The Group

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One focus of our research program is the reconstruction of past climates at different timescales and to understand the evolution of the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon and sulfur in the Mesozoic. A second research area is the study of diagenesis and its effects on the preservation of primary environmental signatures in the geologic record. The third focus of our research is the development and use novel analytical techniques. Currently our main efforts center on carbonate clumped isotope geochemistry, but in our research we also apply organic geochemistry, other stable isotopes systems, and compound-specific radiocarbon dating. We combine field-based investigations of the geological record with process-oriented studies of modern environments and laboratory experiments.

The studied time intervals include climatic extremes in Earth's history such as the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), the late Plio-Pleistocene cycles of ice ages as well as rapid climate changes as observed in ice cores, marine and lake records, which are closely linked to changes in ocean atmosphere and biogeochemical processes.

To quantify possible mechanisms and causes to explain such major changes in the environmental conditions of the Earth, the researchers Stefano Bernasconi, Crisogono Vasconcelos and Gerald Haug use several geochemical and sedimentological approaches.

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