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Campus Essen

Application area

Faculty of Biology

PhD Scientific Researcher (f/m/d, no. 842-23)
EG 13 TV-L

in the Faculty of Biology, working group Phycology (located on the campus in Essen).

The post belongs to a research project entitled “DNAquaIMG: Innovating transnational aquatic biodiversity monitoring using high-throughput DNA tools and automated image recognition”.

Aquatic organisms, including microphytobenthic diatoms, are routinely sampled across Europe for ecological status assessment of water bodies. The same samples could also be used for other purposes, including biodiversity monitoring, but this needs further methodological developments and harmonization. To enable such repurposing for the future, our collaborative project under the umbrella of the European Biodiversity Partnership (Biodiversa+) will focus on further development and application of large-scale digital microscopy-based methods to biodiversity monitoring of diatoms.

Start of employment

as soon as possible

Duration of employment

3 years

Working time

25 Std. 53 Min. (65%)

Your main tasks

  • Training and application of deep neural network models for diatom image segmentation and classification
  • Statistical analysis
  • Organization and supervision of diatom image annotation activities by taxonomic experts; analyses of the results of such
  • Diatom imaging by slide scanning light microscopy
  • Contact and communication with stakeholders: scientists, authorities, companies involved in ecological status assessment activities
  • Communicating scientific results (articles, oral presentations, etc.).

Your profile

  • Talented and enthusiastic candidates with high interest in the research topic.
  • Above average university degree of at least 8 semesters in bioimage informatics, bioinformatics, computer vision, biology with a focus on in silico methods, computer science in biological fields of application, or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated experience with computer vision and machine learning, ideally including deep learning.
  • Strong programming skills in at least one programming language (Python, R, etc.).
  • Previous exposure to applications of image analyses to biodiversity research is preferable.
  • Experience in web development (HTML, Javascript, PHP, databases) is beneficial.
  • High motivation and commitment, and good communication skills for active cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Problem-solving skills, creative thinking and ability to work independently.
  • Good communication skills (incl. writing and speaking scientific English) as well as organizational skills and teamwork skills.

We offer you

  • Being part of a cutting-edge research project.
  • A varied, versatile field of activity in a lively work area with international exchange.
  • An interesting, responsible job with great creative potential.
  • A discrimination-free working environment with respectful, appreciative cooperation.
  • A pleasant working environment in a dynamic team.
  • The possibility to obtain a PhD with the help of numerous support services.
  • Family-friendly environment with provision of child care and advice on caring responsibilities.
  • A wide range of further education and training opportunities.
  • A discount job ticket for public transport.
  • Attractive range of sport and health activities.
  • The possibility to work from home.

Application deadline


Code number



Unfortunately, the application deadline for this position has passed.

Information about the job

Willkommen in der Fakultät für Biologie (

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