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For the EU-Biodiversa project " Aquatic FUNgal biodiversity: developing knowledge and strAtegies to inform ConservaTION priorities and measures (FUNACTION)" with partners from Sweden, Estonia, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal, we are inviting applications for a postdoctoral position starting in April-May 2023 with a duration of 36 months

The postdoctoral project centres on the assessment of the positioning, performance, and effectiveness of existing priority areas for protecting aquatic fungal (AF) biodiversity and function across position in watershed, season, and mesohabitat via identification of spatio-temporal AF biodiversity and functional patterns and their drivers as well as comparison among different landscape units and protection status.

AF play pivotal roles in C-cycling, C-sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. CO₂, CH₄). ThusAF provide vital ecosystem services; they support primary production, water and soil detoxification, represent a crucial food source for higher trophic levels, serve as key actors in bioremediation processes, and, together with bacteria, they support the entire aquatic food webs. Yet, we fail to protect these organisms which has unpredictable results, potentially harmful, consequences for aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, we aim to assess taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity of AF in protected and non-protected areas (e.g. Natura 2000 and FFH areas) across Europe to improve efficiency of nature conservation measures. In cooperation with the FunAqua project we aim to assess AF diversity across Europe and beyond and develop molecular (including shot gun metagenomics) and bioinformatics tools, and build a comprehensive data bases for aquatic fungi. The successful candidate will join the “Aquatic Microbial Ecology” group, located at Lake Stechlin, ca. 80 km north of Berlin. 

Your tasks

  • Conducting field samplings and experiments to assess diversity and functionality of aquatic fungi
  • Develop and use bioinformatic tools to analyse amplicon as well as shotgun metagenomic sequences
  • Statistical analyses of fungal data from field sampling and lab experiments
  • Publication of results in scientific journals and presentation at conferences
  • Coordination with project partners for synthesis of spatio-temporal data on aquatic fungal diversity and functionality

Your profile

  • PhD or equivalent in Bioinformatics, Biology or related field
  • Demonstrated experience in molecular/genomic work 
  • Ability to perform advanced bioinformatic analyses
  • Strong statistics and bioinformatic skills
  • Programming skills are highly beneficial
  • Collaborative team-worker
  • Good communication skills in English, including scientific writing

Our offer

We offer an exciting position in an international and dynamic team of researcher, and an attractive scientific working environment including excellent equipment and technical support. We foster flat hierarchies and active participation. Your career development is fostered by qualification and training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life. The IGB is committed to diversity. Qualified women and qualified individuals of minority groups are particularly encouraged to apply. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

This is a full-time position with 3 years duration and a tentative start date of 01.04.2023 (or shortly thereafter). This position is generally suited for part time work. Salary is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector for postdoctoral research (100% E13 TVöD Bund). The working language at IGB is English.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application with the usual documents (letter of motivation indicating research interests and experience, CV with publication list, certificates, contact details of at least 2 referees) by 15.02.2023. Please state the job reference number 38/2022 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at Enquiries can be directed to Prof. Hans-Peter Grossart at


“Research for the future of our freshwaters” is the mission of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). The IGB is Germany’s largest and one of the leading international research centres for freshwaters. We seek to understand the fundamental processes governing freshwaters and their communities. The IGB is a diverse and inspiring place to work and conduct research. We promote individual development at every career level and stand for lively exchange and cooperation. With more than 350 employees and guests from all over the world, we conduct research at five locations in Berlin and at Lake Stechlin (Brandenburg). IGB closely collaborates with numerous national and international universities and other partners in science and society and is a member of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft, which connects 97 independent public research institutes in Germany.