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.

Postdoc "Influence of temperature on zooplankton nutritional requirements" (m/f/d)


Despite years of research in the field of ecological stoichiometry and high awareness on the ecological implications of increasing temperatures, we still know very little on the interactions between zooplankton dietary needs and temperature. This topic will be addressed through cutting-edge laboratory experiments assessing the conditions that may promote nutrient limitation in various zooplankton groups over their operating temperature range, and by studying mechanistic relationships across trophic levels that take place in complex natural systems. Hence, we will assess the impacts of global and regional change on multiple organisational levels ranging from the individual, to the population, and community scale, and thereby provide a holistic assessment of bottom-up and top-down processes within planktonic food webs.


  • Conduct laboratory grazing experiments with microzooplankton and mesozooplankton; as well as mesocosm experiments with natural plankton communities
  • Investigate how zooplankton demands for energy and nutrients change with temperature
  • Analyse feeding preferences of zooplankton at different temperatures, and quantify the pressure exerted by zooplankton on different prey groups
  • Compute nutrient budgets by analysing nutrients recycled by zooplankton
  • Evaluate complex datasets, and present research results to experts and non-experts (scientific journals, conferences, workshops)


  • PhD degree in Ecology or Aquatic Sciences
  • Strong background in Aquatic Ecology/Marine Biology
  • Working experience with plankton ecology including plankton culturing
  • Strong team player skills
  • Strong communication skills in English language written and oral

Further Information

Please contact Dr. Cédric Meunier (; +49(4725)819-3143) or Prof. Dr. Morten Iversen (; +49 (0)421 218 65787) for further information.

This is a full-time position, limited to 2 years. It is also suitable for part-time employment. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Helgoland.

Postdocs have to register with AWI's postdoc office PROCEED, thereby gaining access to a set of tailor-made career development tools.

The AWI is characterised by

  • 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 - an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • 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 - facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!

Please submit your application by March 11th 2022, exclusively online.

Reference number 22/44/D/Bio-b.

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