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: Characterization of potentially pathogenic Vibrio spp. by Raman microscopy/spectroscopy

Diseases and infections caused by contact with contaminated water or by consuming seafood, pose a problem for the economy and worldwide health care. Sea and brackish water in our coastal regions offer a diverse habitat for marine microorganisms, also including potentially human pathogenic bacteria such as Vibrio spp.. Increased growth rates of Vibrio spp. induced by rising temperatures has already led to an increase in human pathogenic Vibrios in the past, but also to massive infections of mussel populations during the summer months. It is to be expected that a warming of the coastal waters in the course of general climatic change will affect the composition and ecology of the natural bacterial communities and thus also the population dynamics of Vibrio spp..

Where: Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, division "Biosciences", sections Shelf Seas Systems Ecology in Helgoland

As part of the master's thesis, various Vibrio spp. isolates will be analyzed by using Raman microscopy/spectroscopy and subsequently differentiated by bioinformatic tools (Ramanmetrix; The aim of the work is to evaluate Raman microscopy/spectroscopy as a rapid diagnostic tool for the identification of potentially pathogenic Vibrios.

We are looking for a Master student in biology, microbiology, medical sciences or a related field.

Further Information
The place of employment will be Helgoland.

Start: early 2021

You are interested?
Then please send us your application with Cover letter an CV (with all documents merged into one PDF file) by e-mail to: Dr. Gunnar Gerdts ( or Dr. Antje Wichels (

For further information please contact Dr. Gunnar Gerdts (, +49(4725)819-3245).