The University of Hamburg is one of Germany’s youngest universities, having been founded in 1919. The main campus is located in the central district of Rotherbaum, with another 180 affiliated institutes and research centres scattered around the city. Hamburg is also known as the “city on the water,” with the Alster Lake, the Elbe River and the harbor contributing to the city’s distinctive maritime flair while theatre, opera, musicals, movies, festivals, museums, and galleries offer students an all round experience.

Research Associate for the Project “Plant-Soil Interactions in Estuarine Alluvial Forests” (PhD student) § 28 Subsection 3 HmbHG:

Responsibilities: In the period from 15.09.2022 until 31.03.2025 duties include academic services in the project named above. In the period from 01.04.2025 until 14.09.2025 duties primarily include teaching and research. Research associates may also pursue independent research and further academic qualifications.

Specific Duties

  • investigate the influence of wood density on the amount and fate of surplus C in tidal forests of the Elbe estuary
  • study the impacts of temporary hypoxic or drought conditions and contrasting salinity on root C storage and disposal
  • investigate root C allocation, root exudation, and alternative oxygen respiration (isotopic analyses and 2D imaging)
  • examine the microbial community composition and diversity (shotgun metagenomics), and its activity (infrared gas analysis) in the rhizosphere
  • conduct rhizobox experiments under controlled conditions in climate chambers
  • write and publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • present results at national and international conferences
  • teaching duty of 2 teaching hours in the period from 01.04.2025 until 14.09.2025


A university degree in a relevant field.

Strong skills in root physiology, rhizosphere ecology, and/or biogeochemistry are a plus. This PhD position is part of the DFG research training group 2530 ‘Biota-mediated effects on Carbon cycling in Estuaries’. Therefore, team-orientation and interest in conducting interdisciplinary research as well as being proactive are a must. Willingness for field work in temporary flooded alluvial forests. Excellent German and English communication skills (spoken and written).

We offer

  • Reliable remuneration based on wage agreements
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • University pensions
  • Attractive location
  • Flexible working hours
  • Work-life balance opportunities
  • Public transport pass (ProfiTicket) and much more
  • Health management
  • Educational leave
  • 30 days of vacation per annum

As a University of Excellence, Universität Hamburg is one of the strongest research universities in Germany. As a flagship university in the greater Hamburg region, it nurtures innovative, cooperative contacts to partners within and outside academia. It also provides and promotes sustainable education, knowledge, and knowledge exchange locally, nationally, and internationally.

Severely disabled and disabled applicants with the same status will receive preference over equally qualified non-disabled applicants.

Instructions for applying


Prof. Dr. Ina Christin Meier

+49 40 822459-203

Dr. Benjamin Branoff

+49 40 42816-722

Reference number



Haidkrugsweg 1
22885 Barsbüttel-Willinghusen
Zu Google Maps

Application deadline


Send us your complete application documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of degree certificate[s] and if necessary ID attesting to your disability or proof of equivalent status) via the online application form only.

If you experience technical problems, send an email to

More information on data protection in selection procedures.


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