Scientist (m/f/d) in marine biology, bioacoustics or oceanography

Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)

The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

Scientist (m/f/d) in marine biology, bioacoustics or oceanography

The AWI’s Ocean Acoustics Group seeks to improve our understanding of the marine acoustic environment and its interaction with anthropogenic sound emissions therein. In this context the AWI seeks to establish a data portal for global passive acoustic data through which such data is made findable and accessible.

To lead and implement the development of a such a facility, AWI seeks an Marine Biologist / Bioacoustician / Oceanographer (m/f/d) to design and curate a designated passive acoustic data portal for passive acoustic data collected worldwide.

The activity is directly linked to the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (, particularly IQOE’s questions 2 and 3:
  • What are the current levels and distribution of sound in the ocean?
  • What are the trends in sound levels across the global ocean?
Concordant with IQOE goals, AWI seeks to develop tools to allow cross-disciplinary management and access of (passive acoustic) data while addressing the common FAIR goals (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable). To build the necessary integrated earth knowledgebase we aim to merge the repositories and data infrastructures of marine, terrestrial and atmospheric research centers into an open, networked information infrastructure.

Embedded in a team of 8 dedicated colleagues working on this project, the role of the applicant is to design, test and populate the passive acoustic data portal and to supervise its implementation by a software developer/data engineer dedicated to the passive acoustic data portal. The software developer/data engineer, will be in charge of the technical implementation of the data portal in close collaboration with the AWI’s computing center, whereas the applicant bears responsibility for the acoustic portal’s layout, access to underlying data sources and its international recognition.

The appointee will work closely with the Ocean Acoustics group and the international IQOE steering committee and working groups to identify and develop data products that are of direct relevance to stakeholders in underwater acoustics. Project results, such as databases, infrastructure, white and peer-reviewed papers, support of political and regulatory bodies, as well as media outreach will contribute to the conservation and management of aquatic fauna throughout the global ocean, and will advance our understanding of the ecological processes that influence distribution and abundance of marine life.

Specific objectives:
  • Design passive acoustic data portal and its products
  • Implement passive acoustic data portal together with data engineer and computing center.
  • Work with data holders (national oceanographic databases, CTBTO, companies) to create agreements for data sharing to populate data portal
  • Provide passive acoustic data products for display in data portal
  • Foster and advance the contact to the IQOE Data Management Working Group
  • Work with the Data Management WG to determine what kind of data and metadata must be managed and how it will be collected from scientists
  • Ph.D. in marine biology, bioacoustics or oceanography
  • Proven expertise in acoustic ecology of Arctic and Antarctic cetaceans
  • Experience in scientific analysis of passive acoustic or oceanographic data sets
  • Experience in management of large data sets
  • Competence with programming environments (Matlab, R etc.) and databases
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
Additional skills and knowledge:
  • Experience in publishing in English
  • Experience in sound propagation modelling
  • Evidence of scientific expertise through peer reviewed publications
  • Experience with Unix/Linux operating systems and mainframe computers
  • Membership in scientific panels on marine passive acoustics, particularly those related to the IQOE
Further Information:

For further information please contact Dr. Olaf Boebel (; +49 (0)471 / 48.31 -18.79).

The position is limited to 2 years, shall begin as early as possible pending final approval of funding. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

This characterizes us
  • our scientific success - excellent research.
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.
  • opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.
  • a culture of reconciling work and family – audited, and even more than that.
  • our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world.
  • having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies – freedom and responsibility.
  • exciting topics – also in technology, administration and infrastructure.
In close cooperation between AWI's research departments and the computing center AWI develops the IT- and data science products for our research activities. AWI is leading in developing strategies and solutions for management of big data such as acoustic data sampled at high frequencies. We develop modern data management architectures, which comprise the entire data chain from data acquisition, management, processing, quality control and analysis, as well as distribution and visualization, while employing current generation of high-performance computers.

You will be embedded in a creative IT-team, dedicated to develop seminal research data infrastructure for the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy and we encourage women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family through various means. Because of our engagement in the area of work-life compatibility we have been awarded the certificate “Career and Family”.

We look forward to your application!
Please forward your application by November 30th, 2019 exclusively online:
Reference number 19/124/G/Kli-b
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
Am Handelshafen 12
27570 Bremerhaven
Dr. Olaf Boebel
+49 (0)471 / 48.31 -18.79
Reference number 19/124/G/Kli-b
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