Postdoc, Paleoceanography/Paleoclimatology Southern Ocean - Bremerhaven, Germany

The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics, thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

Within Dustlron, a project funded by the "AWI Strategiefond", applications are invited for a Postdoctoral research scientist for "Changes in dust fluxes and paleoproductivity across the past glacial/interglacial cycles in the Southern Ocean".


The position is limited to three years, starting 1 April 2019. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven, Germany.


The position is based at the division "Geosciences", section "Marine Geology", within the framework of the research project Dustlron "Southern Ocean Dust and Iron Fertilisation". The Southern Ocean (SO) has long been recognized as a key player in regulating atmospheric COz variations and hence global climate. Here, the biological utilization of nutrients regulates the preformed nutrient inventory for most of the deep ocean and, therefore, the global average efficiency of the biological pump.

Marine sediment records from the Subantarctic Atlantic and Pacific document that higher dust flux, increased bioproductivity, and lower atmospheric CO2 covaried on glacial/interglacial time scales, which has been associated with iron fertilization. The main objective of Dustlron is an improved characterization of the modern and past dust cycle and its link to SO iron fertilisation and atmospheric CO2 through a closely coupled novel data-model approach.

On the data side, Dustlron will substantially extend the available geographic coverage of modern dust deposition/provenance and marine productivity records as well as the spatial and temporal variability during past glacial-interglacial cycles across all SO sectors. Together with national and international collaboration partners, the Postdoc will provide currently non-existent comprehensive sediment data for dust fluxes (siliciclastic/terrestrial biomarker), grainsize, and geochemical source area fingerprints including iron mineralogy/isotopy. Iron fertilization and productivity will be assessed with a variety of both traditional (e.g. fluxes of biogenic barium or opal) and novel proxies for nutrient utilization. We envisage a close collaboration with a PhDstudent working on dust modelling and biogeochemical modellers within Dustlron.


A PhD in Earth Sciences or Environmental Sciences (e.g., geology or geochemistry) is expected and previous expertise in paleoceanography and geochemistry together with extended English language skills as well as an excellent publication record in international science journals.

You will join a dynamic and interdisciplinary group of scientists working on a wide range of interrelated problems, such as past atmosphere-ocean changes, ocean chemistry and circulation, ice sheet stability in the Arctic and Antarctic realms, and proxy development.

You should be willing to participate in up to two-month long ship cruises and several research stays with collaboration partners abroad.


Please forward your applications with a letter of interest, a scientific CV, and contact details of two referees by 1 February 2019, referencing code 165/G/Bio by e-mail (all documents merged into a single PDF file) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Background info

AWI offers you a multi-disciplinary, international, and professional environment with flexible working hours, state-of-the-art research equipment, and a first-rate infrastructure. AWI aims to increase the number of women in the scientific staff and therefore encourages women to apply. Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family through various means. Because of our engagement in the area of work-life compatibility we have been awarded the certificate “Career and Family”.

Further information

Contact Dr. Frank Lamy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.