PhD Position (m/f/d) Paleoaltimetry and Paleoclimate Reconstructions of the European Alps

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

Frankfurt am Main

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) is a member of the Leibniz Association and is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. SGN conducts natural history research with almost 800 employees and research institutions in six federal states. Within SGN, the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) explores the interactions between biodiversity, climate, and society.

In the DFG-funded project ‘REAL: Reconstructing Eastward Propagation of Surface Uplift in the Alps: Integrating Stable Isotope Palaeoaltimetry and Palaeoclimate Modelling’ the Senckenberg BiK-F invites applications for a PhD Position (m/f/d) (75%) Paleoaltimetry and Paleoclimate Reconstructions of the European Alps (In exceptional cases, the position might be offered at a postdoc level.)

We offer:

  • A position associated with a DFG-funded project (REAL: Reconstructing Eastward Propagation of Surface Uplift in the Alps: Integrating Stable Isotope Palaeoaltimetry and Palaeoclimate Modelling) that is part of the DFG priority program ‘Mountain Building Processes in 4D’ (
  • A project that is a collaborative effort of Senckenberg BiK-F (stable isotope paleoaltimetry, climate reconstructions, geodynamics) and the University of Tübingen (paleoclimate modelling) and aimed at constraining the surface uplift history of the European Alps in a paleoclimatic context
  • State-of-the-art stable isotope geochemical facilities jointly operated with Goethe University Frankfurt and capable of analyzing clumped isotopes

Your responsibilities:

  • Organize field campaigns to collect and analyze samples for stable isotope-based paleoaltimetry and stable isotope-based paleoclimate reconstructions of the European Alps
  • Collaborate with a tandem PhD Student / Postdoc at the University of Tübingen who conducts simulations with an isotope-enabled GCM for different time intervals, climate and topographic scenarios to test various surface uplift hypotheses
  • Interpret the obtained results within the tectonic and geodynamic framework of the European Alps
  • Present and publish scientific results at (international) conferences and in peer-reviewed scientific journals

Your profile:

  • Sc. degree in Earth Sciences or a related field prior to appointment as a PhD candidate or completion of a PhD in Earth Sciences or a related field prior to appointment as a postdoctoral researcher
  • Interests in Earth system dynamics, paleoclimate, and paleoaltimetry, curious mindset
  • Strong background and enthusiasm in conducting field work
  • Equally comfortable working in sedimentary foreland basins as well as in the higher Alps
  • Desire to work in state-of-the-art stable isotope geochemistry laboratories
  • Capable of combining a diverse set of geological data and evaluate them within a geodynamic framework
  • Motivated to provide and discuss proxy data input for paleoclimate modelling studies
  • Willingness to collaborate with PhD students and postdocs from various institutes and disciplines to address the project’s aims
  • Written and spoken fluency in English; proficiency in German is beneficial, but not required

Salary and benefits are according to a full-time public service position in Germany (TV-H E 13). The contract should start as soon as possible – ideally on April 1st, 2021 – and will initially be limited to three years.

The Senckenberg Research Institutes support equal opportunity of men and women and therefore strongly invites women to apply. Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference. The place of employment is in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Please send your application, mentioning the reference of this job offer (ref. #11-20023) before January 23, 2021 by e-mail (attachment in a single pdf document) and including 1-2 pages cover letter with your motivation and a statement of research interests, a detailed CV, a list of publications (if applicable), full academic credentials/certificates, and contact details of two potential academic references to:

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main


For scientific enquiries please contact Prof. Dr. Andreas Mulch,, or Dr. Maud Meijers,

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Bewerbungsende: 23.01.2021