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.


Rising water temperatures in the Arctic regions has an enormous impact on the resident microbial communities that evolved under rather constant environmental conditions and adapted to maintain a clear rhythm in their growth phases and reproduction cycles to respond to the long and dark winter phases. Arctic habitats are increasingly more accessible to organisms that are adapted to temperate oceans due to the climate change, and their shifting biogeography predicts a major impact on the native communities and ecosystems in polar regions. Although, while organisms evolved in temperate conditions might better cope with Arctic environments due to the emerging temperature regimes, the dark winter phase with limited light will likely constrain their success. This could be compensated by adaptive changes along a potential trade-off in the resilience to temperature changes and the ability to grow in low light. While there are numerous studies investigating the impact of changing temperatures on the functioning of increasingly rich communities, mechanistic insights into genetic traits that are critical for a sustainable impact of the new residents of the Arctic on ecosystem functions and services are lacking.


The aim of this project is to investigate the influence of light spectral and intensity and duration combined with different temperature regimes on selected single algae (diatoms, haptophytes and Micromonas spp.), as well as complex communities. Under variable conditions we well measure physiological processes, such as growth rates, temperature response curves, photosynthetic performance (half saturation rates for light), and possible trade-offs thereof. Using functional genomics and metatranscriptomics, we will measure cellular and metabolic processes and adaptations that might constrain light or temperature stress, and we will benchmark these data with existing field metatranscriptomes (> 530) collected from different Arctic regions throughout the yearly cycles. We will use the generated data to feed mathematical models that simulate growth rates averaged over the varying light and temperature regimes in the course of the year, allowing us to project invasion ability and changing coexistence regimes ongoing with altered environmental conditions. The post-doc will also have the chance to conduct further experiments and collect additional field data on various field and ship expeditions that will run between 2024-2028.


  • PhD in Ecology, Evolution, Microbiology, or a relevant discipline
  • Skills in Ecophysiology, Biochemistry, and/or Bioinformatics. Interest in modelling or willingness to work with modellers is a plus.
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills.
  • Record of peer-reveiwed scientific publications in international journals.

The HIPP is explicitly meant to foster networking between marine institutions. We therefore offer the possibility for candidates bring in additional advisors from institutions outside of HIFMB. HIFMB further strives for transformation and bridging the science-policy interface. Therefore, 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 Dr. Uwe John ( and/or Prof. Dr. A. Murat Eren (

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: 23/74/G/HIPP-b.

Further information about this opportunities, click here.