PhD student in Freshwater Ecology at The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

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Multiple stressors affect the structural integrity of major stream compartments differently, which may alter the share of the pelagic, benthic and hyporheic zone to whole-stream nutrient uptake and may be one of the reasons for the persistently elevated nutrient emissions from catchments. With the interdisciplinary project “Linking catchment scale nutrient export to pelagic, benthic and hyporheic ecosystem functioning across stressor gradients“, we will study the link between compartmental- and whole-stream nutrient uptake and its biological and hydrological controls in order to predict and manage nutrient exports from catchments under human impacts.


The PhD will elucidate the role of benthic and hyporheic invertebrates in controlling compartmental and whole-stream nutrient cycling and how this is regulated by multiple stressors. The work includes additions of reactive tracers and isotopically labeled nitrogen during joint sampling campaigns in various streams of the Harz/Central German Lowland Observatory (, joint mesocosm experiments in our mobile experimental containers ( as well as calculating nutrient fluxes using various modelling techniques. This work will be done in close collaboration with three other PhD students from the fields of hydrology and biogeochemistry.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate holding a Diploma or M.Sc. in ecology, biology, or related sciences who is enthusiastic to integrate different fields of freshwater ecology in an interdisciplinary project. Applicants should be trained in sampling for and analysis of stable isotope data (δ13C, δ15N, δD), biostatistics and should have experience in conducting field and mesocosm experiments. Practical skills with the taxonomy of macroinvertebrates or hyporheic meiofauna are very much appreciated. A driving license is required. We expect the motivation to work in an interdisciplinary team of 4 PhDs as well as the capability to work independently.

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


Contact info:

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:

Dr. Mario Brauns
Phone +49 391 8109 140

E-mail Place of work: Magdeburg

Closing date for applications: May the 06th of 2018

Please use our online application system for your application:

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ

Permoserstraße 15 04318 Leipzig


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