The Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology is a research institute of the Max Planck Society. It was founded in 1992 in the State of Bremen and employs around 200 staff members. In close collaboration with numerous university and non-university research institutions, we explore the diversity and function of microorganisms in the ocean and their interactions with their environment. Scientists from all over the world, engineers, technicians and administrative staff together make an important contribution to global marine and environmental research.

In the Molecular Ecology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology microbiologists, molecular and computational biologists, and ecologists work together to understand structure and function of microbial communities in various ecosystems, including benthic habitats from coastal permeable sediments to deep sea hydrothermal vents and seeps – as well as pelagic environments – from the shelf to the open ocean. We use a wide array of mainly culture independent methods to characterize marine microbial communities that range from in situ field tools to molecular, ‘omics’ and microscopic analyses. For more information, please visit their website.

In the Molecular Ecology Group they are searching for a PhD Student (f/m/d)

The project in the field of hydrothermal vent ecology aims at the understanding of structure and function of free living microbial communities at hydrothermal vents. It is conducted in close collaboration with geologists, geochemists and oceanographers of the Cluster of Excellence “The Ocean Floor – Earth’s Uncharted Interface” at the University of Bremen. In particular, we are interested in the ecology of key organisms in hydrothermal plumes with a special focus on the contribution of microorganisms to trace metal complexation and utilization. It is planned that the candidate will conduct all tasks from sampling at deep sea hydrothermal vents, over biodiversity analysis, metagenome and metatranscriptome analysis, to a microscopic characterization of microbial communities using state of the art techniques.

What we expect from you:

  • A completed Masters degree in biochemistry, microbiology, or related fields
  • High interest in bioinformatic analyses
  • Basic knowledge of marine ecosystems, microbial communities, molecular techniques, R, sequence data analysis (taxonomic marker genes, metagenomics, -transcriptomics) and good scientific writing and presentation skills would be beneficial
  • Applicants should be fluent in English and enjoy working in an international and interdisciplinary team

What they offer:

The position is offered as a 3 years full-time appointment. The salary is according to the German system for public employees (E 13 TVöD Bund 65 % ).

The Max Planck Society strives for equality and diversity. We welcome applicants regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disabilities.

Are you interested?

Deadline is May, 28, 2023. Applications for this position will only be accepted via our online application portal. For further information please contact Dr. Anke Meyerdierks (, or follow this link.