PostDoc position in Trace Metal Biogeochemistry at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation of public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the state of Schleswig-Holstein (10%) and is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine sciences. Currently, GEOMAR disposes of an annual budget of approx. 80 million Euro and has approx. 1000 employees.

The research unit “Chemical Oceanography“ of the research division “Marine Biogeochemistry” is offering a position as Postdoc (m/f/d) in trace metal biogeochemistry in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean as part of the International GEOTRACES Programme funded by the BMBF and starting on December 1st 2022 or soon afterwards.

Project Description

A research cruise with FS Sonne is scheduled for April-May 2023 in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean (EPO) from Guayaquil (Ecuador) to Townsville (Australia), with a focus on trace metal biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography but also including physical and biological oceanographic components. The research topic of the cruise is to determine in detail the distributions, sources and sinks of trace elements and their isotopes (TEIs) in the water column along a zonal section in one of the least studied ocean regions on earth. We aim to investigate the biogeochemical cycling of TEIs, and their interactions with surface ocean productivity and the carbon and nitrogen cycles (incl. N2 fixation) given that some trace elements act as micronutrients. The findings will have global significance for understanding the chemical environment in which ecosystems operate. The supply pathways of TEIs to the EPO from the ocean boundaries including the atmosphere (east Asian dust), continents (mainly Asian run- off), sediments (on continental slopes), and the ocean crust (hydrothermalism) will be investigated. The TEI transport within water masses, including equatorial undercurrent, will be determined. The cruise is officially part of the internationally coordinated program GEOTRACES.

Job Description / Duties

The candidate will be part of an international GEOTRACES team that will investigate trace metal biogeochemistry in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and its links to ocean productivity. The candidate will be working closely with physical and biological oceanographers on the cruise programme. The candidate will undertake sampling of trace elements at sea in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean during cruise SO298. The candidate will analyse samples at the GEOMAR home laboratory, establish the distribution of trace elements in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean in relation to sources and water masses, and assess their supply rates to the euphotic zone. The candidate will perform the fieldwork with subsequent sample and data analysis, data interpretation, and scientific manuscript publication.


  • A PhD in chemical oceanography or similar field is required or is to be achieved before spring 2023
  • Experience is required in ultra-clean sampling of trace metals in open ocean waters
  • Experience is required in analytical measurements for dissolved trace metals in oceanic waters using ICP-MS, with sample pre-concentration
  • We expect excellent English language skills and experience with working on research vessels
  • The candidate should be willing and able to participate in sea-going expeditions
  • The candidate will need to indicate experience of science communications in large research teams
  • The candidate will need to indicate experience in research project management

The position is subject to final funding approval by the BMBF. This is a full-time position according to 100% of a full-time equivalent. The position can be split. Flexible working time models are possible in principle. The position is funded by the BMBF and available for a funding period of 26 months. The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class 13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel seeks to increase the proportion of female scientists and explicitly encourages qualified female academics to apply. GEOMAR is an equal opportunity employer and encourages scientists with disabilities to apply. Qualified disabled applicants will receive preference in the application process.

Please send your application including a letter of motivation, CV and contact details of 3 referees for this post via email in a single PDF file mentioning the keyword“Achterberg – GEOTRACES EPOGP11” in the subject line.

Please send your application no later than 25th July 2022 to the following email addresses: and cc

As soon as the selection procedure has finished, all your application data will be removed according to data protection regulations.

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Prof. Dr. Eric Achterberg ( or Dr. Zvi Steiner (

Please do not contact us by phone about the present state of procedures. However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to In doing so, please refer to the keyword.

GEOMAR is a member of the Helmholtz Association and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). For further information please visit or

GEOMAR is committed to an objective and non-discriminatory personnel selection. Our job advertisements address all people. We expressly renounce the submission of application photos. The TOTALE-QUALITY award is presented to GEOMARforeffortsin terms of human resource management aimed at providing equal opportunity.