Ausschreibung für eine PhD-Stelle zur Untersuchung der Nahrungsökologie und des Wachstums typischer Fischarten im Elbe-  und Oderästuar im Rahmen des BMBF-Verbundprojektes „Blue estuaries“.

Ausschreibung: 388-CeNaK_28.3Drittmittel

Pending approval of external funding the Center for Natural History – CeNak, Universität Hamburg (UHH) invites applications for a RESEARCH ASSOCIATE FOR THE PROJECT “Blue Estuaries: Feeding ecology and growth of fishes – a contribution to the analysis of functional diversity and food webs in the Elbe and Oder estuaries”


Duties include academic services in the project named above. Research associates may also pursue independent research and further academic qualifications.

Specific Duties:

Estuaries are heavily influenced by human activities that have resulted in pollution, eutrophication, habitat loss, and changes of environmental factors like for instance turbidity, oxygen concentration, temperature and salinity. In the joint BMBF-project „Blue estuaries“ with 6 partners, ecological status and food web structure of the Elbe and Oder estuaries will be analysed under different anthropogenic impacts. Both estuaries are important feeding and nursery areas for many planktivorous and benthivorous fish species, which link lower trophic levels with piscivorous fishes and birds.

Key fish species in the estuarine food webs are considered suitable indicators for assessing the status of estuarine ecosystems. The Blue estuaries-UHH project will investigate feeding ecology and growth of estuarine key fish species to clarify their food web relationships and to assess possible effects of stressors in the Elbe and Oder estuaries. For that purpose, fish larvae, juveniles and older life stages of typical pelagic and benthic fish species will be studied from stations that are little and severely affected by stressors. To identify the prey of fishes and of their role in the food web, analyses of the food in their digestive tracts will be carried out. Daily rings on the otoliths of fish larvae and annual rings on the otoliths or scales of older life stages will be analyzed and growth rates will be calculated as indicators of food availability and habitat quality. The results will contribute to identify „set screws“ for future estuarine management approaches.


A university degree in a relevant field. Preferred is a MSc degree in fisheries biology, marine biology, aquatic ecology, or a related degree. Fitness and willingness to participate in research trips at sea are required. Skills in field methods of aquatic ecology are desirable. Experience with methods of feeding ecology and growth analyses are helpful. Fluent knowledge of English is expected. Willingness to work in a large interdisciplinary team is necessary. Willingness to work engaged on your own academic qualification (PhD degree) is highly desirable.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Ralf Thiel ( or ++49 40 42838 5637) or consult our website at

Applications should include a cover letter, a tabular curriculum vitae, and copies of degree certificate(s). Please send applications by 02 October 2020 to: Universität Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Ralf Thiel, Centrum für Naturkunde – CeNak, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg or to Please do not submit original documents as we are not able to return them. Any documents submitted will be destroyed after the application process has concluded.