The research of the Department of Geology focuses on the reconstruction of the paleoclimate and the paleoenvironmental conditions of the last 100 million years. Using sedimentological, geochemical and paleontological methods, we study drill cores, rock samples and fossils from key areas of the earth. These include Antarctica, the Mediterranean, East Africa and the Central American region. In this way, we gain insights into the extent, speed and framework conditions of previous environmental and climate changes.

West Antarctica 90 million years ago. Figure: Alfred Wegener Institute/James McKay, CC-BY 4.0
This acrylic painting shows the reconstructed environmental conditions (moderate rainforest) that prevailed near the South Pole about 90 million years ago. Figure: Alfred Wegener Institute/James McKay, CC-BY 4.0.

Research Foci

  • Carbonate sedimentology and paleoclimatology of the Cenozoic: Shallow marine carbonates and coral reefs, coral sclerochronology
  • Paleontology and bio-facies
  • Micropaleontology, especially ostracodes
  • Methods: Thin-section petrography (microfacies, diagenesis), isotope geochemistry (oxygen and stable carbon isotopes), geochemistry (main and trace elements), X-ray densitometry
  • Dynamics of humid and dry periods of the last 200,000 years in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
  • Cenozoic glacial history of Antarctica

Geology Team

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Prof. Dr. Thomas Brachert


Talstraße 35, Room 0-09
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-32902

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Prof. Dr. Werner Ehrmann

Head of Institute & Professor

Talstraße 35, Room 0-11
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-32901

Dr. Dennis Bunke

Dr. Dennis Bunke

Research Fellow

Talstraße 35, Room 0-14
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-32903

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Marlene Höhle

PhD Student

Talstraße 35, Room 0-13
04103 Leipzig

Telephone: +49 341 97-32909

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Philipp Michael Spreter

Research Fellow / PhD Student

Talstraße 35, Room 0-03
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-32906

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Frank Bach

Curator of the Geological-Paleontological Collection

Talstraße 35, Room 1-03
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-32831

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Sylvia Haeßner

Lab Operator

Talstraße 35, Room K-1-14
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-32912

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