The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research ( in Bremen 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 sustainable use of tropical coastal systems.

The Working Group 'Carbon and Nutrient Cycling' at ZMT invites applications for a

PhD - Position

(Reference number: 82)

for the project TRAFFIC (Trophic TRAnsfer eFFICiency in the Benguela Current). The PhD - position with a term of three years is planned to commence on September 1st 2018 or asap.

TRAFFIC is an integrated, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research project with German, Namibian and South African partners. Overall objective of TRAFFIC is to broaden our knowledge on processes that drive the trophic systems of the northern and southern Benguela upwelling sub-systems (nBUS and sBUS) and associated feedbacks to fisheries and climate. The aim is to study the food web structure and its functional links, to analyse the trophic transfer efficiency (TTE), and the associated effects of the biologically mediated CO2 uptake. We hypothesise that a more efficient TTE increases the CO2 uptake in the sBUS, and that human induced changes in the pelagic food web structure favoured the CO2 emission in the nBUS. Results will be used to develop conceptual models of the BUS explaining how changes in ecosystem structure affect the biologically mediated CO2 uptake as seen in the two subsystems.

The position advertised here is part of the TRAFFIC sub-project 2 "Comparison of the biologically mediated CO2 uptake in the northern and southern Benguela upwelling system". Research work will be conducted in close cooperation with the National Marine and Information Research Centre in Swakopmund, Namibia (NatMIRC) and the Universität Hamburg, Germany.

Major project tasks are:

  • Participation in research cruises on German and African research vessels
  • Conducting longer research visits to our partner institutes in southern Africa
  • Analyzing the carbonate system and nutrients on board and in our research laboratories
  • Presentation of results in national and international working groups and scientific meetings
  • Publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals

Your profile includes:

  • Advanced university degree in marine or environmental science (biogeochemistry, biological oceanography, marine geology or physical oceanography with a biogeochemical background or comparable disciplines)
  • Experience in processing and analysis of biogeochemical data sets
  • Very good analytical skills
  • Laboratory working experience is preferred
  • Knowledge of Python is advantageous
  • Experiences in research cruises and research visits are welcome
  • High motivation and strong communication skills
  • Ability to work organized and independently in an inter- and transdisciplinary team
  • Highly proficient written and verbal skills in English

For additional information, please contact: Dr. Tim Rixen ( or Dr. Niko Lahajnar (

We offer:

  • An exiting working environment in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented institute and research project
  • Possibilities to build and extend an international professional network and participate in a research field of high public and scientific interest
  • A family-friendly work environment

The candidate will be on a three years Contract. Salary will be paid according to the German TV-L EG 13 (if the personnel requirements are fulfilled). The post will be filled as a PhD (66,6%) position.

ZMT is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants with a migration background are welcome. Handicapped applicants are especially considered if equally qualified for the job; a minimum of physical fitness, however, will be required because of travelling overseas and participating in research cruises.

Please send your application until September 1st 2018 as a single pdf file with the reference number "82 - TRAFFIC" to Mrs. Lena Oehlmann, E-Mail: Beyond that date, advertisement may remain open until a suitable candidate is selected.

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Fahrenheitstraße 6, D-28359 Bremen.

posted: 16 August 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.