PhD Opportunity in deep-sea mining – Bremen, Germany

[From the INDEEP mailing list]

The international Jacobs University Bremen (JUB), in cooperation with the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, MARUM, offers a PhD Position in the initiative on sustainable deep-sea mining as of October 1, 2015. The working title for the PhD project is “Assessing the Potential Synergistic Effects of Deep-Sea Mining and a Comparison to Onshore Mining: Sourcing Nickel from Deep-Sea Manganese Nodules as Case Study”.

Description: This project strives for transdisciplinary research on assessing potential impacts of deep-sea mining on humans and nature, and comparing these impacts to those ensuing from land-based mining. Since nickel is the major commodity in manganese nodules, the specific case study will be the mining of nickel from deep-sea manganese nodules and onshore lateritic deposits. The comparison should include the three major steps of the process chain (exploration, exploitation, refining). The elements of the investigation should include, e.g, costs of investment, nickel price, areal impact, energy consumption, emissions to air, discharge of process water, and effects on local communities, to name a few.
The work will be based on cutting-edge insights from recent work in sustainability and synergistic scenario building. Since deep-sea mining is a case with high uncertainty and limited data available, traditional strategies to forecast impacts on ecosystems are not appropriate. Instead, scenario building should be used to identify various potential scenarios and develop robust strategies for a full range of options. Socioeconomic and environmental effects should be considered synergistically. A synergistic assessment would include questions such as: would deep-sea mining lead to loss of jobs in land mines and decrease incomes in those countries? Could mining in the deep ocean potentially decrease pressure on ecosystems on land, where mining reaches more and more into remote and sensitive areas? Other issues to be considered include public resistance and acceptance of the different mining scenarios. The PhD project will contribute to the activities of the transdisciplinary research initiative on sustainable deep-sea mining in Bremen.

Supervisors: Prof Dr. Andrea Koschinsky (JUB, geochemistry), Prof. Dr. Karen Smith Stegen (JUB, political sciences), Dr. Hermann Kudraß (MARUM, geology), Prof. Dr. Welf Werner (JUB, economics), Prof. Dr. Michael Bau (JUB, geochemistry)

Funding: The PhD student will receive a PhD stipend for 3 years.

Requirements: The successful applicant should hold an MSc/MA in any field related to the topics, such as environmental science, political science, geoscience, etc. Previous experience of working on interdisciplinary topics is very welcome. Excellent English communication skills are essential.

Application: Please send your complete set of application documents, including a cover letter expressing your motivation, CV, copies of relevant transcripts and names and addresses of three references in a single PDF file by email to Prof. Dr. Andrea Koschinsky<>, Please use the subject “PhD position sustainable deep-sea mining” in the email. Deadline for applications is August 31, 2015. The review of applications will begin immediately until the position is filled.

For further information, please contact: Prof. Dr. Andrea Koschinsky,, +49(0)421 200 3567. For information about Jacobs University and MARUM, please check and

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