PhD Position (m/f/d)
in numerical modelling of mercury bio-accumulation in the marine food web

code no. 2018/KS 11
The place of employment is Geesthacht, Germany.

As part of our chemical model development team the PhD student will take part in the further development of our multi-media chemistry transport modeling framework. The aim of the PhD is to identify key processes and functional groups that determine the bio-accumulation of mercury species in marine ecosystems and to implement them into the ecosystem model.

We are a diverse group including researchers with a background in physics, chemistry, biology, oceanography, and environmental sciences. We offer a high degree of freedom for creative students willing to invest their time. An ideal candidate should be eager to delve into an inderdisciplinary environment and be comfortable to work or to learn working with a high performance computing platform. The PhD will be done in cooperation with the University of Hamburg and the candidate will be enrolled in the SICSS graduate school over the course of their studies.

The duration of the position is 36 months.

Your tasks include:

  • research of existing datasets from environmental monitoring and laboratory studies
  • development of conceptual models for bio-accumulation and their implementation into three dimensional numerical models
  • application of the numerical model to simulate current and future bio-accumulation of pollutants in the marine environment
  • work as an integrative part of a motivated multidisciplinary team within the institute and external academic partners
  • scientific publication and presentations at international conferences

Job requirements:

  • a strong background in biology, oceanography, chemistry or other geosciences or environmental sciences
  • willingness to step outside your field of expertise and to gain the necessary skills in order to work on a multidisciplinary project
  • basic experience in using Unix/Linux
  • scientific programming skills, especially with FORTRAN are preferable
  • good knowledge of English (written and oral)
  • high degree of creativity and flexibility; ability to work under pressure
  • good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team of various fields of geosciences

For further questions please contact Dr. Johannes Bieser (

We offer:

  • multinational work environment with over 950 colleagues from more than 50 nations
  • extensive options of vocational training (i. a. expert seminars, language courses or leadership seminars)
  • flexible working hours and various models to ensure the compatibility of family and career
  • excellent infrastructure, including a scientific in-house library as well as modern work spaces
  • remuneration according to the standards of the collective wage agreement TV-AVH including further social benefits

The advancement of equality at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht goes without saying; in particular, we are striving to increase the percentage of women in the science sector. Severely disabled persons with equal qualifications will be considered preferentially within the framework of legal requirements.