Postdoc position in pollution and biodiversity of urban ponds (m/f/x)

Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)

Berlin, Germany đŸ‡©đŸ‡Ș

The research group ‘Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics’ in the Department of Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology and the research group ‘Organic Contaminants’ in the Department of Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry of IGB invite applications for the position of a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (18 months, full time) starting from 01.04.2023. The postdoctoral researcher will be located in Berlin at Lake MĂŒggelsee in Friedrichshagen.

The aim of this postdoc position is to quantify and characterize the chemical water quality and biodiversity of urban ponds in Berlin. Specifically, we will examine organic contaminants such as biocides, flame retardants, or vehicle-related compounds in urban ponds and quantify how the presence of pollutants links to the freshwater biodiversity at different trophic levels using sequencing approaches. The position also aims to design laboratory experiments to investigate the local adaptation of key players in the freshwater food web (e.g., ciliates, zooplankton) and to assess whether microbial communities in urban ponds have an enhanced ability to degrade anthropogenic organic pollutants.

We seek a dynamic, passionate, and ambitious scientist with a strong interest in combining questions on pollution and biodiversity dynamics in urban ponds. The successful candidate will have expertise in the analysis of trace organic contaminants in water using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Experience with water sampling for eDNA analysis, metabarcoding or other sequencing techniques, and data mining is essential. Expertise in laboratory experiments with microorganisms would be of advantage.

Your tasks

  • Field sampling of urban ponds in Berlin
  • Sample preparation and chemical analysis of organic contaminants in pond samples
  • DNA extraction of water samples to assess biodiversity in urban ponds and corresponding data mining
  • Planning and performing laboratory experiments to quantify microbial biotransformation of organic pollutants
  • Integrated analysis of chemical and biological data 

Your profile

  • A PhD (or being close to receiving a PhD) in biology, environmental chemistry or a related field of environmental science
  • Previous hands-on experience with organic environmental chemistry, sequencing techniques, and/or conducting experiments with living organisms
  • Experience in statistical analysis of large data sets
  • A strong interest in interdisciplinary research
  • A strong publication record in internationally leading journals (commensurate with career stage)
  • Strong English language skills both in oral and written communication
  • Good track record or potential for raising external research funds (commensurate with career stage)
  • Good potential for student supervision
  • Dedicated person with team-spirit

Our offer

We offer an exciting position in an international and dynamic scientific environment including excellent equipment and technical support. Your career development is fostered by qualification and training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life.

The position is a 100% postdoc for 18 months with a starting date earliest April 2023. Salary is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector (E 13 TVöD Bund).

The IGB is committed to diversity. We welcome every application, regardless of gender and gender identity, origin, nationality, religion, belief, health and physical disabilities, age or sexual orientation. Qualified individuals of minority groups as well as women are especially encouraged to apply. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration. 

We foster your career development by providing qualification and training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application as a single PDF file including 1-page motivation letter, CV, publication list, PhD or other relevant certificates, at least 2 reference letters or contact details of 2 referees by 15.02.2023. Please apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at, stating the job reference number 01/2023.

Questions about the position or application can be directed to Dr. Stephanie Spahr at and/or Dr. Lynn Govaert at

“Research for the future of our freshwaters” is the mission of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). The IGB is Germany’s largest and one of the leading international research centres for freshwaters. We seek to understand the fundamental processes governing freshwaters and their communities. Our research findings help to tackle global environmental changes and to develop measures for sustainable water management. The IGB is a diverse and inspiring place to work and conduct research. We promote individual development at every career level and stand for lively exchange and cooperation. With more than 350 employees and guests from all over the world, we conduct research at five locations in Berlin and at Lake Stechlin (Brandenburg). IGB closely collaborates with numerous national and international universities and other partners in science and society and is a member of the Leibniz Association, which connects 97 independent public research institutes in Germany.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development