PhD position – Research Assistant (f/m/d) at LIB Hamburg

Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels


Bewerbungsende: 04.04.2023

The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) is seeking a PhD candidate in the Leibniz Association funded project “BIGFOOT – Biodiversity decline’s Genomic FOOTprint”. The selected candidate will enroll at the University of Hamburg. The work will be located at the Museum der Natur, Hamburg, Germany, and at the Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt am Main. The candidate will work in collaboration with researchers from both sites of the LIB (Hamburg and Bonn), the University of Cologne, and other Senckenberg institutes. The position will be offered for the time of 3 years (salary according to German salary scale for the public sector TV-L E13, part time 65%, fixed term).

Project background:

  • The BIGFOOT project aims at building genomic resources (reference genomes and population genomics data) to compare genomic signatures of population decline of threatened species in Germany during the last decades. The project particularly focuses on insect and vertebrate species susceptible to extinction, but outside the public spotlight to ameliorate the vast taxonomic gap in conservation genomics. The study species include cases of declining and isolated populations from a broad range of taxa, ecological guilds, and genome architectures that will serve as flagships for biodiversity decline. BIGFOOT will build a bridge between genomicists, population geneticists, ecologists, taxonomists, conservation managers, and decision makers. The focus here is on the following:
  • Determine effective population sizes and genomic signatures of population decline across major representatives of biodiversity.
  • Measure the degree of genetic erosion, inbreeding, population isolation, and mutational load in animal species with a broad variety of life histories.
  • Derive population and demographic history throughout the last century to determine specific (anthropogenic, climate change) causes of decline and extrapolate future population trajectories.
  • Ameliorate knowledge gaps and species bias, develop genomic proxies and a general framework for conservation assessment applicable to a broad range of biodiversity.
  • Evaluate extinction risks based on genetic prediction and ecological modeling and propose solutions for conservation efforts and knowledge transfer to conservation stakeholders, policy makers, and the public.

For questions related to the project and position reach out to Dr. Oliver Hawlitschek:

The search committee will comprise of LIB researchers and Dr. Astrid Böhne, Dr. Martin Husemann, Dr. Oliver Hawlitschek, but also BIGFOOT partners Prof. Dr. Waldvogel, Dr. Phillip Schiffer (University of Cologne) and Dr. Marianna Simões (German Entomological Institute, Müncheberg).

Job description:

The position will involve the following tasks:

  • Processing and analyzing NGS data of recent and historic samples to obtain genomic variants (SNPs, SVs, SSRs).
  • Using bioinformatic and population genomic analyses to characterize threatened populations via inbreeding, directional selection, and population history.
  • Using ecological niche modelling to correlate genomic data through time with landscape features and climate suitability and assess the extinction risk.
  • Converting the results into scientific publications, reports and management recommendations and communicating these to stakeholders, decision makers and the public.

The position is should ideally be filled as soon as possible.

Your Profile:

The successful candidate is an enthusiastic, open-minded individual with a genuine interest in conservation biology, population genomics, genome evolution, and ecological niche assessment. A masters degree in a relevant area such as evolutionary biology, molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics or related fields is a requirement. Experience with next generation sequencing data generation and handling, whole genome analyses and/or comparative genomics, and programming skills (e.g. R, python, workflow management tools, HPC computing) is highly desirable. A good command of English is required for communication with collaborators and publication of results. Fluency in German is desirable for communication with project partners outside academia and the general public.

Required documents:

A motivation letter (1-2 pages), CV, transcripts of academic records, and contact information for at least 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