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Leib­niz-Insti­tut für Gewäs­ser­öko­lo­gie und Bin­nen­fi­sche­rei - Departments of “Plankton and Microbial Ecology” at IGB-Stechlin (ca. 80 km north of Berlin) and “Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology” at IGB-Berlin-Friedrichshagen

"Research for the future of our freshwaters" is the mission of IGB – Germany’s largest and one of the leading international centres for freshwater research. In order to investigate different aspects of freshwater ecosystems, their biota and societal relevance, we unit a wide range of disciplines and understand research as a joint effort. With more than 350 employees and guests from all over the world, we conduct research at five locations in Berlin and at Lake Stechlin (Brandenburg). IGB is a member of the German Leibniz Association and the Forschungsverbund Berlin e. V.

PhD student in Microbial Ecology (m/f/x)


In the BMBF-funded project DIVATOX (Diversity of aquatic plants and associated neurotoxic cyanobacteria - effects on recreational and drinking water use of inland waters) we are looking for a PhD student (3 years, fulltime) in the Departments of “Plankton and Microbial Ecology” at IGB-Stechlin (ca. 80 km north of Berlin) and “Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology” at IGB-Berlin-Friedrichshagen. The main task will be to evaluate the “Phylogenetic and functional diversity of cyanobacterial microbiomes” as of 01.09.2024.
Become part of a dedicated project team of researchers from three institutions investigating causes and effects of plant-associated toxic cyanobacteria (IGB), the influence of microbial diversity (IGB), the type and quantity of cyanobacterial toxins (Federal Environment Agency: UBA) and the mechanism of action of the toxins (Institute for Occupational Research Dortmund: IfADo). A prediction model is also being developed at the TU Berlin. Take on the important task of analysing the cyanobacteria-associated microbiomes using state of the art molecular methods!

Working field:

  • Conducting field sampling and experiments to assess diversity and functionality of cyanobacteria-associated microbiomes
  • Statistically analysing effects of environmental drivers on cyanobacteria-associated microbial community composition
  • Applying bioinformatic analyses of amplicon, shotgun and long-read metagenomic data
  • Quantifying absolute abundances of toxic cyanobacteria in field samples by qPCR
  • Developing field test for detecting toxin genes on-site by nanopore sequencing or by LAMP (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification)
  • Participation in stakeholder workshops
  • Presentation of results in scientific conferences and journals


  • A master in biology, genetics, bioinformatics or related fields
  • Experience in bioinformatics, molecular biology, and microbial ecology
  • Collaborative team-worker
  • Good communication skills in English, including scientific writing; publication experience is of advantage

What we offer:

We offer an exciting position in an international and dynamic team of researchers, and an attractive scientific working environment including excellent equipment and technical support. We foster flat hierarchies and active participation. We allow maximum individual freedom, enabling everyone to develop and use their creativity to the best of their abilities.
This is a full-time PhD position for 36 months. The start date is on 01.09.2024. This position is generally suited for part time work. Salary is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector for postdoctoral research (E13 TVöD Bund, 65%). The working language at IGB is English.
We foster your career development by providing qualification and training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life.
The IGB is committed to diversity. We welcome every qualified application, regardless of sex and gender, origin, nationality, religion, belief, health and disabilities, age or sexual orientation. Disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

How to apply:

We look forward to receiving your application including a cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the announced position, CV, degree certificates, and the names of two references, all in a single pdf file by 15.06.2024. Please state the job reference number 18/2024 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at
Questions can be directed to Prof. Dr. Michael Monaghan ( or Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Grossart by e-mail (