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.

The Geosciences Department, section Marine Geology, is looking for a

Postdoctoral researcher in the field of paleoenvironmental
reconstructions in the Southern Ocean

starting in April/May 2018.


The Helmholtz Excellence Network "The Polar System and its Effect on the Ocean Floor" between the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the proposed Cluster of Excellence "The Ocean Floor - Earth's Uncharted Interface" at the University of Bremen, aims at strengthening and broadening the scientific cooperation between both partners. One of the projects of the Excellence Network will focus on Polar climate sensitivity and response in a warmer world: Antarctic ice-sheet melting, sea-ice and sea level changes. Understanding the dynamics of warm climate states has gained increasing importance in the face of anthropogenic climate change. In recent decades, temperatures in the Polar Regions are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth. One of the main pressing questions related to future warmer climates concerns the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) to increasing ocean and atmospheric temperatures. Understanding the interaction between AIS dynamics, changes in sea level, ocean temperature and sea ice during the last 200 years and the Last Interglacial (LIG) requires different expertise, which ranges from ice-sheet and earth modelling to sea-level and paleoceanographic proxies. The overarching aim of this project is to assemble a multidisciplinary team at AWI and MARUM that will specifically study these interactions and feedback mechanisms.


You will work towards generating a database of proxy information on sea surface (and subsurface) conditions during the last ca. 200 years and the LIG from marine sediment cores collected around Antarctica. These reconstructions mainly base on organic geochemical biomarker analyses complemented by micropaleontological and sedimentological data.

You will work in a multidisciplinary team of geoscientists, organic geochemists, paleoceanographers as well as climate modellers. We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher who has a strong background and interest in biomarker lipid analysis and in assessing the often complex interactions in the ice-ocean-atmosphere system during past climate shifts. Laboratory tasks mainly involve the geochemical extraction of sediments and purification of lipid fractions, GC-FID, GC-MS and HPLC-based identification and quantification of specific biomarker lipids indicative of a former sea ice cover (highly branched isoprenoids), ocean temperatures (GDGTs), terrestrial organic matter input (n-alkanes) and primary productivity (sterols).


  • PhD in geosciences, marine (organic) geochemistry, paleoceanography or a closely related discipline
  • strong background in geochemical sediment analyses (ideally in the field of organic-geochemical lipid analyses; gas chromatography-mass spectrometry)
  • experience in sedimentological and micropaleontological analyses
  • high degree of motivation and self-contained research, presentation and publication of scientific data
  • proven track record of high-ranking publications in international scientific journals
  • fluency in English and good communication skills
  • ability to work well in a team environment

For further information please contact Dr. Juliane Müller (

The full-time position is limited to 1 year with an anticipated prolongation for another 2 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund) up to salary level 13, based on qualifications and transferred tasks. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

We offer you a multi-disciplinary, international, and fascinating professional environment with flexible working hours, state-of-the-art research equipment, and a first-rate infrastructure. AWI aims to increase the number of women in the scientific staff and therefore encourages women to apply. Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family through various means. Because of our engagement in the area of work-life compatibility we have been awarded the certificate "Career and Family".

Please forward your applications with the standard documentation (CV including publication list, letter of motivation, name and address of two references) by 8th March 2018 referencing code 12/D/Geo to: Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Personalabteilung (human resources), Postfach 12 01 61, 27515 Bremerhaven/Germany (or by e-mail (all documents merged into a single PDF file) to:

posted: 04 January 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.