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For the project "The influence of microplastic pollution on the outcome of host-parasite interactions (IMPACT)" we are inviting applications for a doctoral student position starting in spring 2023 with a duration of 36 months.

The doctoral project centres on the implications of microplastic (MP) pollution in the context of parasitic infections, using the water flea Daphnia and its various natural pathogens as a model host-parasite system. Given that parasitism is one of the most common lifestyles on earth and can play important roles in many evolutionary and ecological processes, we propose to incorporate interactions between host species and their parasites as important new ecotoxicological endpoints to better assess the ecological consequences of MP pollution. In order to assess MP effects on the outcome of host-parasite interactions and to understand the mechanistic drivers of potential changes and related upscaling effects, several lab experiments will be conducted. For example, we will test if MP-induced changes in host resistance are related to: immune priming (transcriptome), re-allocation of host resources (life-history traits), and modification of the host gut microbiome (metabarcoding or shotgun sequencing). The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working on evolutionary ecology of disease, microbiology, plankton ecology and modelling. The position is located at IGB in Berlin.

Your tasks

  • Designing and performing experiments with the water flea Daphnia and its various natural pathogens by using different concentrations of MP
  • Isolation and processing of RNA of Daphnia and DNA of its microbiome
  • Statistical analyses of life-history traits and bioinformatic analyses of DNA and RNA data
  • Publication of results in scientific journals and presentation at conferences
  • Working actively on a doctoral dissertation


Your profile

  • MSc or equivalent in Biology or related field
  • Demonstrated experience in experimental or molecular/genomic work
  • Ability to perform intense lab work (including micro- and mesocosm experiments, with an opportunity to join LakeLab experiment)
  • Strong statistics and/or bioinformatic skills
  • 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 researchers, and an attractive scientific working environment including excellent equipment and technical support. We foster flat hierarchies and active participation and offer a variety of training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life. Qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply.

The IGB is committed to diversity. We welcome every application, regardless of gender and gender identity, origin, nationality, religion, belief, health and physical disabilities, age or sexual orientation. Disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

This is a position with 3 years duration and a tentative start date of 01.04.2023 (or shortly thereafter). Salary is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector for doctoral research (65% TVöD). The working language at IGB is English.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application (letter of motivation indicating research interests and experience, CV, certificates, contact information of two potential referees; as a single PDF document) by 28.02.2023. Please state the job reference number 36/2022 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at Enquiries can be directed to Prof. Justyna Wolinska 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. Our research findings help to tackle global environmental changes. The IGB is a diverse and inspiring place to work and conduct research. We promote individual development at every career level. 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 Association, which connects 96 independent public research institutes in Germany.