The Leibniz Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Stable Isotope Research at Christian Albrecht University of Kiel is offering a position at the next possible date, limited to 30th April 2027, as

PhD student
in the frame of the DFG Emmy Noether Project "Quantification, Modeling, and Mapping of the "sea spray" effect in recent and archaeological environmental samples, animals, and humans from the Baltic and North Sea coast"

This is a temporary part-time position with 65 % of the weekly working hours of a full-time position (currently 25.155 hours/week). The salary depends on qualification and can be up to the class E13 (TV-L) of the German tariff for public employees.

Project Description

In the DFG-funded Emmy Noether project the "sea spray" effect, caused by marine aerosols, in the isotope signature of recent and archaeological environmental samples (plants, soil), animals and humans from the Baltic and North Sea coasts will be investigated by the analysis of stable and radiogenic isotope systems (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ26Mg, δ34S, 87Sr/86Sr) of various components (e. g. collagen, apatite, sulfate, α-cellulose), radiocarbon analyses and (trace) element/ion analysis. The resulting complex data will be interpreted with the aid of methods from the field of "machine learning". The investigation of recent samples allows quantification, modeling and mapping of the "sea spray" effect. In order to be able to correctly interpret the isotope signature of archaeological samples, the "sea spray" mechanism and the "sea spray" effect in the isotope signature of recent plants and mammals must first be understood in Phase I of the project. In Phase II, the knowledge gained during Phase I will be applied to archaeological finds. This will serve to predict the “sea spray” effect and to correct the isotopic fingerprints of archaeological samples.

Job Description/Duties

  • Independently perform the laboratory steps for the planned isotope analyses (excluding mass spectrometric measurements; δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ34S, 87Sr/86Sr, 14C) on modern environmental samples (plants, soil, water) and modern sheep wool
  • Collaboration in the establishment or adaptation of required laboratory protocols
  • Scientific evaluation of the collected data in order to identify the effects of sea spray induced physiological reactions on the isotopic fingerprint of plants and mammals
  • Presentation of the results at national and international conferences and publication in peerreviewed journals
  • Writing a doctoral thesis on the impact and mechanisms of the “sea spray” effect on the isotopic signature of modern samples near the coast


  • University degree (Master's degree) in natural sciences or in a field conducive to the duties.
  • Work experience in a scientific laboratory, as evidenced by relevant (under-)graduate courses, thesis, relevant internships, or similar qualifications.
  • Ability and willingness to work in an interdisciplinary manner.
  • Ability to work independently, reliably, accurately and in a structured manner, as well as the willingness to become familiar with new fields of research.
  • Good English language skills (B2 level or higher).
  • A high degree of self-motivation for scientific work.
  • Communication and teamwork skills.

Desirable qualifications are:

  • Work experience in an isotope laboratory or with isotope data (stable, radiogenic and/or radioactive isotopes) - in theory and/or practice.
  • Experience in the development or adaptation of laboratory protocols.
  • Basic biochemical knowledge and understanding of chemistry.

We offer

  • A salary based on tariff, including special annual payment, 30 days of vacation per year, and a company pension scheme with high additional payments by the employer
  • Opportunities for national and international interdisciplinary collaborations
  • An excellent multidisciplinary research environment at the University of Kiel and associated research institutions
  • Employee conditions in various facilities (e. g. canteen, university sports, job ticket)

The Christian Albrecht University of Kiel sees itself as a modern and cosmopolitan employer. We welcome your application regardless of age, gender, cultural and social origin, religion, ideology, disability or sexual identify. We promote gender equality. Women with equivalent qualifications, competence, and professional performance will be given preferences.
The Christian Albrecht University of Kiel also supports the employment of disabled persons. Persons with disabilities will, with appropriate qualification and aptitudes, be employed preferentially.

This advertisement is aimed equally at employees of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and external applicants. We expressly welcome applications from people with a foreign background.

We look forward to your detailed application. Please send your complete application including

(i) letter of motivation,
(ii) CV,
(iii) sample of your original academic writing, e. g., your thesis (Master’s thesis or equivalent) or your own publication (first authorship)
(iv) certificates and transcripts and
(v) two academic letters of recommendation (e. g. by thesis advisor, lecturer)

by 09th July 2024 (one PDF) to
Please use the keyword “Emmy Noether sea spray: PhD” in the subject line.

Dr. Andrea Göhring
Christian Albrecht University of Kiel
Leibniz-Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Stable Isotope Research
Max-Eyth-Str. 11-13, 24118 Kiel

Please note that applications containing only a CV are considered incomplete and will unfortunately not be considered.
As soon as the selection procedure will be finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation. Please refrain from submitting application photos.

For further information regarding the job profile please contact Dr. Andrea Göhring (