PhD project offered by the IMPRS-gBGC in

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Project description

Lake sediments consist of organic and inorganic components which contain the geochemical signature from different sources in the lake system and, therefore, reflect environmental and hydrological changes controlled by climate variations. Autochthonous organic matters reflect in situ lake conditions, while allochthonous organic materials characterize the catchment.
In this PhD-project, proxy records from various sediment samples will be analyzed and compared with other climate archives to reconstruct changes in climate, hydrology and atmospheric circulation patterns.
The general aims of the PhD project are:
  1. geochemical characterization of sediments
  2. statistical time series analysis
  3. multi-proxy reconstruction of global circulation (such as the Asian Monsoon)
  4. comparison of climate reconstructions with model outcomes

Working group and planned collaborations

As a successful applicant you will be a member of the Research Group 'Molecular Biogeochemistry' at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena as well as a member of the Department of Geography at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.
The work will be embedded within an international research programme.


Applications to the IMPRS-gBGC are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified students from all countries. Prerequisites for this PhD project are

  • a Masters degree, or equivalent, in the earth sciences, (bio)chemistry or related areas
  • experience with sedimentological analyses (organic and inorganic geochemistry, mineralogy, …) are beneficial
  • experience with biomarker extraction, identification (GC-MS) and compound-specific isotope measurements (δD, δ13C and δ14C) are beneficial
  • experience with statistic evaluation (multivariate statistic, time series)
  • very good English language skills and interest in joining a multidisciplinary research team

After you have been selected

The IMPRS-gBGC office will happily assist you with your transition to Jena.
The conditions of employment, including upgrades and duration follow the rules of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and those of the German civil service. The gross monthly income amounts about 2000 EUR, which will cover all your expenses in Germany.
The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

(a) Sampling at the Tibetan lake Tangra Yumco; (b) Sediment core NC8.
(a) Sampling at the Tibetan lake Tangra Yumco; (b) Sediment core NC8.

>> more information about the IMPRS-gBGC + application