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The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) invites applications for a PhD position on “Ecohydrological sources of urban moisture re-cycling and atmospheric cooling”. There is still a lack of knowledge of spatial variability in evaporation and transpiration from urban areas and crucially, where this water is sourced from, particularly in urban green space. This doctoral thesis will use isotope-based approaches to enhance our understanding of ecohydrological fluxes at multiple spatial scales. By monitoring temporal changes in the isotopic composition in urban rainfall, atmospheric vapour, subsurface water and plant xylem, a quantification of urban water partitioning can be achieved. The doctoral researcher will utilise field-deployable analysers for direct in-situ monitoring of the isotope composition of soil water, plant xylem and evaporated moisture. This will help understand what types of land cover best enhance moisture fluxes back to the atmosphere, and the density and type of vegetation cover needed to have a significant cooling effect, whilst not compromising groundwater recharge. Funding has been secured for 3 years. We seek dynamic, motivated applicants. There will be a close collaboration with project with project W6 and the University of Aberdeen. The position is part of a graduate school funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the Research Training Group “Urban Water Interfaces” (UWI).

Your profile

  • Very good degree (Master or equivalent) in hydrology, environmental science, geosciences, environmental engineering, or a related field.
  • Fluency in English is a requirement
  • Experience in advanced field techniques in ecohydrology, in statistical analysis and numerical modelling, and GIS methods.
  • Experience in environmental tracer applications might be advantageous.


Our offer

We offer an interesting position in an international and dynamic scientific environment. We foster career development by providing qualification and training opportunities. The reconciliation of work and family life is actively supported. Qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications will be treated equally, independent of gender. Severely disabled persons with equal qualification will be given priority. This is a fixed-term position. Salary is paid according to the German salary scale for the public sector (TVöD Bund). The working language at IGB is English.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your complete application including a letter of motivation indicating research interests and experience and the project key W4, your CV including 2 references, a letter of recommendation, Bachelor and Master certificates, and your Master Thesis. Application deadline is 28th Feb 2021 and continue until the position has been filled. Please upload your application in a single PDF file on the UWI online application platform at
Enquiries can be directed to Prof. Doerthe Tetzlaff,


“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 an internationally leading research centre for freshwaters. We seek to understand the fundamental processes governing fresh waters and their communities. Our research findings help to tackle global environmental changes and to develop measures for sustainable water management. 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 north of the city. 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.