Job Announcement
Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Frankfurt a.M.

PhD Position in Molecular Biosystematics

Application deadline:  14.12.2017
[printable version .pdf]

Job offer ref. #01-17036

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) is a member of the Leibniz Association and is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. SGN conducts natural history research with almost 800 employees and research institutions in six federal states, and is also custodian of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Messel.

The Senckenberg Research Institute invites applications for a PhD Position in a project funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG).

PhD Position in Molecular Biosystematics (part-time, 65%)

The project “Lecanomics – new ways of species detection and recognition in a ubiquitous group of lichens” aims to connect both ends of the taxonomic work-flow: field exploration and verification of potential new species by genomic methods. Based on reference genomes we want to develop genomic and genetic markers for species identification and delimitation that will be tested on samples from underexplored regions of the world. Worldwide sampling and feedback to collectors is organized by a team of, at present, 20 international specialists through a self-developed web-based work-flow management system. The platform also enables participation of amateur (citizen) scientists. Insights from this project are supposed to streamline the taxonomic work-flow for inconspicuous organisms.

The project requires close communication and offers opportunities to cooperate with international team members and amateur scientists. “Lecanomics” is embedded in the DFG priority program “Taxon-Omics” ( Lab visits and attendance of workshops held by the 27 currently funded PIs is strongly encouraged. PhD candidates (m/f) also have access to the training program of GRADE, the graduate academy of Goethe-University, Frankfurt.

Specific tasks will include:

  • generating draft reference genomes and developing novel genetic markers for species delimitation in lichens
  • using genome-wide datasets to study species delimitation in selected groups of the lichen genus Lecanora
  • assisting in the administration of our web-based communication and work-flow management system and cooperate with an international team of specialists

Your profile:

  • a Master’s degree or equivalent in a field related to biodiversity research
  • experience in molecular genetic lab methods (preferably including library preparation and genome reduction techniques)
  • basic programming skills in and experience with databases (these assets are desirable but not mandatory)
  • good command of English (oral and written)

Please apply if you like to:

  • work in the field and in the lab
  • acquire new skills and methods
  • develop your own scientific ideas
  • share and exchange these ideas with scientists and amateurs

Salary and benefits are according to a part-time public service position in Germany (TV-H E 13, 65%). The position is a 3-year fixed-term post, starting April 1st, 2018.

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung supports equal opportunity of men and women and therefore strongly invites women to apply. Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference. The place of employment will be Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The employer is the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.

To apply, please e-mail a single PDF file referencing this position (ref. #01-17036) until and including December 14th, 2017.

Please include a cover letter outlining your motivation, a detailed CV, your full transcripts and grades, contact details of two potential references, a summary of your Master/Diploma thesis, and, if available, a list of publications to the address below:

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main
E-Mail:, cc to:

For scientific enquiries please contact Dr. Christian Printzen,

© 22.11.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG