Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy; we therefore particularly welcome applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons are given priority where applicants are equally qualified.

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
Mrs Dr. Mechthild Schmitt-Jansen

Closing date for applications:

Place of work: Leipzig

Please use our online application system for your application.

More information about jobs at the UFZ:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

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The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The PhD-project is embedded in the joint German – French DFG-ANR-project ‘CLIMSHIFT’: Regime shifts in freshwater ecosystems exposed to multiple stressors by increasing temperature, fertilizers and pesticides.

PhD position (m/f)

Subject: Assessing the combined effects of multiple stressors (agricultural run-off and climate change) on aquatic plant communities

Project start: 1st May 2018; working time: 65% (25.35 hours per week), limited to 3 years.

Your tasks:

The aim of the DFG-project is a mechanistic understanding of combined effects of climate change and agricultural run-off (organic and inorganic pesticides plus nitrate) on shallow aquatic systems. We aim to investigate the complex interactions between different aquatic plant functional groups (microalgae and macrophytes) and related regime shifts in small aquatic systems. Therefore we will perform micro/mescocosm studies with communities of different complexity (benthic and pelagic primary producers and related consumers) and different stressor settings (individual and combined). Next to structural analysis of plant communities, we want to use functional and metabolic response factors to quantify ecosystem metabolism and dynamics and to identify critical thresholds of stressor interactions.

Your profile:

  • Master’s degree in hydrobiology, ecotoxicology, biology, environmental science or related subjects
  • Strong interest in aquatic ecology and the impact of multiple stressors including chemicals, nutrients and climate change
  • Experience in aquatic plant communities (periphyton and/or macrophytes)
  • Knowledge in running micro/mesocosm experiments under chemical stress
  • Good communication skills within the local and wider research team
  • Experience in data handling and multivariate statistics
  • Proficiency in English
  • The project requests strong collaboration with the international project partners. Extended research stays are scheduled at the IGB – Berlin and the Universities of Munich and Lorraine (Metz, France)

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13