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For department Experimental Limnology of IGB in in Stechlin-Neuglobsow (80 km north of Berlin) we are inviting in the frame of the Priority Programme of the German Science Foundation (DFG) entitled “Antarktisforschung mit vergleichenden Untersuchungen in arktischen Eisgebieten” (SPP 1158)  applications for the position of PhD Student in Aquatic Microbial Ecology for an immediate start.

The PhD student will work in the subproject Polar Parasites on molecular investigations of occurrence and diversity of fungal parasites of benthic diatoms in polar coastal regions in Antarctica and Arctic. Parasitic fungi are important drivers of pelagic phytoplankton dynamics, but yet it remains unclear whether they also affect benthic diatoms which form the base of polar coastal food webs. In this project we want to investigate biodiversity and ecological role of fungal parasites on food web structure and function, in particular taking current and future climate warming into account. This project will include field studies as well as cultivation of both host and fungal parasites for further experimental studies on the potential effects of global warming on host-parasite interactions in these temperature sensitive areas. The project is in close collaboration with the working group of Prof. Ulf Karsten at the University of Rostock who is an expert in diatom physiology and with Dr. Jonas Zimmermann at FU-Berlin who is an expert in diatom taxonomy. The advertised PhD position is therefore closely linked to both working groups within this project, aiming for a mutual stimulation between phytoplankton and fungal researchers.

Your tasks

  • Molecular analysis of fungal parasites
  • Cultivation of phytoplankton and fungal parasites
  • Perform field studies in cold climate
  • Perform experimental studies with phytoplankton-parasite model systems
  • Do extensive microscopic counting


Your profile

  • degree in microbiology or ecology/(bio-) mathematics or related disciplines
  • Knowledge in cultivation of alga and parasitic fungi
  • Expertise in microscopy and molecular tools, such as PCR, FISH, sequencing methods
  • Expertise in bioinformatics is beneficial
  • Background in experimental approaches in aquatic ecology


Our offer

Salary is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector (TVöD Bund) on a 65% level. The task is a fulltime position. Funding for this position is available for 3 years.
We foster your career development by providing qualification and training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life. Applicants are treated equally regardless of gender. Qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application with the usual documents (letter of motivation indicating research interests and experience, CV, certificates/references, publication list) by
28. February 2021. Please state the job reference number 12/2020 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at

Questions regarding the position can be directed to Hans-Peter Grossart by e-mail (


“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 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 (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.