PhD position (f/m/d) in Biodiversity and Conservation Genomics at LIB Bonn

Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels


Bewerbungsende: 04.04.2023

At the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) Museum Koenig Bonn, Germany, we are looking for a PhD student within the project “BIGFOOT – Biodiversity decline’s Genomic FOOTprint”, funded by the Leibniz Association, at the Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research (ZMB, LIB Bonn) for 3 years (salary according to German salary scale for the public sector TV-L E13, 65%, fixed term).

Project background:

  • Biodiversity is evidently declining globally as suggested by census based methods. Demographic changes will likely leave traces on a population genomic level long before the drastic decline of a population. This means that modern approaches can be leveraged to assess biodiversity and conservation status of populations and species and hence help to devise management strategies on a broad taxonomic spectrum. However, given the vast diversity of life histories, offspring sizes, mating and dispersal strategies etc. across the tree of life, and in particular insects, the genomic effects of population declines may have different signatures in different species and perhaps even differ in timing, type and magnitude to the signatures of genomic erosion known from highly threatened mammal species. Hence it is important to determine the genomic effects of population decline and isolation for different taxonomic groups representing different life histories.
  • The project BIGFOOT aims to uncover Biodiversity’s decline Genomic FOOTprint by building genomic resources (reference genomes coupled with recent and historic population genomics data) for two vertebrates, one mollusk and seven insect species, selected to represent taxonomically broadly distributed extreme cases of decline and isolation, to compare genomic signatures of population decline during the last decades. BIGFOOT particularly emphasizes on species susceptible to extinction but outside the public spotlight, aiming to ameliorate the vast taxonomic gap in conservation genomics. BIGFOOT will build a transdisciplinary bridge between conservation efforts, taxonomists, genomics, ecologists, and population analysis and lastly, decision makers.

For questions related to the project and position reach out to

Job description:

The successful applicant will use methods of population and comparative genomics and museomics, including sampling in the field, wet lab work and computational analysis. The candidate will work closely with two other PhD students within the BIGFOOT project, located in Hamburg/Müncheberg and Bonn/Cologne.

We offer an interactive, international and flexible research and work environment. While the position is located at the LIB in Bonn and supervised by Dr. Eckart Stolle (Insect Comparative Genomics group, LIB), the candidate will be co-supervised by up to two additional BIGFOOT researchers. The search committee will hence comprise of LIB researchers and Dr. Astrid Böhne, Dr. Martin Husemann and Dr. Oliver Hawlitschek, but also BIGFOOT partners Prof. Dr. Waldvogel and/or Dr. Phillip Schiffer (University of Cologne) and Dr. Marianna Simões (German Entomological Institute, Müncheberg).

Starting date is as soon as possible.

Your Profile:

The successful applicant is a creative, open-minded individual with a strong interest in population genomics and biodiversity conservation. The candidate holds a Master degree (or equivalent) in Biology, ideally focused on Molecular Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Quantitative Biology, Biodiversity, Entomology, and/or Bioinformatics. It is an asset to have experience with NGS data generation, processing and/or analysis. In any case, the person needs to be curious and motivated to be trained in insect population genomics and acquire bioinformatic skills for the analysis of genome data.  The willingness to learn new methods is a requirement, programming skills (e.g. R, python, workflow management tools, HPC computing), experience with whole genome analyses and/or comparative genomics, are a plus. A good command of English is required for communication with collaborators and publication of results. German is not a requirement – the work group language is English and Bonn is a very international city.

Required documents:

Cover letter, a motivation letter (1 page), CV, transcripts of academic records, and contact information for two potential references, all together as a single PDF.

The LIB is a family-friendly institution and an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to increasing the proportion of women in academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. We also welcome applications from candidates with severe disabilities. Disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered.

Please send your application by 04.04.2023 exclusively digitally via our applicant portal to Ms. Katharina Ostermann:

For organizational reasons, only online applications will be accepted. You can find more information about our facility on the Internet at:


Achtung! Bitte senden Sie Ihre Bewerbungen direkt an die Einrichtung, die die Stelle ausschreibt, und nicht an den Deutschen Museumsbund. Wenn in der Ausschreibung keine E-Mail-Adresse angegeben ist, sind Online-Bewerbungen nicht erwünscht. Vielen Dank!

Bewerbungsende: 04.04.2023