PhD student Antarctic phytoplankton ecology / physiology

awiProject description
The EcoTrace project aims to better understand how global change will impact the ecology and biogeochemistry of Southern Ocean phytoplankton. The increase in atmospheric CO2 has already caused significantly higher aquatic CO2 concentrations and lower pH values (‘ocean acidification’) compared to pre-industrial times. Rising temperatures will impact surface ocean stratification, which in turn may alter the mixing and light regime experienced by phytoplankton. The focus of the present PhD project will be to elucidate how the environmental factors CO2 and light govern Southern Ocean phytoplankton productivity and community structure. The PhD researcher will study the impact of these two environmental factors in laboratory experiments with selected key phytoplankton species as well as during an expedition to the Antarctic by conducting shipboard manipulation experiments with natural phytoplankton assemblages simulating different climate change scenarios. The performance of species competition experiments is also planned to investigate how resource limitation and species interactions may affect Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities.

Essential requirements of the candidate
The successful candidate should hold a Master or comparable degree in biology, marine biology or environmental sciences. Ideally the candidate has experience in:

culturing of marine phytoplankton
laboratory work
knowledge of seawater carbonate chemistry
applying methods in plant physiology
participation in sea-going expeditions

The candidate should be highly motivated and have the ability to work in a small, closely cooperating team. The candidate should be willing to participate in a field expedition to the Antarctic onboard of RV Polarstern. Furthermore, good communication and English language skills (spoken and written) are expected.

General information about the position
The position is limited to 3 years and will start in September 2013. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst des Bundes, TVöD, salary level 13 (66%). As the EcoTrace project is a collaborative project between the AWI and the University of Bremen, the successful candidate will work at the AWI in Bremerhaven as well as at the university in Bremen. The PhD student will be supervised by Dr. Scarlett Trimborn (AWI/University of Bremen) and co-supervised by Prof. Kai Bischof (Marine Botany, Bremen Marine Ecology, University of Bremen). She/He will obtain the opportunity to subscribe to the graduate school POLMAR of the Helmholtz Association. For further information please contact: Dr. Scarlett Trimborn ( scarlett.trimborn@awi.de).

Handicapped applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority; please consult our homepage at http://www.awi.de/en/news/open_positions/. The AWI supports the compatibility of work and family through various means and offers nursery places at its Bremerhaven site.

To apply for the position, please cite the code 59/D/Bio and send your application (detailed CV including a list of publications, an abstract of the MSc thesis, a motivation letter and the names and contact addresses of two references from which information can be obtained) by July 10th, 2013, to: Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Personnel Department, P.O. Box 12 01 61, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany or by email (all documents merged into one PDF file, 2MB max.) to: Personal@awi.de ( http://www.awi.de). l@awi.de ( http://www.awi.de).