Given the increasing pressure from human use and climate change, the sustainable management of the North Sea is an urgent challenge for society. To make this possible, the comprehensive understanding of the North Sea ecosystem is a priority. Knowledge of the state of biodiversity and key characteristics of important species are essential for Natura 2000. Existing high-resolution biodiversity data sets, such as at Helgoland and Sylt Roads, provide research and management bodies with a unique basis for assessment of the impact of multiple stressors on key food web components such as phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish. The long-term acquisition of ecological information is an effective means to separate natural and anthropogenic processes and to identify relevant drivers over long time periods.

In this project, you will:

  • focus on long-term shifts in species composition and functional properties of plankton in connection with resiliencies to stressors such as temperature, nutrients, and salinity shifts and extreme events
  • compare observed events and their impact on species composition and organismal functional traits with long-term data
  • use the knowledge gained to forecast future scenarios.

This work will help provide a basis for recommendations for management strategies.


  • PhD degree in Ecology or Aquatic Sciences
  • strong experience using multivariate statistics
  • expertise in trait-based modelling would be an asset
  • knowledge of plankton ecology
  • good publication record
  • strong team player skills
  • strong cooperation and communication skills in the English language, both written and oral.

Further Information
For further information, please contact Prof. Karen Wiltshire (, +49(4651)956-4112).

This is a full-time position, limited to 3 years, expected starting date  1st January 2021or soon thereafter. 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 List (Sylt).

Postdocs can register with AWI’s postdoc office PROCEED, thereby gaining access to a set of tailor-made career development tools.
The AWI is characterised by

  • our scientific success – excellent research.
  • collaboration and cooperation – intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.
  • opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.
  • a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world.
  • having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies – facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.
Disabled applicants 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 forward your applications with the standard documentation (letter of motivation, CV, references, publication list if applicable) by December 16th 2020 exclusively online.
Reference number 20/144/D/Bio-b


Leave a Reply

error: Alert: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: