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 networked research infrastructure. It is active in three closely interlinked fields: collection-based research, collection development and cataloguing, and research-based public and educational work. Over the next ten years, the Museum für Naturkunde will realise its plan for the future. New laboratories and jobs for cutting-edge research will be created. At the same time, one of the world's most comprehensive natural history collections with over 30 million objects will be housed in modern collection buildings and completely digitised in the process. The implementation of the Future Plan, funded with a total of 660 million euros from the Federal Government and the State of Berlin, will only succeed with strong interdisciplinary national and international partners.

Become part of our team.

Position: Research assistant (PhD student) (f/m/d)
Work schedule: Part time 65 % (equivalent to 25 hours and 37 minutes per week)
Duration: as soon as possible, limited for 36 months
Salary Level: E 13 TV-L
Code: 35/2024

Project Description:

The DFG (German Research Foundation) funded project „Ontogeny and evolution of perception in temnospondyls” is embedded within the DFG Research Group “Evolution of Life Histories in Tetrapods”. The aim of the project is to gain a physiological perspective on the life history of temnospondyl amphibians based on evolutionary changes in their sensory systems (hearing, sight and mechanoreception). The project entails a systematic and comprehensive study of these three sensory systems based on a large collection of fossil taxa, spanning different ecosystems and lifestyles. A number of methods will find application in the project including CT, synchrotron and surface scans, as well as paleohistological methods. As part of the DFG research group, the gathered data will be combined with other projects within the group, which will be strategically supported by regular meetings with other project partners.


Tasks of the candidate will include the collection of morphological and histological data on sensory organs, particularly the lateral line system and visual system (orbits and scleral rings) in fossil temnospondyls. Moreover, the application and adjustment of scientific methods and protocols for CT, synchrotron and surface scanning, paleohistology and the analysis and synthesis or the collected research data. In addition, the candidate is expected to produce texts and figures for scientific publications within the framework of the project and the presentation of the research results in scientific meetings as talks and/or posters. The data collected for this project will form the basis for a doctoral thesis.


  • MSc degree in biology or geology/paleontology
  • Knowledge in the areas of (1) vertebrate paleontology and (2) evolution
  • Experience in the development, realization and presentation of research projects
  • Knowledge on the anatomy and evolution of amphibians and the collection of scientific data with synchrotron, CT and surface scans, as well as paleohistological data are desirable, but not strictly necessary
  • Excellent English skills
  • High motivation, working independently, teamwork and interdisciplinary communication skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • Goal is the acquirement of a doctoral degree of the candidate at the end of the project

    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 09.08.2024, preferably via our online application portal.

    For information on the application procedure, please contact

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