The Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) is a research institute located in Oldenburg. It researches marine biodiversity and its importance for the function of marine ecosystems. In doing so, it develops the scientific basis for marine nature conservation and ecosystem management. The HIFMB was founded in 2017 and is an institutional cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), and the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg.

Post Doc in Coral genomics and conservation genetics (m/f/d)


High human population densities on the world's tropical shores andchanging environmental conditions such as a warming global climate have had significantand detrimental impacts on coral reefs. Time is running out, and it is in ourbest interest to understand and protect these highly diverse ecosystems thatprovide important services to local and national economies. In fact, coralreefs are often considered the "medicine cabinet" of the 21st century andpromising natural compounds with a range of medicinal properties have beendiscovered in reef invertebrates and microbes.

In the Marine Conservation group at the HIFMB in Oldenburg ( use molecular techniques to answer fundamental questions about marineevolution and ecology to guide coral reef conservation efforts. The groupcurrently has two focus areas: coral physiology and symbiosis, and coralrestoration genomics.

Research at the HIFMB focuses on marine biodiversity and its importance for thefunctioning of marine ecosystems. We aim to develop sensitive strategies tomeasure and understand environmental and social processes that influence, orare influenced by, the change in biodiversity in marine systems, and to implementeffective means to define a scientific basis for marine conservation, marinegovernance, and ecosystem management efforts. HIFMB is a highlyinterdisciplinary research environment that currently brings together expertsfrom 18 countries who focus on contemporary yet distinct topics of research.Our growing research portfolio to understand marine systems at the HIFMB spansfrom molecular ecology to human geography, microbial metabolism to mathematicalmodeling and art. As a cooperation between the University of Oldenburg (UOL)and the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- undMeeresforschung (AWI), the HIFMB benefits from its access to a diverse set ofresources for cutting-edge research. The new building of the HIFMB, which isscheduled to start its service at the beginning of 2024, offersstate-of-the-art wet-lab and computational resources. The HIFMB is located inOldenburg, a city in Northern Germany, which is a region that is home to a largenumber of institutions dedicated to environmental and marine research. Inaddition to the AWI and the ICBM, the institutions with which the HIFMBresearchers regularly interact include the Max-Planck Institute for MarineMicrobiology in Bremen, the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) atthe University Bremen, and Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research inBremen.

You will take a leading role in current projects including the search for aglobal signature of heat resilience in reef-building corals, the role ofsomatic mutations in coral evolution and artificial selection of heat-resilientcorals. Projects are highly collaborative across several national andinternational research groups.


  • extract and sequence coral DNA and RNA
  • use bioinformatic tools to analyze coral DNA, RNA and protein data
  • assemble and annotate eukaryotic genomes
  • use population genomic approaches to estimate population structure, history and introgression
  • use quantitative genetic approaches to estimate responses to selection
  • model alternative conservation genetic strategies such as assisted gene flow and selective breeding
  • establish and maintain bioinformatic analysis pipelines
  • disseminate results in peer reviewed publications, presentations and data repositories
  • contribute to grant writing
  • collaborate and coordinate with an international and interdisciplinary research teams
  • supervise students.


  • Ph.D. in marine biology, bioinformatics, genetics, molecular ecology or related field; proficiency in at least one coding language (Python), and proficiency in R.
  • Disposition to work in laboratory and field conditions is important.
  • You must have the ability to plan, execute, interpret, document, and troubleshoot independent research and to collaborate effectively with other computational and experimental members of a diverse research team.
  • You will mentor junior members of the lab, contribute to the writing of manuscripts and grant reports, and communicate their science to peers and the public through presentations, writing, and digital formats.
  • Excellent organization, verbal and written English communication skills are required.
  • Professional development through the acquisition of new skills will be expected.
  • You will be an expert in generating and analyzing genomic data of reef-building corals such as genome assembly and annotation, population genomics, quantitative genetic, epigenetic and gene expression data.

Further Information

For any questions you may have, you are very welcome to get in touch with Prof. Dr Iliana Baums ( 49 471 4831 2536)

This is a full-time position, limited to 1 year. 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 Oldenburg.

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 characterized by

  • our scientific success - excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop - on the job and towards other positions
  • an international environment - everyday contact with people from all over the world
  • flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working up to 50% of regular working hours
  • health promotion and company fitness
  • support services and a culture of reconciling work and family
  • occupational pension provision (VBL)

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

Applicants with disabilities 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 July 30th 2024, exclusively online.

Reference number: 24/80/D/Bio-b

posted: 19 June 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.