In order to address questions of global importance related to functional marine biodiversity and marine conservation and to stimulate an integrative and innovative research environment, HIFMB has created an independent postdoc pool, HIPP, that offers postdoctoral scientists the opportunity to develop their own research ideas and to actively shape their scientific careers. For each call, we set a topical context in order to foster collaborations between postdocs. For this call, we seek to hire a strong team of researchers, open and enthusiastic to interdisciplinary working, who will address the overarching question of ‘Ecosystem re-assembly under climate change’ in collaboration with the HIFMB community.

Ecosystems are re-assembling under climate change. Key species are lost from local areas and new species are taking their place. This process happens across scales, from the re-assembly of animal’s gut microbiomes stressed by changing environments to the loss of foundation species in coastal ecosystems such as corals, kelp and seagrasses. New tools, big data and as well as qualitative approaches mean that we can reassess classical questions of ecosystem assembly with the goal of developing a theoretical framework that can yield, perhaps, predictions about the reassembly process, and insights as to what it means for governance where movement may render existing spatial measures as obsolete (Maxwell et al. 2015).

We need to understand how ecosystems are reassembled to make decisions about where, when and what will be conserved and how we can engage “new ecosystems” in relation to human life.


Phytoplankton plays a crucial ecological role in the marine environment, by producing at least 50% of the world’s oxygen and primary organic biomass. A variety of biological rhythms have been described in marine microalgae under laboratory conditions, ranging from e. g. diurnal rhythmicity of gene expression, cell division and motility and also photosynthesis can follow endogenously-regulated circadian rhythms. However, information’s from the field and on the underlying algal time-keepers are rudimental and do not exist from polar phytoplankton.

Research on the mechanisms that orchestrate algal rhythmicity is pivotal to predict ecosystem change and to understand the re-assembly of ecosystems in a warming Ocean. At present, this is specific valid for the pols, which are the fastest warming regions on earth. If important physiological functions of polar phytoplankton communities are under the control of an endogenous mechanism synchronized to seasonal changes in photoperiod (an invariant geophysical cycle), mismatches may occur between the over evolutionary time scales finely tuned interaction between microalgae occurrence and their predators.

Year-round observations of microbial biodiversity from 2016 to 2020 at three different locations in FRAM Strait and throughout the MOSAiC-drift (2020) in the Central Arctic Ocean revealed regular and recurring succession of co-occurrence algae community clusters each year, starting already in the polar night. Therefore, an endogenous clock might be involved in the timing of specific microalgae community occurrence observed at LTER Hausgarten.

Within this PostDoc-position we anticipate to elucidate the molecular background of the seasonal rhythmicity of microalgae communities in the Arctic and the underlying time-keeping mechanisms. This will be based on mining available time-series data and meta-genomes obtained as part of the FRAM-observatory and the MOSAiC drift study, as well as by using cultured algal species from the natural community in the Arctic isolated in upcoming FRAM-cruises in 2023 and 2024.


The postdoctoral scholar or scholars will apply bioinformatic or experimental approaches to this question depending on the interest of the candidate. Mining and analyses of Arctic marine year-round meta-genome and meta-transcriptome data sets (MOSAiC & FRAM) with special emphasis on deciphering the molecular background of the annual rhythmicity of Arctic marine microbial communities.


  • Master degree and PhD in Biology / Ecology (at the time of taking up the position)
  • Experience in molecular/ genetic analyses, bioinformatic analyses of large data sets, experimental work with microalgae
  • Knowledge in chronobiology
  • Excellent oral and written English skills,
  • Enjoy to work in an international community

The HIPP is explicitly meant to foster networking between marine institutions. We therefore offer the possibility to bring in additional complementary second advisors from institutions outside the HIFMB. HIFMB further strives for transformation and bridging the science-policy interface. Therefore, proven experience in transfer activities is a plus.

Further Information

The position will be financed for a fixed term of 3 years (100% TVöD E13, Jan 1 2024 to Dec 31 2026). This is a full-time position. It is also suitable for part-time employment.

We offer

  • An interdisciplinary research environment with expertise in experimental and field oriented marine ecology, data science, modelling, marine governance and political ecology.
  • Career development support through transdisciplinary workshops, seminars and mentoring at the Graduate Academy of Oldenburg University and AWI’s postdoc office PROCEED.
  • A lively international atmosphere and family-friendly environment.

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!

If you have any questions about your eligibility or the application procedure, please feel free to contact Ruth Krause ( If you have content-related questions, please contact Prof. Thilo Gross ( or Prof. Bettina Meyer (

The deadline for application is August 25th, 2023. Interviews are planned for the last 2 weeks of September 2023, in Oldenburg or online.

Applications include an extended motivation letter and your academic CV with a list of the most important publications (please use attached template). In your motivation letter, please explain the background and existing knowledge in the context of the announced Postdoc position.

Reference number: 23/70/G/HIPP-b

Further information about this opportunities, click here.