PostDoc P-LEACH Position 2: “Physiology and metabolomics of bivalves (Biology)” – Deadline 15 November 2021


In the Helmholtz research program “Changing Earth – Sustaining our Future” of the Research Field Earth and Environment, seven Helmholtz Centers (AWI, FZJ, GEOMAR, GFZ, Hereon, KIT, UFZ) are collaborating to gather deep insights into the complex relationships between the processes that take place on our planet. They are pooling their competencies to research the natural foundations of life in a systemic approach, from the land surface to the oceans and to the Polar Regions. For only with sound knowledge of the Earth system, with innovative technologies and strategic approaches and recommendations for politics the path to a sustainable future is possible.

Within the framework of this program, the project “P-LEACH: Impacts on ecosystem functions and human health by environmental plastics and associated chemicals”, is one of four “innovation pool projects”. These serve to strengthen the cooperation between the centers, to promote innovative ideas of young scientists, and to provide flexibility in dealing with current, socially relevant themes.

The project P-LEACH which aims to study the effects of chemicals from globally increasing environmental plastic pollution on ecosystem functions and human health, invites applications for 2 positions as Post Doc (f/m/d).


Position 2: Physiology and metabolomics of bivalves (Biology)

Background and Tasks

Since the 1950’s the increasing production of plastics resulted in a progressive accumulation of plastic litter in the oceans with manifold consequences for marine life. Plastics impact ecosystems as a new habitat for colonization (“plastisphere”), and weathering leads to fragmentation towards micro and nano sized particles as well as leaching of chemicals, including harmful additives (e.g., plasticizers, bisphenols, metals). Such sized particles and plastic-associated chemicals have frequently been highlighted as (eco)toxicologically important compounds, but have not been adequately addressed. Our multidisciplinary consortium will jointly characterize these pollutants, identify harmful chemicals and investigate their synergistic impacts on ecosystem functions.

Studies investigating physiological impact of MP on bivalves so far ignored the potential risk of associated chemicals on animals’ health. Therefore, we aim to investigate and evaluate the effect of MP-associated leachates on bivalves with focus on immune system and energy metabolism by combining metabolomic, biochemical and physiological approaches. The comparative approach used in the project involves tissue analyses of marine bivalves that will be experimentally exposed (mesocosm data) and sampled from global hot spots (field data)


  • PhD in biology
  • Experience with physiological, biochemical and/or molecular studies in animals
  • Readiness to perform experiments on live animals
  • Ability to plan, organize and conduct independent research
  • Ability to work in an international team
  • Good English skills (spoken and written)

Desirable skills and experience in

  • Maintenance and experiments with aquatic animals
  • Microscopy and histology
  • Experience in cell biology and metabolomics (NMR spectroscopy)

Further Information

Please contact Dr. Gisela Lannig (; +49(471)4831-2015) for further information.

This is a full-time position, limited to 3 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 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

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

We look forward to your application!

Please submit your application with the standard documentation (cover letter with motivation, CV, certificates and two references / letters of recommendation) by November 15th 2021, exclusively online.

Reference number 21/183/G/Bio-b.

To join the info session please click the following link.

via AWI 
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