Doctoral researcher for the project “Fate and transport of the microplastic in soil mesofauna” (m/f/x): We are inviting a motivated doctoral candidate to participate in the exciting project titled “Fate and transport of the microplastic in soil mesofauna”. The project is focusing on the fate and impact of microplastic particles (MP) and associated chemical pollutants on the soil fauna. We are looking for you: Doctoral researcher for the project “Fate and transport of the microplastic in soil mesofauna” (m/f/x) in Planegg-Martinsried

Your tasks and responsibilities: The successful candidate will conduct a series of mesocosm experiments, aimed at the identification of the fate and pathways of the MP transport in the soil mesofauna (mostly insects), to determine hotspots and moments in the biogenic MP soil transport.

Additionally, the successful candidate will run a series of acute and chronic toxicological experiments to identify the impact of the MP transport through the soil food webs on the mesofaunal organisms, in particular to find threshold concentrations of the different types of MP pollutants. Results of the experiments will be used to estimate the impact of the MP transport in soil onto ecosystem functions of the mesofauna.

Your qualifications:

  • Master of Science degree in Biology / Ecology/ Toxicology / Biotechnology / Environmental Science or similar
  • Very good English communication skills (oral and written)
  • Ability to efficiently work in teams
  • High motivation
  • Strong interest in animal ecology and insect ontogeny
  • Strong command of quantitative analysis in R, python or equivalent will be a strong asset.
  • Background in mesocosm experiments and interest in insect larval ecology and ontogeny will be considered a plus

The results of the project are expected to be presented regularly at national and international conferences by the doctoral researcher as well as published in peer-reviewed journals.

The candidates must not yet be in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of recruitment. The position is part of a doctoral network (see below) and provides ample opportunities for international and inter-sectoral secondments, international joint experiments, advanced training courses (ATCs) among other activities.

The candidates can be of any nationality, but must comply with the following mobility rule: At the time of selection by the host organization, the candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to recruitment.


  • PhD position for 36 months funded by DFG
  • Salary according to wage agreement (TV-L)
  • Modern imaging equipment (macro- and microscopic)
  • Interdisciplinary research project and working environment supportive and stimulating research environment
  • Large support network of mentors and co-supervisors

Working conditions in the lab are conducive for a good work-life balance. We are offering flexibility of working time, and are in general a family-friendly lab. The position is limited to a duration of 36 months. Starting date is 1 September 2023.

The successful candidate will be based in the workgroup of Zoomorphology at LMU Munich at the campus Martinsried (part of municipality Planegg) south-west of Munich, in close proximity to Munich. Child care facilities as well as schools are nearby. The project will involve short secondments to the University of Nis (Serbia), University of Birmingham (UK) and California Water Board (Berkley, California, USA). Additionally, the candidate will spend extended secondment (1–3 months) at the Estación Biológica de Doñana in Seville (Spain), conducting experiments with soil mesofauna.

The candidates will be remunerated according to the standard Marie Curie rate, which includes monthly living allowance, mobility allowance, and if applicable family allowance and allowance for the long-term secondments. The candidates will also be able to join the Life Science School Munich (LSM), a graduate school at LMU Munich, which provides excellent opportunities for career and personal development.

The successful candidate will become a part of the PlasticUnderground Horizon Europe ITN Project. Overall, applications are invited for 14 PhD positions funded by the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Network PlasticUnderground.

The PlasticUnderground Doctoral Network (DN) is an international, multi-partner, inter-sectoral doctoral research-training network with the aim to prepare an international cohort of Doctoral Candidates in the development of solutions to the emerging plastic pollution crisis in soils and groundwater.

Given the evolving understanding of subsurface soil and groundwater ecosystems as long-term storage pools of micro- and nanoplastics, interdisciplinary capacity that can support and provide guidance for the management of these systems, as well as development of adequate technological, social behavioural and legislative solutions is urgently needed.

This interdisciplinary DN will integrate comprehensive training opportunities in cutting edge technological innovations, regulatory and behavioural approaches across traditional disciplinary and sectoral boundaries. The consortium comprises universities, research institutions and companies located in the UK, France, Spain, Serbia, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus and Germany.

Applications of women are strongly encouraged. We actively promote gender equality. Also possible in a part-time capacity. People with disabilities who are equally as qualified as other applicants will receive preferential treatment.

Contact an applications:

Please send your application to  until April 15, 2023. The application should include CV, transcript of records, letter of motivation, and the names and contact details of potential referees.

Contact for further information:

Prof. Dr. Joachim T. Haug; LMU Munich, Faculty of Biology

Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany

Phone: +49-89-2180-74132; e-mail:

More information find here:

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