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PhD 4-1

PhD student position

The Plankton Ecology group at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl von Ossietzky University, is an interdisciplinary research institute located in Oldenburg and Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Within the German Science Foundation (DFG) research unit DynaCom (Spatial community ecology in highly dynamic landscapes: from island biogeography to metaecosystems), we offer a

3-year PhD position in Microalgal Ecology
E 13 TV-L, 65 %

starting January 2019.

In the project, we will investigate resource driven benthic microalgae - herbivore interactions in a spatial setting in a meta-community context in the Wadden Sea. In the first project phase, we will investigate temporal and spatial dynamics of microphytobenthos biomass and composition through different seasons at multiple locations in the field. These locations differ in hydrographic conditions that influence algal dispersal and resource availability. Small-scale laboratory experiments will assess consumer- and prey-specific traits determining trophic interactions (mobility, resource demand and acquisition, growth and grazing rates). Mesoscale mesocosm experiments will then serve to explicitly manipulate the spatial patterning of resources in an experimental landscape and determine resulting consumer-prey interactions. Experimental patterns will be compared and related to patterns observed in the field to enhance our understanding of bottom-up and top-down control of microphytobenthos in a spatial context.

We are looking for a candidate holding an outstanding academic university degree in Marine Environmental Science, Ecology or a closely related subject. The candidate must have a strong background in ecological principles and expertise in experimental ecology, statistical data analysis, and good writing skills. Additionally, experience in organizing and conducting experimental work in the field, in handling and culturing microalgae and in investigating trophic interactions involving nutrient dynamics is required. The successful candidate will be embedded in the working group 'Plankton Ecology' of the ICBM (Wilhelmshaven) and will be supervised by Dr. Stefanie Moorthi and Prof. Helmut Hillebrand.

Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken English, should have a strong interest in multidisciplinary research and great enthusiasm for scientific work, as well as good team spirit because a close cooperation with all working groups within this collaborative research effort is required.

The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increasing the percentage of female employees in the field of science and encourages applications from female candidates. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered in case of equal qualification.

Applications should be sent with all the usual documents (included in a single pdf file) no later than Sep 30, 2018 to Dr. Stefanie Moorthi (

If you have any questions regarding this job offer, please feel free to contact Dr. Stefanie Moorthi ( or Prof. Dr. Helmut Hillebrand (

Christina Oswald (Stand: 23.09.2018)