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.

Master thesis project: “Detecting polar sea ice changes using biodiversity analyses based on sedimentary ancient DNA”

The sections Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems (Potsdam) and Marine Geology (Bremerhaven) at Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Centre for polar and marine research in Potsdam are looking for a Master student (Geosciene/Geoecology/Biology/Ecology), who would like to conduct his/her Master thesis in our institute.
Sea ice is a determinant of marine organism composition and functioning. Still we largely lackthe understanding how taxonomic and functional diversity changes are affected by sea ice variability over time. Polar marine sediments provide unique archives of the past biodiversity. Paleogenetic approaches can be used to extract taxonomic and functional biodiversity signals, which can be used to decipher and improve the understanding of the relationship between biodiversity and sea ice changes across Anthropocene/Holocene/Late Pleistocene time scales. The project will focus on the retrieval of sedimentary ancient DNA (metabarcoding and metagenomic) from marine sediments and compare the results with available sea ice biomarker and marine-geochemical data from marine sediment cores taken in the Amundsen Sea and along the Larsen ice shelf.



Further Information
The place of employment will be Potsdam but there will be also stays at

Start: March 2021 / as soon as possible

You are interested?
Then please send us your application with Cover letter and CV (with all documents merged into one PDF file) by e-mail to: Dr. Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring ( Dr. Juliane Müller (

For further information, please contact: