Open position: Scientist for Coral Molecular Ecology and Physiology – Deadline 18 June 2023

Open position: Scientist for Coral Molecular Ecology and Physiology – Deadline 18 June 2023


High human population densities on the world’s tropical shores and changing environmental conditions such as a warming global climate have had significant and detrimental impacts on coral reefs. Time is running out, and it is in our best interest to understand and protect these highly diverse ecosystems that provide important services to local and national economies. In fact, coral reefs are often considered the “medicine cabinet” of the 21st century and promising natural compounds with a range of medicinal properties have been discovered in reef invertebrates and microbes.

In the Marine Conservation group at the HIFMB in Oldenburg we use molecular techniques to answer fundamental questions about marine evolution and ecology to guide coral reef conservation efforts.

The candidate will take a leading role in current projects including the search for a global signature of heat resilience in reef-building corals, the role of somatic mutations in coral evolution and artificial selection of heat-resilient corals. Projects are highly collaborative across several, national and international research groups.


  • conduct standardized heat stress experiments on reef-building corals in the field and in the laboratory to understand corals’ generalized heat stress responses
  • measure, analyze and model photophysiological responses of coral holobionts
  • construct and maintain instruments to measure coral physiology
  • construct and maintain coral aquaria
  • extract and sequence coral DNA and RNA
  • use bioinformatic tools to analyze coral DNA, RNA and protein data
  • integrate genomic and epigenomic datasets for analysis
  • collaborate and coordinate with an international and interdisciplinary research teams
  • supervise students


  • Ph.D. in marine biology or molecular ecology or related field with at least 1 year of relevant postdoctoral experience
  • You will be an expert in photophysiology of reef-building corals including fluorescent, photosynthesis, calcification and reflectance measurements of coral colony phenotypes, and able to integrate genomic and epigenomic dataset using molecular and bioinformatic tools such as biological network analysis.
  • Experience with aquarium experiments on corals in the field and in the laboratory and an AAUS SCUBA or equivalent scientific diving certification are required.
  • Disposition to work in laboratory and field conditions is important.
  • You must have the ability to plan, execute, interpret, document, and troubleshoot independent research and to collaborate effectively with other computational and experimental members of a diverse research team.
  • You will excel at mentoring junior members of the lab, contribute to the writing of manuscripts, and grant reports, and communicate their science to peers and the public through presentations, writing, and digital formats.
  • Excellent organization and verbal and written English communication skills are required.
  • Professional development through the acquisition of new skills will be expected.

Additional skills and knowledge

  • Spanish language skills
  • Experience with night diving and coral spawn collection
  • Experience with supervising students

Further Information

Please contact Prof. Dr. Iliana Baums (; 0471-4831-2536) for further information.

This full time position is limited to 3 years with the potential to become a permanent employment. 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 Oldenburg.

All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI’s postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.

The AWI is characterised by

  • our scientific success – excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation – intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop – on the job and towards other positions
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world
  • flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working up to 50% of regular working hours
  • Health promotion and company fitness with qualitrain
  • support services and a culture of reconciling work and family
  • Occupational pension provision (VBL)
  • Jobticket

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!

To apply please submit:

  • 2 page cover letter in English describing a) motivation to join the marine conservation group, b) description of past research, c) plans for future research, d) qualifications for the position
  • CV (include a brief description of your role in each peer reviewed publication)
  • 3 reference letters
  • transcripts
  • degree certificates

Please submit your application by June 18th 2023, exclusively online.
Reference number: 23/103/D/Bio-tt

Further information about this opportunity, click here.

via AWI
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