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PhD: Size reductions during hyperthermal events: Early warnings of environmental deterioration or signs of extinction? (EarlyWarn)

Project Title

Size reductions during hyperthermal events: Early warnings of environmental deterioration or signs of extinction? (EarlyWarn)


Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg

Supervisors and Institutions

Dr. Kenneth De Baets (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremburg), Dr. Dieter Korn (Naturkunde Museum Berlin)

Funding Status

Funding is in place for this project

Project Description

We seek a motivated and talented graduate student for a PhD position in the DFG founded project on “Size reductions during hyperthermal events: Early warnings of environmental deterioration or signs of extinction?”. The position is temporary for 36 months (TV-L E13, 75%) and is anticipated to start in Oktober 2019. Place of work is the GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen.

This project is one of eight new projects embedded in the successful prolongation of the interdisciplinary Research Unit FOR 2332 TERSANE: Temperature-Related Stresses as a Unifying Principle in Ancient Extinctions (more info on The research unit combines high-resolution geological field studies with meta-analyses, physiological studies and sophisticated analysis of fossil occurrence data on ancient hyperthermal events to reveal the rate and magnitude of warming, potential causes, impact on marine life, and the mechanisms which led to ecological change and extinction. Geochemistry, analytical paleobiology and physiology comprise our main toolkits. More information on Tersane is available at:

Tasks: The successful candidate will focus on paleobiological – ecological analysis of Pliensbachian-Toarcian and Permian-Triassic mollusks and brachiopods but also be involved in meta-analyses of stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental controls on size and morphology of Phanerozoic invertebrates more generally. The project will largely focus on previously collected data in high-stratigraphic resolution, but will include supplementary field work to cover within- and between facies differences before and across extinct events. Statistical analyses should be carried out, in particular in view of body size distribution and in relationship with environmental perturbations, extinction and facies changes (stratigraphic paleobiology). Fieldwork and analyses occur in connection with other projects within the Research Unit. Applicants are expected to participate in weekly informal seminar, annual workshops and international summer schools with others members of the research unit.

Mandatory requirements are
• M.Sc. degree in geology or biology
• Experience in fieldwork
• High degree of initiative and motivation
• Ability to work as part of a team
• Very good English skills
• Good knowledge of statistics and R programming
Desirable are
• Background in invertebrate palaeontology
• Driving license

Please submit your application in electronic form (including curriculum vitae, list of publications, statement of research interests; keyword "EarlyWarn") by the 14th of August 2019 to

Contact Name

Kenneth De Baets

Contact Email

Link to More Information

Closing Date

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Expiry Date

Saturday, August 31, 2019
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