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PhD student (m/f/d) “Phylogenetic systematics of polyplacophoran molluscs”

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  Ms Isabel Gajcevic  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Job posting ref. #01-21056

For over 200 years the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung represents one of the most relevant institutions investigating nature and its diversity. Currently, scientists from more than 40 countries conduct research in the fields of biodiversity, earth system analysis and climate change in seven Senckenberg Institutes across Germany.

Following its mission to analyse and document biodiversity in earth system dynamics – to serve science and society, Senckenberg fosters curiosity-driven and application-oriented research. In Senckenberg at Frankfurt we seek to fill the position with a


PhD student (m/f/d) “Phylogenetic systematics of polyplacophoran molluscs”

(part time 65%)

The Senckenberg Ocean Species Alliance (SOSA) project combines marine biodiversity research, species conservation, and science communication within one project. This interdisciplinary project is composed of three pillars, the Discovery Unit, Red Listing Unit and the Engagement Unit, whose tasks are tightly interlinked. The Discovery Unit will apply a new model for biodiversity work by providing taxonomic services to users inside and outside of Senckenberg.

Chitons represent an important group for understanding molluscan evolution, and more broadly animal evolution. While many species have diverged recently, the group retains a constrained morphology with strong similarities to stem group molluscs that go back to the Cambrian. Understanding speciation within this morphological constraint is informative for the deep mechanisms controlling the evolution of animal body plans. A highly motivated student taking on this project will have the opportunity to demonstrate how taxonomy is foundational to the most challenging and exciting questions in contemporary science.

Your tasks:

·      Study morphological and genomic differentiation in chiton species with a focus on one selected family

·      Apply integrative taxonomic approaches, describe species and evaluation molecular and morphological phylogenetic evidence

·      Participate in project meetings and contribute to project reporting as well as present project results during international scientific conferences (posters/talks)

·      Publish results in international journals in cooperation with the project team

·      Participate in outreach activities

Your profile:

·      MSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field, such as biology, zoology, biosystematics

·      Lab experience with microscopy, histology, and/ or DNA work

·      Knowledge of and experience with molecular methods (e.g. DNA barcoding, ancient DNA)

·      Interest in science communication, knowledge of marine molluscs and chitons

·      Willingness to participate in international fieldwork


What can you expect?

·      An interesting task in a dynamic and interdisciplinary team of researchers in a large-scale international research project

·      Affiliation with Goethe University Frankfurt and membership in its graduate academy GRADE

·      Flexible working hours - a discounted job ticket - support with childcare or caring for family members (certified by the "audit berufundfamilie") - Senckenberg badge in combination with free admission to many municipal museums - special annual payment - holiday entitlement of 30 days/year- company pension scheme

Location:                              Frankfurt am Main

Volume of employment:     65% part-time position (26 weekly working hours)

Type of contract:                 Employment shall start as soon as possible after March 2022 and will be limited for a three-year contract


The Senckenberg Research Institutes support equal opportunity of men and women and therefore strongly invite women to apply. Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference. The place of employment is in Frankfurt, Germany. We guarantee adherence to the law on part-time employment.

Senckenberg is a globally connected institute. The working language within this project is English. Frankfurt is a vibrant, international, culturally diverse city and one of the world’s travel hubs. We welcome candidates from all nations and can support you with your relocation process.

Would you like to apply?

Please submit your documents, mentioning the reference of this job posting (ref.#01-21056), as a single email attachment to [Email Address Removed] until 27 February 2022 or use our online application form on our homepage

1)   A cover letter (maximum 1-2 pages) explaining your interest in the project and your relevant prior experience;

2)    Your detailed CV, including names and contact details of two professional references;

3)    Copies of your relevant academic certificates and credentials, such as your university degrees.

For more information, please see or contact the SOSA Co-Chairs: Dr. Torben Riehl and Prof. Dr Julia Sigwart ([Email Address Removed], [Email Address Removed]).


For more information, please see or contact the SOSA Co-Chairs: Dr. Torben Riehl and Prof. Dr Julia Sigwart (,
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