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.

Phd position in "Biodiversity, Scale, and Difference in Marine Space" (m/f/d)

Institute overview
The Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) is a new institute on interdisciplinary marine biodiversity research, established on the campus of the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. It joins the scientific profiles of the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Marine Systems (ICBM) Oldenburg and the Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven (AWI).

Located in beautiful Oldenburg, the HIFMB offers a multi-disciplinary, international, and dynamic environment for researching the marine environment and a vibrant, friendly and supportive culture for PhD candidates. Within the HIFMB, expertise in marine functional ecology, data science and theory are joined with establishing a strong social science and humanities profile. The university is home to the Institute for Social Science, which is building strong ties to the HIFMB.

In this context, we are offering a PhD position within the recently established Marine Political Ecology Group led by Dr. Katherine Sammler.

Marine Political Ecology at HIFMB
The Marine Political Ecology Group is a new collective that focuses on the development of innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to research the ocean at the intersection of physical and socials sciences with a focus on marine life, offshore extraction, and resource rights. We take a transdisciplinary approach, employing geography, science and technology studies, and feminist geopolitics to examine human-environment systems. Together we will investigate the role of knowledge production, law, technology, and power in defining global commons, access, and environmental justice.

Project Outline
International efforts are underway to develop regulation for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). Both the high seas, a spatial delineation, and biodiversity, a metric for biotic difference, are considered as global commons, threatened by overfishing, bioprospecting, privatization and enclosure. We undertake research to understand how territorializing and categorising life, space, and difference at multiple scales – from molecular and genetic to population and planetary – redraws boundaries and places novel values on marine life/space.
You will work collaboratively and creatively with our group to develop innovative research using primarily qualitative methods towards developing critical theoretical interventions for analyzing categories of difference and relations of power in marine space.



Additional knowledge and skills

Further Information
For further information, please contact Dr. Katherine Sammler (; +49(471)4831-2518

This position is limited to 3 years. It is also suitable for part-time employment. 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 Oldenburg.

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.

The AWI is characterised by

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.

We look forward to your application!
Please forward your application by March 18th 2021 exclusively online.
Reference number 21/52/D/Bio-b