July 2016
Message 17

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[Met-jobs] Postdoc Position on statistical paleoclimate data analysis @AWI Potsdam

From Thomas Laepple <>
To <>
Date Tue, 5 Jul 2016 22:29:40 +0200

Postdoc Position on statistical paleoclimate data analysis @AWI Potsdam

The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology and geophysics thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.
 AWI contributes to the BMBF project "From the Last Interglacial to the Anthropocene: Modeling a Complete Glacial Cycle" (PalMod,, which aims at simulating the climate from the peak of the last interglacial up to the present using comprehensive Earth System Models.

In this framework, the research unit Potsdam invites applications for a position as Scientist (PostDoc) on statistical paleoclimate data analysis. The position will be associated with the Helmholtz Young Investigators Group ECUS, which focuses on the reliability of paleo-proxy records and the quantitative reconstruction of past climate variability. (

To understand how the Earth’s climate has evolved over long time-scales, we analyze paleo- proxy data, such as measurements from marine sediment cores, lake sediment cores or ice- cores. These data are associated with a range of uncertainties, which need to be quantified and understood in order to use this information source for a meaningful comparison with climate models. While in the recent years the understanding of the processes leading from a climate signal to a measured proxy record considerable improved, no framework exists to systematically quantify and combine the chain of uncertainties into coherent error estimates, at least for time periods including the glacial cycles. Based on expert knowledge, literature review, statistical analysis of multiproxy evidence and recent field and lab work of the ECUS research group, the successful candidate will develop uncertainty estimates for reconstructions derived from proxy data. The work will be strongly linked to the other ECUS group members specialized on ice-core, terrestrial and sediment based climate archives, as well as with the PalMod project partners from Helmholtz-Centre Geesthacht and the University of Bonn.


The candidate should have strong background in statistics or maths, hold a PhD in statistics, mathematics, physics, or a related field and be interested to independently work on an important interdisciplinary problem. He/she should be interested in thinking across the disciplines of climate sciences, statistics, physics and geology. Proficiency in a programming language and good English language skills are required. Previous experience with (paleo) climate research is an advantage. Furthermore, the candidate should have good teamwork skills and the willingness to actively cooperate with a diverse international working group.

Length of contract and salary:
The contract will be for a period of 2 years starting on September 1st, 2016 or as agreed. Payment will be in accordance with a civil service position (TVöD Bund) based on qualifications and transferred tasks.

The job will be based at the AWI in Potsdam. The institute is located on a historical scientific campus nearby the city center, which also hosts the GeoForschungsZentrum and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The city of Potsdam (~160,000 inhabitants) is more than 1000 years old and is located along the banks of the Havel River and the surrounding lakes. Potsdam is known for its splendid baroque architecture, its preserved palaces, gardens, as well as a scientific environment, which is unparalleled in all of Germany. Potsdam is only a couple of minutes away from Berlin and its cultural scene.

Application process:
Applications including CV and degree certificates as well as contact information (not support letters) of two persons of reference should be submitted by under the reference code 86/D/Kli-P via email (all documents merged into one PDF file) to: Thomas.Laepple(at)
Review of applications will start on July 30th, 2016 and continued until the position is filled. Selected candidates will be invited for job interviews.

AWI aims to increase the number of women in the scientific staff and therefore encourages women to apply. Disabled applicants with identical technical and personal suitability will be preferentially selected, please see our notification on our homepage under job offers / jobs.
The AWI supports balanced work-life career development via a variety of alternatives. In Potsdam a daycare facility operates on campus.

For further information please contact Dr. Thomas Laepple (Phone: 49 (331) 288-2159; E-Mail:

Thomas Laepple
Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Helmholtz Young Investigators Group ECUS

Tel: +49 (331) 288-2159

Office adress: Heinrich Mann Allee 18, 4th floor, D-14473 Potsdam,Germany
Postal adress: Telegrafenberg A43, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany

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