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 student physical oceanography (m/f/d)


The tasks of the PhD project are embedded within the German Science Foundation Collaborative Research Center "Arctic Amplification" project C03-AWI which is a collaboration with the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University Bremen. The PhD project will be done within the Phytooptics Group of the section Physical Oceanography of the Polar Seas. It shall be investigated how the change of surface water components, such as coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and phytoplankton respond and feedback to the Arctic Amplification.


Coupled ice-ocean-biogeochemical modelling shall be used to assess the radiative feedback of changes in the distribution of phytoplankton and colored dissolved organic matter during Arctic Amplification. Specifically, the variability and change of these two compounds and their role in the formation of aerosol precursor substances shall be investigated for the last 30 years within the Arctic Ocean. The model adjustments will be based on incorporating knowledge gained from the combination of field and satellite data. Model runs shall be analyzed in order to quantify the impact of indirect effects of changing surface water biogeochemistry on atmospheric radiative forcing via aerosol precursor emissions. The work also involves strong collaboration with other projects (B4, D2) from the collaborative research center "Arctic Amplification".


  • M.Sc. degree or equivalent in physics, oceanography, environmental physics or meteorology with a grade point average better than B (English grade) or 2.0 (German grade),
  • good programming skills in at least one high level programming language and experience with big data analysis,
  • team skills in a multidisciplinary environment,
  • good command of English in writing and speaking (level B2)

Desirable skills and experience

  • knowledge within the following fields: physical and biological oceanography, marine optics, numerical modelling

Further Information

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Astrid Bracher (, +49(471) 4831-1128).

The position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%).

The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

As Ph.D. student at AWI you will be member of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research 'POLMAR' ( or another graduate school.

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 Freburary 26th, 2020 exclusively online.

Reference number: 20/10/D/Kli-b

posted: 23 January 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.