Our Mission: Discovering and describing life and earth - with people, through dialogue.

The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN) is an excellent and integrated research museum of the Leibniz Association with an international reputation and globally connected research infrastructure. MfN is active in three closely interlinked fields: collection-based research, collection development, and research-based public and educational outreach. Over the next ten years, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin will build up a science campus for nature and society in the centre of Berlin as science hub, together with the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. New laboratories and workplaces for cutting-edge research will be established. One of the world's most comprehensive natural history collections with over 30 million objects will be housed in state of the art buildings as well as fully digitized. The implementation of the so-called Zukunftsplan (future plan), funded with a total of 660 million euros from the Federal Government and the State of Berlin, strongly relies on interdisciplinary national and international partners. Become part of our team.

Position: Researcher (f/m/d)
work schedule: 75% of the weekly working time
Duration: External funding, as soon as possible for 36 months
Entgeltgruppe: E 13 TV-L
reference number: 22/ 2021

Project description:

This DFG-funded project has the goal to inform us about the lifestyle and behaviour of phytosaurs, a group of Late Triassic achosauriforms, based on a broad-based study of the types and frequencies of their skeletal pathologies. The type of bone healing in phytosaurs will shed light on their bone metabolism and the mechanical consequences of the secondary bone remodeling after injuries. Comparison of phytosaur pathologies with those of extant crocodylians whose ecology and lifestyle are well known will test the hypothesis that comparable pathologies can be expected in phytosaurs and crocodylians due to an analogous lifestyle and similar morphology.


  • Documentation and comparison of different bone pathologies and their frequencies in Late Triassic phytosaurs and extant crocodylians based on outer morphology
  • Investigation of the internal structure of pathologically altered bones by means of 3D-imaging technologies (e.g., micro-CT) and bone histology
  • Biomechanical studies of pathologically altered bones with Finite Element Analyses (FEA) based on synchrotron measurements
  • Statistical analyses of the prevalence of different pathologies in phytosaurs against the background of environmental changes through time
  • Presentation and publication of the scientific results


  • Completed degree in life or earth sciences (MSc or equivalent)
  • Particular expertise in vertebrate palaeontology
  • Knowledge of bone microstructure and histology
  • Experience with handling of fossil material
  • Experience with statistical analytical programs like “R”
  • Experience with image-editing programs like ImageJ
  • Experience with the development and realization of independent research projects
  • Very good language skills in English
  • Interdisciplinary communication skills

    Special Notes:

    In support of equal rights applications from qualified women are particularly welcome. Handicapped individuals will be given preference in cases of identical qualifications.

    We look forward to receiving your application with the usual documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, certificates) by 18.06.2021, preferably via our online application portal.
    For information on the application procedure, please contact

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