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 for "Marine temperature variability of the last millenia and robustness of the proxy record" (m/f/d)

Determining the magnitude of natural climate variability is necessary for predicting the plausible range of future climates and to test climate models. As the instrumental record is limited to ~ the last century, the analysis of proxy records of the Holocene is crucial in order to provide information about climate variations on decadal to millennial timescales.

However, current marine paleoclimate records are noisy and often lack the appropriate temporal resolution to reconstruct climate variations on society relevant timescales. Further, the correlation between existing records is often low, either pointing to highly noisy or unrepresentative records or to more localized climate variations than predicted by models.

This thesis will overcome this challenge by combining the Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) technique that allows measuring temperature proxies at an unprecedented resolution in the Hinrichs Lab at MARUM and the methods and expertise of the ERC Starting Grant SPACE (Space Time Structure of Climate Change) team.

It will investigate the spatial and temporal variability of Holocene proxy records; develop new techniques to reduce the noise in MSI based temperature records and develop the first quantification of marine interannual to multi-centennial climate variability based on a single climate archive type.

The PhD thesis is part of the MARUM Cluster of Excellence: The Ocean Floor – Earth’s Unchartered Interface and the ERC Starting Grant SPACE (Space Time Structure of Climate Change)

You will


Additional skills and knowledge

Further Information
Please contact Prof. Dr. Thomas Laepple (; +49(331)288-2159) for further information.

This position is limited to 3 years and it is subject to approval of funding. 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 Bremen.

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 submit your application by November 30th 2021, exclusively online.
Reference number 21/194/D/Geo-b