PhD (m/f/d) in pelagic ecology and/or biogeochemistry (two positions)

Deadline: 6th February 2023

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10%) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences. Currently GEOMAR disposes over an annual budget of approx. 80 million € and has approx. 1000 employees.

The research unit Biological Oceanography of the research division 2: Marine Biogeochemistry is offering

Two PhD (m/f/d) positions in pelagic ecology and/or biogeochemistry

starting on March 1st, 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job Description

The successful candidates will investigate possible environmental impacts and co-benefits of ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) on plankton communities/ecosystems. The first PhD project will focus on OAE impacts on plankton community structure and functioning, including biodiversity, plankton productivity, biogenic calcification and food web interactions. The second PhD project will focus on biogeochemical processes, including carbon and nutrient cycling, secondary precipitation, and elemental (C:N:P:Si) stoichiometry. The two PhD projects will be interlinked and integrated in mesocosm and field experimentation conducted by our group, jointly with other partner institutions. We are seeking candidates with strong experimental skills, a desire to collaborate in large research groups and a broad scientific interest in pelagic ecosystem functioning and resilience to human interventions. The ultimate research objective will be to define the safe operating space for OAE applications in terms of environmental safekeeping.

The positions will be integrated in the newly launched project OCEAN ALK-ALIGN:Aligning ocean alkalinity for sustainable, safe and verifiable long-term CO2 removal, which will investigate the potential of OAE as a means for carbon dioxide removal. OCEAN ALK-ALIGN aims to close existing knowledge gaps by investigating three aspects essential for possible OAE implementation: (1) the efficiency and permanence of CO2 removal; (2) environmental safety; (3) monitoring and verification.


  • MSc in biological oceanography, marine biology, marine ecology, marine biogeochemistry or related fields
  • experience in experimental science
  • strong data analysis skills
  • effective communicator (English), especially scientific writing (publications)
  • academic excellence: critical, independent, creative
  • willingness to live and work abroad for 1-3 months/year to conduct experimental work
  • good team player

The candidates are expected to collaborate closely with other researchers in OCEAN ALK-ALIGN. Rapid publishing of research results and contributing to interdisciplinary publications, reports, and synthesis products is expected. Knowledge of carbon dioxide removal approaches, especially ocean alkalinity enhancement will be beneficial. Experience in working as part of a multidisciplinary team would be helpful.

The positions are available for a funding period of three years. The salaries will be 75% of full-time positions of class 13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. The positions are not divisible. Flexible working time models are possible in principle.

As a research group, we value diversity and inclusion and encourage academics from under-represented groups to apply. GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female scientists to apply.

GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please indicate in your cover letter which of the two positions your application relates to and submit your application for this post until February 6th, 2023 under the following link:

online application

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulation.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Prof. Ulf Riebesell (uriebesell(at)

However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword “ALK-ALIGN_pelagic”.

GEOMAR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). For further information please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application photos.