects of noise on selected planktonic invertebrates
  • Analysis of the soundscapes of selected coastal seas
  • Data analysis and writing of publications


  • MSc or equivalent in Marine Sciences, Bioacoustics, Plankton Ecology, or other relevant subjects
  • Strong affinity to experimental work, plankton, and/ or aquatic noise
  • Experience with the analysis of large and complex datasets is beneficial
  • Experience with practical work on bioacoustics and/or plankton ecology in the field and laboratory is beneficial
  • Fluency in English. Basic knowledge in German is beneficial
  • Excellent social skills
  • Capability to work in a cooperative, open, organized, flexible, creative, and pragmatic manner
  • Enthusiasm about your research topic

We offer:

Become a member of a young, flexible and dynamic working group, participation in an exciting interdisciplinary research program, opportunities and possibility to contribute your own ideas in a friendly research environment. A diverse job at a place of work directly on the coast. Access to PhD training opportunities, supportive supervision, and the opportunity to participate in conferences and workshops, networking opportunities within the university’s research focus with KMS (Kiel Marine Science) and its FYORD program as well as with European cooperation partners. The salary is based on TV-L E13 50% (roughly starting with a monthly gross salary of 2100 €) and initially
limited until Dec 31 – 2025 with possible extension subject to the approval of third-party funds. The place of employment will be Büsum. For further information, please get in contact with PD Dr. habil Katja Heubel:, FTZ West Coast of Kiel University, Hafentörn 1, D-25761 Büsum.

Please send us your application without application photos.

In your application include a letter of motivation, CV, references (the names and contact information of three referees), a 1-page summary of your Master’s thesis, an academic statement (max. 2 pages) that outlines your research interests and plans, and copies of degree certificates in a single PDF file (no larger than 2 MB) via email mentioning the subject header “Orchestra PhD” to:

Application deadline: May 20th 2023

We welcome your application regardless of your age, gender, cultural and social origin, religion, worldview, disability or sexual identity. We support gender equality. Women with equivalent suitability, qualifications and special abilities will be given preferential consideration in the selection process. The University of Kiel is active in its support for the employment of disabled persons. For this reason, disabled persons will be given preferential treatment over other equally qualified applicants. We explicitly welcome applications from people with a migration background.

For further information about this opportunity, click here.

via Kiel University
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