The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research ( in Bremen is an interdisciplinary institute focussing on the functions and services of coastal ecosystems in the tropics. ZMT is a member of the Leibniz Association, which is supported by the German Federal and State Governments. Through its research, ZMT contributes to developing science-based strategies for the sustainable use and management of tropical coastal systems.

The Department of Ecology contributes to the mission of ZMT by conducting research on the importance of biodiversity for the structure of, and processes in, tropical coastal ecosystems on different organisational levels from individuals to communities and ecosystems. They strive for a deeper understanding of interactions and interrelationships between specimens and species, as well as the effects of rising temperature, hypoxia or anoxia, acidification, overuse and misuse, on the physiology of organisms, on communities, and ecosystems and their services. Thus, the department produces key information for a sustainable management of coastal resources and ecosystem restoration.

Within the Department of Ecology, ZMT is searching for a

Workgroup Leader: Reef Studies

(Reference number: 42)

We are looking for a motivated and experienced senior scientist to establish and lead the new workgroup whose focus should include but is not limited to:

  • macro-ecological issues such as structures and processes in reefs and connectivity with other ecosystems;
  • the role of fluxes of energy and organic matter between reef systems and coasts and estuaries;
  • the impacts of direct or indirect human activities (e.g. pollution, eutrophication, physical damage, overfishing) on reefs;
  • the identification of key drivers and tipping points of the processes of change affecting reefs (e.g. sea level and temperature rise or water acidification);
  • the biology and particular ecological role of key reef species;
  • comparative approaches concerning different reef systems.

The workgroup is expected to also address topics related to conservation and restoration (of reef ecosystems). We expect the group to be closely linked to the other workgroups of ZMT across the departments.

Personal specification:

  • Doctorate in ecology or a related discipline and experience in reef-related research
  • Knowledge in taxonomy and physiology of reef-related species/groups
  • Experience in supervision of M.Sc. and doctoral students
  • Strong international publication record
  • Successful track record in project development, fund raising and financial management
  • Experience in underwater field work and relevant reef research methodologies
  • Advanced diving license, preferably a research diver license, otherwise the willingness and ability to get this license by participating in the training program of the ZMT Scientific Diving Centre

For enquiries about the position, please contact the head of the department Dr. Werner Ekau ( or the scientific director Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal (

This is a full-time position (based on the German salary group TV-L 14) to be filled for 5 years with the possibility to extend. The starting date will be as soon as an appropriate candidate is selected. ZMT is an equal opportunity employer. Physical ability (health condition) is required to conduct research in the tropics. Disabled persons with comparable qualifications will receive preferential status. ZMT offers a dynamic, interdisciplinary and international research environment and interesting, diverse, and challenging tasks in a family-friendly work environment.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their complete application including a curriculum vitae including publication list, history of third-party funding success, teaching and supervision record, a statement of motivation, and the contact information of two referees. Please email your documents as a single PDF file to Ms. Lena Oehlmann ( indicating the reference number 42 by 11 June 2017. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT) GmbH, Fahrenheitstraße 6, 28359 Bremen.

posted: 04 May 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.