Doctoral candidate (f/m/d)

Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung GmbH (ZMT), Bremen

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen is a member of the Leibniz Association, which is supported by the German Federal and State Governments. Through its research, ZMT contributes to developing strategies for sustainable use of tropical coastal systems.

As partner in the Excellence Cluster MARUM, ZMT opens a position a

Doctoral candidate (f/m/d)

(Reference number: 209-DFG)

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal (ZMT and University of Bremen) and Dr. Thomas Felis (University of Bremen)

The doctoral thesis project focuses on the reconstruction of environmental and paleoclimate dynamics in the Plio-/Pleistocene of the Red Sea with a focus on carbonate facies, in particular benthic and planktic foraminifers and coccoliths, and dust. The doctoral candidate will spend extended time intervals at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia for sampling and analyzing sediment cores; potentially, participation in research cruises might add to the portfolio. Analytical methods comprise core description, grain-size and compositional analyses including taxonomy and mineralogy.

Objectives of the project: (1) Reconstruction of oceanographic and climatic changes in the Red Sea as recorded in the sedimentary facies from sediment cores. (2) Description of the taxonomic spectra of microfossils (benthic and planktic) in the sediment cores. (3) Contribution to the overall paleoclimatic and palenvironmental reconstruction in the larger consortium with partners from KAUST and University of Hamburg.

Expected results: The project aims at providing comprehensive data of carbonate sedimentary facies in the near-coastal Eastern Red Sea to gain a better understanding of the dynamics and resilience of the carbonate despositional systems and their ecology under sea-level change, salinity fluctuations, and nutrient variations (dust). 


Applicants must hold a Master degree in Geosciences, preferentially in the field of carbonate sedimentology or foraminiferal taxonomy. Furthermore, candidates must have excellent skills in the application of sedimentological and petrographic methods, ideally with experience in processing tropical carbonates. We are looking for highly motivated students with good communication and scientific writing skills. A good level of written and oral English is required as well as great engagement for the project. The candidate is expected to represent the project on workshops and conferences. Willingness to conduct labwork and ship-based fieldwork in Saudi Arabia is mandatory. Please include a letter of motivation summarizing your background and expertise, explaining your interest in the topic of the project, briefly stating your research experience and interests and career goals (max. 1000 words).

Please contact Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal (hildegard.westphal(at)leibniz-zmt.de) for further information.

We offer:

  • An exciting working environment in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented institute
  • A highly motivated, solution oriented and inspiring group of colleagues
  • Embedding in a large consortium within the German Marine Science landscape
  • A family-friendly diverse working environment

The position should be filled from January 1st 2022. The contract will limited to 36 months. Salary will be paid according to the German TV-L EG 13 (66,6%). ZMT is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants with a migration background are welcome. Disabled persons with comparable qualification receive preferential status.

Please send your application until September 20th, 2021as a single pdf file with the reference number “209– DFG” to Ms. Lena Oehlmann, bewerbung(at)leibniz-zmt.de.

We will be happy to accept your documents without a photo.

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Fahrenheitstraße 6, D-28359 Bremen