PhD Position (m/f/d)
in the area of Marine Biogeochemistry

code no. 2019/KO 2
The place of employment is Geesthacht, Germany.

One scientific focus of the Institute of Coastal Research is the coastal observing system COSYNA (Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Seas) for the systematic observation and modelling of the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Arctic coastal waters. One current project is to determine the carbon budget in the German Bight, aiming at a better understanding of the processes governing the sinks and sources in this region. The German Bight is an example of a very dynamic shelf sea region, influenced by outflow from major rivers like the Elbe, exchange with extensive tidal mud flats and marshes within the Wadden Sea, and coastal processes acting on different time scales, such as winds, tides and the residual circulation of the North Sea.

We invite applications for a PhD position (m/f/d) in the research group In Situ Measurements at the Institute of Coastal Research with preferred starting date on May 1, 2019. The position is limited to three years with the degree being awarded through the University of Kiel. Within this research group we are operating an intensive monitoring program measuring different carbon parameters onboard of commercial vessels (FerryBox systems, and on targeted research cruises.

The tasks of the successful candidate will include:

  • analysis of existing datasets from the COSYNA coastal observing system, including the FerryBox data base and other sources
  • using newly developed autonomous sensors for measuring alkalinity and pH together with state of the art sensors onboard of commercial vessels (FerryBoxes) and on research cruises to capture the seasonal and spatial variability of carbon dynamics in surface waters of the North Sea
  • participation in research cruises
  • working in a multidisciplinary team within the institute and with external academic partners
  • scientific publications and presentations

Essential qualifications:

  • a Master's in oceanography, marine chemistry or biology, geosciences, mathematics or related discipline
  • knowledge of processing and interpretation of observational data
  • good programming skills (e.g. experience with Matlab, Python, R, C++, Fortran)
  • adequate academic publication record
  • excellent communication skills in English
  • high degree of creativity and flexibility

Desirable qualifications:

  • knowledge of biogeochemical and/or physical coastal and shelf sea processes
  • international research experience
  • experience analysing large datasets
  • experience with analytical techniques (e.g. total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon measurements)
  • research cruise experience
  • desire to acquire solid communication skills in German

For further questions please contact Dr Holger Brix ( or Prof Burkard Baschek (

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 promotion of equal rights is a matter of course for us. Severely disabled persons and these equal to severely disabled persons who are equally suitable for the position will be considered preferentially within the framework of legal requirements.