PhD position "In vivo metabolomics on Polar cod"

PhD position "In vivo metabolomics on Polar cod"

Job Description


Job Title: PhD position "In vivo metabolomics on Polar cod"                                                                                                              
Accountable to:

The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)

Responsible for The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
Appointment: 2021

Location Bremerhaven, Allemagne
Overview of the lab
The AWI is characterised by:
  • scientific success - excellent research.
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.
  • opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.
  • a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world.
  • having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies – facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure
Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.
Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

Overview of the project:
Rapid warming of the Arctic threatens the habitat of a unique ecosystem by minimizing regions for successful reproduction. Resident species might not be able to cope with future temperatures. In case of rapid change, the species' potential for adaptation depends mainly on its phenotypic plasticity. One crucial aim of this project is the identification of the physiological mechanisms and metabolic pathways underpinning/underlying the interplay of behavioural, plastic and evolutionary strategies during fluctuations of, e.g. temperature. In vivo metabolomics by use of a unique set of state-of-the-art NMR techniques will be applied to assess phenotypic changes of Polar cod and their life history stages mirrored in their metabolite profiles. The in vivo metabolome will lead to direct information on the organism's energy status and its aerobic capacity, acid base regulation and the onset of anaerobic conditions in specific organs.

The position is part of our recruiting initiative AWI INSPIRES - INternational Science Program for Integrative Research in Earth Systems. AWI INSPIRES aims at strengthening our new research program “Changing Earth, Sustaining our Future”. Details about all open positions and the general application requirements can be found at

Overview of the lab:
We are a research group in comparative skeletal biology starting in the Zoology Dept at Trinity College. Our group mixes zoology, engineering/biomaterials, marine science and design approaches to study biology (e.g. using microCT, microscopy, material characterization, 3D printing). The funded work will involve collaboration with physiologists, roboticists and designers at other institutions, while benefitting from the organismal biology experience of the diverse and innovative Zoology department.


  • Master’s degree or diploma in a relevant area of biology, chemistry or physics
  • interest in investigations of ecophysiological research questions with state-of-the-art NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) methods
  • experiences in physiological or biochemical investigations of animals
  • readiness to perform experiments on live animals
  • excellent English language skills and enjoy working in an international and interdisciplinary team.


  • experience in magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy
  • experience with management and analysis of large data sets and appropriate statistics  

Application Process
Please submit your application, including (1) a letter of motivation, (2) CV and copies of relevant certificates (master degree; training), (3) two letters of recommendation or the contact information of two references and (4) a list of publications, by February 17th, 2021 exclusively online.

Apply here

Selected candidates will be invited to present their research ideas and motivation during the “Annual recruitment days”, planned from 01. to 23. April 2021 and expected to be online.

For further information, please contact Dr. Christian Bock (; +49(471)4831-2488).

The position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI's postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.