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.

PhD Position “Analysis of ecological time-series using mathematical Tools” (m/f/d)


In 1999, the Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research established the polar marine LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) observatory HAUSGARTEN in the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard, to detect and track the impact of large-scale environmental changes on the marine ecosystem in the transition zone between the northern North Atlantic and the central Arctic Ocean. Multidisciplinary investigations are carried out at more than 20 permanent sampling sites in water depths ranging between 250 m and 5500 m and cover major parts of the polar marine ecosystem. Measured parameters encompass a broad range of data from remote sensing data for sea-ice coverage and primary production, variations in the hydrography, variations in sea surface temperature, and transport processes of organic matter to the deep sea and the effects of those changing processes on marine communities ranging from bacteria to megafauna. The main goal of the project is to statistically combine the data of the numerous parameters studied in such a way that direct or indirect dependencies between these parameters can be derived using mathematical and advanced statistical methods.


Major tasks of the project are the

  • Statistical analysis of the time-series component using Dynamic Factor Models in combination with statistical change point detection to identify time periods of biological or climate regime shifts
  • Application of Copula Models to investigate special dependencies and structures
  • Amalgamation of key findings of the two previous tasks and application on high-resolution remote sensing spatial data to interpolate parameters sampled with lower spatial resolution and frequency


  • a Master in Mathematics, Data Science or a or a related discipline
  • a solid background in statistics
  • profound skills in time-series analysis and pattern detection methods
  • programming skills are desired
  • true motivation to work with different disciplines of climate and ecological sciences

Further Information

Please contact Dr. Thomas Soltwedel (+49 (0) 471 4831-1775; and/or Dr. Ingo Schewe (+49 (0) 471 4831-1737; for further information. This position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des offentlichen Dienstes, TVoD Bund), up to salary level 13 (100%). The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

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, 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 April 6th 2022 exclusively online.

Reference number 22/62/D/Bio-b.

posted: 21 March 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.