PhD position (f/m/d) in Biodiversity Genomics at University of Cologne and LIB Bonn

Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels

Köln / Bonn

Bewerbungsende: 04.04.2023

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

Project background:

  • Biodiversity is declining globally, but very evidently also in Germany. While it is not feasible to actively monitor a nation’s entire biodiversity, there is an urgent need to implement an early warning system that allows to detect the risk of a species’ demographic changes before population decline has reached a severe and irreversible state. In fact, demographic irregularities leave traces on the population genomic level long before the actual decline of the population. This means that a modern approach to effective biodiversity monitoring and management requires genomic resources of a broad taxonomic spectrum.
  • The project BIGFOOT aims to uncover Biodiversity’s decline Genomic FOOTprint by building genomic resources (reference genomes and population genomics data) for two vertebrates, one mollusk and seven insect species 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 genome assembly, population and comparative genomics and museomics. Tasks will range from sample selection to data analyses in a multidisciplinary environment.

We offer an interactive, international and flexible research and work environment. Reflecting interdisciplinary nature of the project, supervision and training will involve three PIs with complementary expertise: Prof. Dr. Waldvogel is an expert in Climate Change Genomics and head of the Ecological Genomics Group at the University of Cologne, Dr. Philipp Schiffer is an expert in sequencing and assembling challenging genomes and head of the Worm Lab at the University of Cologne and Dr. Astrid Böhne is an expert in comparative genomics and is Head of the Comparative Vertebrate Genomics Group at the Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research (LIB Bonn), Dr. Marianna Simões (German Entomological Institute, Müncheberg) is also part of the team. The search committee will be composed of the above mentioned LIB researcher and BIGFOOT partners.

The position should ideally be filled 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 Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Quantitative Biology, Biodiversity, 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 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 no requirement as Bonn and Cologne are international cities.

Required documents:

Cover letter, a motivation letter (1 page), CV, transcripts of academic records, and contact information for 2 potential references 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