Postdoc position: Ecosystem reassembly and multi-species recruitment, HIPP Pos #3 – Deadline 25 August 2023

Postdoc position: Ecosystem reassembly and multi-species recruitment, HIPP Pos #3 – Deadline 25 August 2023


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.


Marine benthic communities like coral reefs, oyster reefs, seagrasses, kelp forest and even mangroves all have in common that they depend on recruitment of planktonic propagules to the benthos. Under climate change, the condition of the benthos changes and may no longer attract recruits or may not longer allow recruits to survive. Lack of recruitment is now a major threat to the survival and adaptive capacity of coral reefs. The deterioration of the benthos and resulting loss of settlement substrate may be due to changes in the microbiome of or complete loss of foundation species such as crustose coralline algae (CCA), resulting in the presence of other species better able to survive under the new conditions (such as fleshy algae or cyanobacteria that thrive under eutrophication). Yet, amelioration may be achieved due to a multitude of biotic (competitors, predators) and abiotic (low light, high plankton abundance) conditions.


The postdoctoral scholar will consider how coral ecosystems reassemble when recruitment of foundation species fails and what, if anything, can ameliorate the deterioration of recruitment conditions. The focus should be on experimental approaches but may also include meta-analyses of existing data and theory.


  • PhD in Molecular, microbial or chemical Ecology, Ecology, Oceanography or related fields.
  • Ability to work in field conditions.
  • Experience in conducting aquarium experiments.
  • Proficient in using molecular and bioinformatic tools to analyze gene expression, genomic and/or metagenomic data OR
  • Proficient in gathering and interpretation of physiological or chemical data.
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Excellent English written and oral communication.
  • Record of scientific publications.

The HIPP is explicitly meant to foster networking between marine institutions. We therefore offer the possibility for candidates to bring in additional advisors from institutions outside of HIFMB. HIFMB further strives for transformation and bridging the science-policy interface. Therefore, proven experience or interest 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. Iliana Baums ( or Prof. Peter Schupp (

The deadline for application is August 25th, 2023. Interviews are planned for end of September 2023 /beginning of October, 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: 23/73/G/HIPP-b.

Further information about this opportunities, click here.

via AWI
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