Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Doctoral position on permafrost ecosystems at Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany) 

We are seeking to fill a doctoral position (50%, start January 1st, 2024) at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, within the new ThinIce project: Thawing industrial legacies in the Arctic – a threat to permafrost ecosystems. Application is open now until September 30, 2023 (see job advertisement below). For further information visit: 
Application deadline: September 30, 2023 
Start of position: January 01, 2024 
Project: Thawing industrial legacies in the Arctic – a threat to permafrost ecosystems 
Sub-project 4: Impact of contaminations on aquatic thermokarst ecosystems 3 years, 50% TVL-E13. 
We are seeking a highly motivated doctoral researcher for the BMBF-funded research network project “Thawing industrial legacies in the Arctic – a threat to permafrost ecosystems” for sub-project 4 “Impact of contaminations on aquatic thermokarst ecosystems”. 
The intensive oil and gas exploration in the Mackenzie Delta area in Canada’s Northwest Territories   between the 1970s and 1990s, led to the disposal of industrial waste in permafrost drilling mud sumps, primarily. With ongoing climate warming, which the Arctic is disproportionately affected by, the permafrost is thawing and creating thermokarst landscapes with numerous water-filled depressions. The release of methane, sediment, 
and other potentially pollutants from destabilized drilling mud sumps is threatening the integrity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as the livelihoods and health of local populations. 
The objectives of this subproject are to: assess the impacts and regional extent of climate and environmental change on local aquatic ecosystems, evaluate the current level of pollution, tolerance and adaptability of these systems, and identify and designate highly threatened species and particularly vulnerable areas. Thermokarst water bodies and drilling mud sumps contain sediments that act as climate and environmental archives, allowing the assessment of the impacts of climate change and pollutant inputs over time. This can be used to generate about 50 years of historical data of trends and impacts of multiple stressors. We expect to gain new insights into the state of thermokarst water bodies, the threat posed by the legacy of drilling mud sumps, the resilience and resistance of aquatic 
thermokarst ecosystems, and the base line conditions. Our data will be used as a basis for protective measures to be developed in collaboration with partners in the consortium and the NWT Geological Survey as well as the local community, in order to minimize the negative effects of the industrial contamination, which are further increasing due to climate change. 
For the successful implementation and completion of the doctoral project, we are searching for a highly motivated candidate with a strong interest to use aquatic bioindicators as environmental proxies and dedication for fieldwork in extreme environments. We will preferably hire a researcher with a Master’s degree in geo- or biosciences, experience in the collection and analysis of water and sediments as well as bioindicator (for example 
chironomids, diatoms, ostracodes, and/or thecamoebae) analysis. 
The doctoral researcher will be located at the Institute of Geosystems and Bioindication, TU Braunschweig and work in close collaboration with the AWI in Potsdam as well as the Universities in Hannover, Aachen, Germany, and Regina, Canada. 
We offer involvement in a timely interdisciplinary and international research project, a good academic environment with dedicated colleagues, a large degree of independence in work, and flexible working hours. TU Braunschweig is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. We explicitly encourage women to apply and preference will be given to disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications. 
Please submit your application (in English) as one pdf file to antje.schwalb@tu-braunschweig.de before 30.09.2023. The application should include the following information: CV, letter of motivation, transcript of records, certificates, and two reference letters. 
For any further information concerning the position, requirements and application process please contact: Prof. Antje Schwalb ( antje.schwalb@tu-braunschweig.de) 
Dr. Nicole Börner 
Institut für Geosysteme und Bioindikation 
Technische Universität Braunschweig 
Langer Kamp 19c 
38106 Braunschweig 
Tel: 0531-391-7248 
Email: nicole.boerner@tu-braunschweig.de