Senckenberg Ocean Species Alliance

Who we are and what we do
Senckenberg is well-known as a major European natural history museum and research institute in Frankfurt, with additional institutes across Germany, and a member of the Leibniz Association.
The Senckenberg Ocean Species Alliance (SOSA) aims to accelerate the discovery of unknown marine species, protect them from extinction, and inspire fascination for marine biodiversity. This ten-year programme is funded by a private philanthropic donation and begins in 2022. We believe in three closely connected pillars that support healthy, sustainable marine biodiversity:

Discovery: Species are the key to understand the Earth’s ecosystems. In the oceans, an estimated 91% of the species still remain undiscovered. As a service to marine scientists, SOSA provides technical support to speed up the examination, taxonomic description and naming of new marine species. Our vision is a service that anyone will be able to use, to complete the necessary technical preparations (microscopy and molecular analyses), freeing researchers to focus on interpreting data and publishing species names. We want to provide a service that accelerates high quality taxonomic descriptions, for as many groups of marine organisms as possible. This is a new approach to marine taxonomy, and we need someone who can help us develop this vision and lead the team to do it.
Conservation: Marine species are underrepresented in international conservation efforts. In order to promote a sustainable “Blue Economy” and effective marine species protection, SOSA will assess the extinction risk of marine species, particularly in impacted regions of the oceans.
Engagement: The species of the oceans are fascinating and beautiful, but largely unknown to the public. Their importance in the Earth system is often forgotten. SOSA engages with diverse stakeholders around the globe to shed light on marine species and their importance for the oceans and humanity.
SOSA is based at the Marine Zoology Department of the Senckenberg Research Institute Frankfurt am Main, Germany. We operate globally.

Mission statement
Our mission is to establish the Senckenberg Ocean Species Alliance as a global center for marine species discovery and conservation, and to inspire fascination and appreciation for marine species. Our task is to rapidly discover and describe new marine species and assess their potential vulnerability. In particular, we are committed to discovering and protecting marine species before they become extinct. We will communicate our findings to encourage and support societies worldwide to conserve the diversity and health of the oceans and ensure that any use of the ocean’s natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. In doing so, we promote a sustainable “Blue Economy.” We understand the equal relationship between biodiversity research, species conservation, and science
communication as a fundamental working principle.

We are hiring!
We welcome applications from everyone, and offer a stimulating and professional environment in which to work. We look for staff who can work according to our values: diversity, creativity, connection and evidence- based thinking. Working language is English.
If you are interested in working at with us in Frankfurt at the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, please send us your complete and meaningful application documents (as one coherent PDF file) to or apply via our online application form.