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.

Post-Doc position in Physical Oceanography (m/f/d)


The Physical Oceanography section at AWI explores the importance of physical processes in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean for both the changing, coupled climate system and the polar ecosystems. Polar regions import heat from the mid-latitudes via ocean currents, which can have a strong impact on the sea ice cover. The Arctic boundary current (ABC) is the dominant circulation feature in the Arctic Ocean and the main conduit for warm Atlantic water (AW) toward the Arctic Ocean proper. On its way along the Eurasian continental slopes, the ABC exchanges heat and salt with the waters on the wide Eurasian shelves. These processes affect the vertical stratification within the ABC - representing an important control on the amplitude of upward ocean heat flux from the AW within the ABC toward the sea ice. Since observations have been scarce within the ABC, the timing, drivers and locations of the exchanges are far from being understood.

The position offered here is part of the BMBF-funded research project "The Changing Arctic Transpolar System" (CATS). CATS investigates the effects of the observed decline of the Arctic sea ice cover on the dynamics and heat budget of the ABC on different time scales and with different methodological approaches. Thereby, the shelf and shelfbreak processes occurring both in Laptev Sea and Northern Kara Sea are of key importance to our investigations.

Building on previously obtained, oceanographic data sets, one of the main tasks involves a synthesis of results from oceanographic long-term observations from the Siberian continental shelf and slope.


  • Process oceanographic data from a 2015-2018 mooring array covering the continental slope across the ABC north of Severnaya Zemlya and analyze it in terms of exchange warm water transport and modification processes.
  • Decipher the influence of physical process occurring in the Siberian shelf seas on the heat budget of the ABC by merging the above-mentioned mooring data with long-term observations in the area
  • Put the observed dynamics of ABC into a regional context by comparison with results from a high-resolution sea ice-ocean model (FESOM)
  • Lead and contribute to publications in peer-reviewed journals


  • PhD degree in physical oceanography or related fields
  • Strong background in ocean dynamics
  • Practical experience in the analysis of hydrographic and ocean current measurements from ship-lowered and moored systems
  • Very good programming skills
  • Very good command of English in writing and speaking (corr. to level B2/C1)
  • Willingness to join research expeditions in the polar oceans.

Desirable skills and knowledge:

  • Ideally experience in the analysis of climate reanalysis products,
  • Proven record of first-author publications (career stage-dependent),
  • Willingness to interact with an interdisciplinary science community

Further Information

For further information please contact Dr. Jens Hoelemann (, +49(471)4831-1983) or Dr. Markus Janout (, +49(471)4831-1981)

The position is limited to 16 months and is advertised subject to availability of funding, expecting starting date on 1 March 2020. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des ÷ffentlichen Dienstes (TV÷D Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

This characterizes us

  • 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 - audited, and even more than that.
  • 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 - freedom and responsibility.
  • exciting topics - also in technology, administration and infrastructure.

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy and we encourage 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".

We look forward to your application!

Please forward your application by December 19th, 2019 exclusively online.

Reference number 19/143/D/Kli-b

posted: 06 December 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.