PhD position – Marine Biogeochemistry – Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology

The Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany, invites applications for a PhD position in our Biogeochemistry Group. Research in the Biogeochemistry Department focuses on microbiological and geochemical processes that control bioactive element cycling in the marine environment. This position is offered as part of the Collaborative Research Center Sonderforschungsbereich 754 «Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean», within subproject B4 (

Research topic: Nutrient cycling in oxygen minimum zones

Oxygen minimum zones (OMZ?s) account for around one third of nitrogen (N) loss from the oceans, despite comprising only 0.1% of the total ocean volume. Considering that OMZ?s are likely to expand in the future as a result of anthropogenic climate change, it is extremely important to understand the regulation and drivers of microbial processes that cycle N within them. The PhD position offered here will focus on N loss, nutrient regeneration and specifically the role of particle associated micro-niches, a relatively understudied topic in this region. This work will be tightly coupled to sea-going research, off the coast of Peru in the eastern tropical south Pacific OMZ. The approach will combine cutting-edge techniques including 15N incubation experiments, mass spectrometry, oxygen measurements (optodes and microsensors) and single cell analyses, ideally the PhD candidate should have prior experience in some of these areas.

Enthusiasm to carry out sea-going research will be essential, and good English skills (written and oral) are required. The applicant should hold a Master of Science (or equivalent) degree in a related area.

The position is offered for 3 years, and the salary will be according to the German system for public employees. The Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology is an equal opportunity employer.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more people with disabilities, and also seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are currently underrepresented. We therefore particularly encourage applications from these groups.

Please send a CV and a brief letter of motivation (max. 250 words). The complete application must be e-mailed as a single pdf file by clicking on the »APPLY» button. Applications are accepted until filled. The starting date is scheduled to be September 2016.

For further information please contact Dr. Laura Bristow (

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