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Universität Marburg: PhD position – climatology, climate ecology and/or remote sensing

PhD (climatology, climate ecology and/or remote sensing, 65% TVH-E13 for three years) wanted in subproject A1 of the LOEWE priority program Tree-M (https://www.uni-marburg.de/en/fb17/tree-m), Deadline 22 Feb 2023

PhD (Klimatologie, Klimaökologie und/oder Fernerkundung) gesucht im Teilprojekt A1 des LOEWE Schwerpunkts Tree-M (https://www.uni-marburg.de/en/fb17/tree-m), Deadline 22 Feb 2023

Project A1: Spatial and temporal monitoring of leaf and tree status, and environment

Interrelations between environmental factors, the leaf microbiome and generated secondary metabolites across-scales (leaf to crown) are to date poorly understood. We will use microclimate observation and modelling to understand the climatic environment of the leaf microbiome. Further, we will apply high resolution proximate hyperspectral sensing of single leaves to derive leaf traits as a resource for the microbiome. Finally, we will combine imaging techniques of other subprojects with hyperspectral sensing to determine and upscale information on the leaf microbiome (abundance, diversity) and its secondary metabolites.

A position for a doctoral student is available in this project.
Candidate profile specific to this project: Required is a MSc degree or equivalent university degree in physical geography or a related field and Experience in climatology and remote sensing. Beneficial is experience in field and lab work and geoinfomatics as well as knowledge in programming (Python) and machine learning and experience in microbiological research.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jörg Bendix, bendix@staff.uni-marburg.de

General information for applicants are stated under the Tree-M Website

The newly founded Tree-M research cluster at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, and the Max-Planck Institute for terrestrial Microbiology now offers positions for talented and highly motivated doctoral students in cutting-edge research projects. The interdisciplinary research cluster, funded by the LOEWE excellence program of the State of Hesse, investigates the network of microbial interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment in the tree phyllosphere. Tree-M combines expertise of academic groups from the fields of microbiology, biochemistry, ecology, geography, and bioinformatics. Research activities involve experiments in the laboratory and field work, and bridge scales from individual bacterial cells (molecular mechanisms of bacterial enzymes, metabolicactivities and their regulation) and microbial communities (interactions within the leaf microbiome) to cross-kingdom organismic interaction networks (microbiota-leaf-
herbivore interactions).

The Research Cluster Tree-M is currently accepting applications for

Doctoral Researchers

The positions are to be filled subject to the approval of funds and offered for a period of 3 years. The starting date is as soon as possible. The positions are part-time (65 % of regular working hours) coming with a salary and benefits commensurate to a public service position in the state Hesse, Germany (TV-H E 13).


  • performing groundbreaking research at the interface of microbiology and environmental sciences. Find short project descriptions on the Tree-M website
  • applying cutting-edge technologies and methods such as remote sensing, high resolution hyperspectral and proximate sensing, (meta)genomics, (meta)proteomics, metabolite profiling, fluorescence and electron microscopy including super resolution methods, mass spectrometry imaging, structural molecular biology, molecular genetic engineering and synthetic biology, computational biology, machine learning and modeling

The position is limited to a time period deemed adequate for the completion of a doctoral degree. As part of the assigned duties, there will be ample opportunity to conduct independent scientific research necessary for the completion of a doctorate. The limitation complies to § 2, 1 WissZeitVG.


  • MSc degree (or equivalent university degree) in microbiology, biochemistry, ecology, geography, bioinformatics or a related field
  • strong interest in studying the dynamic composition and function of bacterial leaf microbiota and their (a)biotic interactions at multiple spatial and temporal scales
  • being highly motivated, creative, and critical thinking
  • enthusiastic about working in a multidisciplinary team
  • having good communication skills and being fluent in English

Willingness to pursue own scientific qualification (e.g. a doctorate project in the research area of Tree-M) is expected. For Doctoral Researchers, we offer a structured supervision program, including methods training, training in transferable skills and career path mentoring, priming of networking in science and career, and the possibility to participate in scientific conferences.

We actively support the professional development of junior researchers, e.g. by the offers of Marburg Research Academy (MARA), the International Office, the Higher Education Didactics Office and the Human Resources Development Office.

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