Open PhD-position in case study B2

Open PhD-position in case study B2: Environmental impact of advanced materials on marine fauna and flora

The Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) in Halle (Saale) and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen jointly offer a:

PhD position in „Marine Chemical Ecology / Natural Product Analytics“ (m/f/d)

Technological developments of industrial and consumer products from packaging, mobile phones or e-cars rely on new materials, e.g. plastics, nanomaterials or minerals and ceramics. Many of these products, but also natural erosion materials, end up in our oceans eventually, usually after being ground to microparticles on the way. Additionally, some leak soluble chemicals into the water. As part of the Leibniz Research Alliance „Advanced Material Safety“ (LRA-AMS) we plan to study selective (molecular) effects of such materials on marine plants and corals in the project „environmental impact of advanced materials on marine fauna and flora“. In particular, we will investigate the effects of non-food particles on reef organisms and study their metabolic and potential toxic as well as functional effects. This will be implemented in aquaria experiments at ZMT, followed by macroscopic, microscopic and mostly molecular reactions of the organisms to the stressors at IPB and ZMT, with an emphasis on their influence on metabolism of those organisms and the potential integration of those particles in the skeleton.

You will be located in Halle in the department of bioorganic chemistry (Prof. Wessjohann, IPB) with extensive stays for biological experiments and sample preparation at ZMT Bremen (Prof. Westphal). Willingness to undertake sampling and experiments abroad is a prerequisite.

Basic requirements:

  • successful termination of a master in chemical, life sciences or geosciences.
  • outstanding chemical analytical skills, especially in mass spectrometry of small molecules (LC-MS, GC-MS).
  • willingness to spend part of the work time at the Bremen location, outside Germany, and to work interdisciplinary
  • willingness to apply modern software tools in data analysis and to learn the methods of the required other disciplines (e.g., microscopy, petrographic methods)


  • good communication skills, very good command of English
  • knowledge in metabolomics research
  • knowledge in the microscopy of biological or geological samples

IPB, ZMT & the LRA-AMS offer an extraordinary environment with top quality research laboratories and expert support in all disciplines required for this interdisciplinary project. The ideal starting date is Jan. 15th 2023. Salary and social benefits are according to the German Public Service regulation (TV-L E13 65%) and according to your former experience. IPB is an equal opportunity employer.

Your exclusively electronic application should be submitted until Nov. 30th 2022 as one PDF < 10 MB including a letter of motivation, CV, details of your bachelor & master theses, university certificates and grades as well as two names and email addresses of former supervisor(s) or reference scientists.

Your master thesis (any language) and if available max. three scientific publications can be attached as separate files.

Please send your application using the subject (important!) opening no. 20/2022 to (please do not send in parallel to Prof. Wessjohann or Prof. Westphal). Late applications will only be considered if timely applications fail to fill the position.

Link to the job posting at IPB Halle

For general information, please visit our websites: IPB Halle, ZMT, and Leibniz-Forschungsverbund Advanced Materials Safety or contact Professor Wessjohann directly at Tel. +49 345 5582-1300

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