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The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,400 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.
For section 3.7 Geomicrobiology (department “Geochemistry”), we are looking for a:

Postdoc in permafrost carbon microbiology (f_m_x)

Reference Number 6897

"MOMENT" project on integrated observational and modelling research on permafrost carbon and methane

We seek to hire a postdoc (30 months, preferably full time, 75% part time possible) in soil microbial ecology as part of the MOMENT project. The BMBF-funded MOMENT consortium will fill gaps in the process understanding of carbon cycling and greenhouse gas formation in northern latitudes using lab-based simulations, multi-scale greenhouse gas flux observations and modelling. The overall goal is to reduce uncertainties in future greenhouse gas projections of Arctic tundra environments. The postdoc will work in the “Microbial Carbon Cycling in the Climate System” group of Susanne Liebner affiliated with Section Geomicrobiology at the GFZ in strong collaboration with Universities of Hannover (Georg Guggenberger), Hamburg (Christian Knoblauch) and Cologne (Janet Rethemeyer).

Your responsibilities:

The successful applicant is encouraged to develop his/her project. This is a 30-month position starting in April (latest May) 2023. You are expected to establish lab simulations along temperature and moisture gradients, track active microbiomes through -omics and analyze greenhouse gases using in-house facilities. The main study site will be Disko Island, West Greenland. The position also requires field work in the summer and potentially one winter season. Field work is planned for some weeks in June and September, 2023 and potentially in April/May 2024 on Disko Island, West Greenland. We further look for someone with interest and experience in microbial cultivation and physiology. A specific focus of the project is on cultivation, genome assembly and annotation of aerobic and anaerobic methane oxidizers using inhouse bioinformatics pipelines, existing samples/enrichments from the Siberian Arctic and newly collected samples from Greenland.

Your qualifications:

Candidates are expected to have a strong background and interests in a combination of the following topics:

  • PhD in microbial ecology, biochemistry, bioinformatics or related fields
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • Strong publication record
  • Documented experience in analyzing NGS data (preferentially -omics) or related computational/statistical skills
  • Interest in microbial cultivation and physiology
  • Interest in supervision and proposal writing
  • Intention to develop as a researcher
  • Fluency in English

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Start date: April (latest May) 2023
Fixed-term: 30 months
Salary: The position is classed as salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)”. The salary group is determined on the basis of the Collective Wage Agreement and the respective personal qualifications.
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
Place of work: Potsdam

Have we piqued your interest?

If so, we look forward to receiving your application by 31st January 2023. Please use our online application form only.

Diversity and equal opportunities are integral components of our human resources policy. The GFZ actively promotes diversity and explicitly welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of ethnic and social origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion/belief, age and physical characteristics. Anyone who has been recognized as severely disabled, will be given preferential consideration in the event of equal suitability and qualification in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Code IX. If you have any questions, please contact our representative for the severely disabled at sbv[at]gfz-potsdam.de, who will be happy to assist you in the further application process. In case of further queries regarding gender equality, please do not hesitate to contact our Equal Opportunities Officer at gba[at]gfz-potsdam.de.

Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of conducting the selection procedure on the basis of Art. 6 para. 1 b, Art. 88 GDPR in conjunction with Art. 26 of the Data Protection Act for the State of Brandenburg. After completion of the procedure, application documents will be deleted in compliance with data protection regulations.

In case of any further queries relating to the field of activity, please contact Susanne Liebner either via email at susanne.liebner@gfz-potsdam.de or phone +49 (0)331-6264-28817. If you have any general questions about the application process, please contact our recruiting team at our phone number +49 (0) 331-6264-28787.

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