PhD position (m/f/d) “Sponge-microbe cross talk”



This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at GEOMAR.
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2024

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a foundation under public law jointly financed by the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the State of Schleswig-Holstein (10%). It is one of the internationally leading institutions in the field of marine research.

Through our research and our commitment to the transfer of knowledge and technology, we contribute significantly to the preservation of the function and protection of the ocean for future generations.

The research unit Marine Symbiosesof the research division Marine Ecology is offering a

PhD position (m/f/d)

“Sponge-microbe cross talk”

starting on the nearest possible date. The position offers the possibility to attain a doctoral degree in natural sciences.

Project Description:

The overarching goal of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1182 “Origin and Function of Metaorganisms” ( at the Christian-Albrechts-University is to understand why and how microbial communities form long-term associations with hosts from diverse taxonomic groups. We are particularly interested in the specific functional consequences of the interactions, the underlying regulatory principles, and the resulting impact on host life history and evolutionary fitness in selected host systems.

Marine basal metazoans are in constant contact with a vast number of diverse microbes in their environment. This project B1 ( aims to gain insight into the molecular and cellular basis of sponge-microbe interactions. It seeks to unravel how marine sponges differentiate between microorganisms, whether food, friend or foe. It will employ a newly developed cellular in vivo phagocytosis assay (Marulanda et al., 2022) in combination with metatranscriptomics/ metaproteomics to decipher the mechanistic and cellular underpinnings of sponge-microbe recognition and cross talk.


Requirement for employment is a university degree (Master or equivalent) in biology or in a related subject of the CRC 1182. The employment will be at the research unit Marine Symbioses of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

At a workplace, directly on the Kiel Fjord with many leisure and recreational opportunities, we offer you:

  • Good conditions for work-life balance: We offer, among other things, the possibility of mobile working and individual working time arrangements, vacation courses for the children of our employees, and good support in finding a place in a daycare center at the Kiel site
  • Support services for professional and personal life situations
  • An exciting work environment with the opportunity to provide important impetus for the development of sustainable solutions
  • Exciting topics in an international environment
  • Work in the field of marine and climate research, a forward-looking area with social significance
  • 30 vacation days + additional time off at Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve
  • Company pension plan and capital-forming benefits

The position is available for a funding period of three years.

The salary depends on qualification and could be up to the class 13 TVöD-Bund of the German tariff for public employees. This is a part-time position according to 65 % of a full-time equivalent. The position can not be split. Flexible working time models are possible in principle.

The fixed-term contract shall comply with Section 2 Paragraph 1 of The Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract (German WissZeitVG).

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 for this post (including (i) a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, (ii) Master (or equivalent) certificate or proof of records (iii) a motivation statement (max. 2 pages), and (iii) contact addresses of two possible referees. Please abstain from sending application portraits.) not later than 16th of February2024 under the following link:

Online application

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

For further information regarding the position and research unit please contact Prof. Dr. Ute Hentschel Humeida (uhentschel(at)

However, we will answer all your questions if you send us an e-mail to bewerbung(at) In doing so, please refer to the keyword “CRC 1182 Sponge-microbe cross talk”.

For further information on GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel or the Helmholtz Association, 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.

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at GEOMAR.