Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse Postdoc Vacancy in Chemical Ecology of Marine Microbial Communities

The core mission of the Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse” of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena is to elucidate fundamental principles of the interactions and functions in microbial communities in diverse habitats, ranging from oceans and groundwater to plant and human hosts. We aim to identify the shared characteristics of disturbed or polluted ecosystems as well as infectious diseases on the microbiome level, and develop strategies for their remediation by targeted interventions. The affiliated early career program of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) offers an ambitious, structured and interdisciplinary post-graduate training based on top-level fundamental research.

The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse invites applications for a Postdoctoral Researcher Position in chemical ecology of marine microbial communities (m/f/d)

commencing in November 2023. Your work will be conducted in the Pohnert-Group that is devoted to the elucidation of chemical mediators that control and regulate microbial community dynamics. Your work will be focused on merging analytical chemistry with ecological investigations of marine plankton in laboratory- and field-work.

We look for someone with experience in metabolomics and mass spectrometry and /or experience in plankton studies and microbiology.

It is intriguing that some of the smallest organisms are among the major drivers of global processes from carbon fixation to element cycling. This is true for the plankton community throughout Earth´s oceans and freshwater reserves. In the postdoc-project, we want to assign new ecological roles to the metabolites produced by members of the plankton and identify their involvement as regulators of plankton functioning. We will work on all scales, from single cell analytics to global surveys to expand our understanding of ocean ecosystem functioning.

You will have a leading role in a project with the aim to set up and analyze complex microbial communities in the lab. You will plan and conduct experiments to link findings of community-regulation to the action of chemical mediators by using mass spectrometry and other techniques of analytical chemistry. You will also conduct field experiments and elaborate metabolomic data analysis.

Your opportunities:

• Pursue top quality research in exceptionally well-equipped laboratories.
• Work in an interdisciplinary team of chemical ecologists and integrate into the Cluster of Excellence consortium.
• Contribute to the development of the project, as it evolves.
• Produce high-quality written reports and draft papers. Present your results at international and national conferences and at local meetings and outreach events.
• Assist with training other researchers, including PhD candidates, Masters’ and undergraduate project students.
• Contribute to maintaining the friendly, welcoming and collaborative environment within the group.

Your profile
• A PhD (or equivalent) in the life or natural sciences (including but not limited to Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology, or Ocean Sciences ). Candidates in the final stages of obtaining their doctorate are also eligible to apply.
• Excellent background in analytical chemistry or microbiology or a related field
• Desired skills:Open attitude to challenging science, curiosity for new methods and concepts.
• Highly motivated individuals with an interest in joining one of the interdisciplinary research areas of the Microverse Cluster
• The ability to work creatively and independently towards developing your own research project
• An integrative and cooperative personality with enthusiasm for actively participating in the dynamic Microverse community
• English communication skills, both written and spoken

We offer:
• A highly communicative atmosphere within an energetic scientific network
• A comprehensive mentoring program and soft skill courses for early career researchers
• Jena – City of Science: a young and lively town with a vibrant local cultural agenda
• A family-friendly working environment with a variety of offers for families: University Family Office ‘JUniFamilie’ and flexible childcare (‘JUniKinder’)
• University health promotion and a wide range of university sports activities
• Attractive fringe benefits, e.g. capital formation benefits (VL), Job Ticket (benefits for public transport), and an occupational pension (VBL)

• Remuneration based on the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Public Sector of the Federal States (TV-L) up to salary scale E 13 (depending on the candidate’s personal qualifications) including a special annual payment in accordance with the collective agreement
The two-year full-time positions will be funded through the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments. A part-time contract can be discussed. To promote gender equality in science, applications by women are especially welcome. Candidates with severe disabilities will be given preference in the case of equal qualifications and suitability.

Applications in English should comprise a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae and copies of academic certificates. Please familiarize yourself with the currently available postdoctoral projects ( and the application process as described in the Online Application Portal. Please submit your application via the JSMC Online Application Portal, under the vacancy ID 234/2023 by 16th August 2023:

Since all application documents will be duly destroyed after the recruitment process, we ask you to submit only copies of your documents.

For further information for applicants and the information on the collection of personal data, please refer to …
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