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 ice-core research / statistical data analysis (m/f/d)


Determining the magnitude of natural climate variability is necessary for predicting the plausible range of future climates and to test climate models. Knowing the relationship of natural climate variability on the mean climate state can provide insights into the mechanism controlling internal variability, and how they will behave in a warming climate. Ice-cores are a unique climate archive as they allow to resolve fast climate (e.g. interannual) variations across very long (>100000yr) time-periods. The candidate would investigate the variability water stable isotopes in ice-cores in Greenland and Antarctica and how the variability changes across time and climate states.
The project can rely on a detailed understanding of water isotopes in ice-cores implemented in a proxy forward model, in-house and published sets of ice-core data and simulations from an isotope enabled climate model.

The project will be associated with the ERC Starting grant SPACE (Space time structure of climate change) team that explores the spatial scale of climate variations and the PALMOD sub-project that explores the spectrum of climate variability in marine oxygen isotope records.


You will

  • Analyze local and regional, and ice-sheet wide variability of water isotope variations and their dependency on the mean climate state.
  • Account and potentially correct for proxy specific biases by combining arrays of ice-cores, forward modeling of the ice-core signal and the combined analysis of water isotopes and other parameters such as impurities.
  • Compare and integrate the results with terrestrial pollen based, marine proxy based and tree ring-based variability reconstructions and compare the results to simulations of an isotope enabled climate model.


  • A PhD in glaciology, physics, climate sciences, or a related field
  • Analytical and statistical skills
  • Proficiency in a programming language (preferably R or Matlab)
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken

Additional skills and knowledge

  • Experience with ice-core data is an advantage
  • xperience with time-series analysis in the time and spectral domain is 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 21/218/G/Geo-b

posted: 02 December 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.