The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics, thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

Postdoc in tree-ring research / tree ring data analysis (m/f/d)


The ERC Starting grant SPACE (Space time structure of climate change) explores the spatial scale of climate variations. Whereas fast variations such as "weather" are regional, glacial-interglacial cycles appear to be globally coherent. Knowing the spatial structure provides the prerequisite for mapping past climate changes and allows a clearer separation of internal and external forced climate variability.

We are searching for a postdoc candidate, ideally an expert in dendrochronology, to complement our team working on sediment cores, ice-cores, and pollen records as well as statistical climate models and proxy forward models to quantify natural climate variability. The candidate would infer the spatial structure of climate variability on interannual to centennial timescales from a global network of tree ring records.


You will

  • Analyze local, regional, and global variability of tree ring parameters and estimate the spatial scale of climate variations.
  • Account and potentially correct for proxy specific biases such as growth trends, biological memory and seasonality
  • Compare and integrate the results from tree ring data with terrestrial pollen based and marine proxy based climate reconstructions.


  • A PhD in geo-sciences, physics, climate sciences, or a related field
  • Analytical and statistical skills
  • Experience with reconstructing climate variations from tree-ring chronologies and analyzing large scale tree-ring datasets
  • Proficiency in a programming language (preferably R or Matlab)
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken

Additional skills and knowledge

  • Detailed knowledge on the quantitative characteristics of tree-ring chronologies, chronology development and tree ecology are an advantage

Further Information

Please contact Prof. Dr. Thomas Laepple (;
+49(331)288-2159) for further information.

This is a full-time position, limited to 2 years. 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 Potsdam.

Postdocs have to register with AWI's postdoc office PROCEED, thereby gaining access to a set of tailor-made career development tools.

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, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI
  • a culture of reconciling work and family - an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • our outstanding research infrastructure - ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more
  • an international environment - everyday contacts with people from all over the world
  • having an influence - fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies - facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants 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!

Please submit your application by December 31st 2021, exclusively online.

Reference number 21/213/D/Geo-b

posted: 18 November 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.