My main research interest lies in the reconstruction of Neogene paleolandscapes occupied by early hominins. I rely on extensive fieldwork and geochemical approaches including stable isotope data of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, as well as clumped isotopes and multi-element analysis in a variety of proxy materials such as (fossil) tooth enamel and pedogenic carbonates. I focus on the wooded savannas of south-eastern Africa (Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa), while I am involved in archaeological, anthropological and paleoecological projects in Indonesia, Syria and Turkey. My goal is to understand the processes that link early hominin (dietary) adaptations to changes in the ecosystem they evolved in.
DFG Project LU 2199/1: Early hominin (plant-based) dietary adaptation in the southern East African Rift
The overarching goal of this project is to reconstruct (Plio-)Pleistocene paleotemperature, vegetation, precipitation and evaporation patterns of hominin localities in the southern part of the East African Rift (Karonga Basin, Malawi and Manyara Basin, Tanzania). I use hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and clumped isotopes on different proxies (fossil tooth enamel of fauna (including early hominins), pedogenic carbonate and modern meteoric waters), I then link these paleoecological patterns with the diet of early hominins Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei. Results are published in Lüdecke et al., 2018 (PNAS).
Collaborators: Jens Fiebig (Goethe University-Senckenberg BiK-F Joint Stable Isotope Facility), Friedemann Schrenk (Senckenberg)
Early hominin meat consumption
Information about an individual’s position in the food-web – and with it the incorporation of animal resources in its diet – is reflected in nitrogen isotope ratios (d15N) of organic tissues. To date, these data could only be determined in samples with sufficient amount of collagen, which has poor long-term preservation potential. While d15N has been measured in subfossil and fossil bones, such analyses have been limited to relatively young (typically <100 ka) and exceptionally well-preserved material. We now developed a new method that allows us to investigate nitrogen isotopic composition of enamel bound organic matter material as old as 150 Ma to determine trophic levels. Among others, such as modern African mammals and Mesozoic dinosaurs, I analyze nitrogen isotope data for Australopithecus from the Sterkfontein cave in southern Africa, which represents the first d15N data measured in any early hominin. This data provides a glimpse into the trophic behavior of Pleistocene hominin taxa.
Collaborators: A. Martínez-García (MPI for Chemistry), M. Bamford (ESI and U Witwatersrand), J. Leichliter (U Mainz), D. Stratford (U Witwatersrand), H. Vonhof (MPI for Chemistry)
As a research affiliate at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, I am the leading geochemist of the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa (PPG), Mozambique. The poorly-explored Gorongosa area is uniquely positioned in a large geographical gap between the well-studied hominin-yielding sites of the East African Rift in the north and the South African cave localities in the south. The overarching goal of the PPG is the reconstruction of the ecological and evolutionary history of the Gorongosa National Park region from the deep past to the present. Furthermore, the project focuses on primate adaptations to the complex environments of Gorongosa, both past and present. In the first four years of fieldwork, we discovered and started to excavate several fossil sites, which are some of the richest and well-preserved ones in the southern part of the East African Rift.
Collaborators: R. Bobe and S. Carvalho (Oxford U), Z. Alemseged (U Chicago), M. Bamford (ESI and U Witwatersrand), D.R. Braun (George Washington U), W. Archer (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, Geosciences, Doctorate, 2016
Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany, Geosciences, Diploma, 2010
2019 – Present
Research Associate at the Institute of Climate Geochemistry, Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
2017 – Present
Post-Doctoral Researcher (DFG-funded), Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany. Group Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironmental Dynamics
DFG-ICDP-Project personal grant (LU 2199/1-1 and /1-2): Early Hominin Adaptation in the Southern East African Rift – Plio-Pleistocene African temperature, ecosystem and early hominin diet patterns across a woodland-grassland savanna boundary
2017 – Present
Research Associate at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, England
2016 – Present
Geochemist of the Paleo-Primate-Project Gorongosa, responsible for the reconstruction of Miocene paleoenvironments of the southernmost part of the East African Rift (Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique)
2016 – 2017
Post-Doctoral Researcher, Biomaterials and Biomimetics, College of Dentistry, New York University, New York City, NY, USA, method-development of simultaneous measurement of absolute concentrations of 71 elements in the periodic table (Li to U) via ICP-MS
2011 – 2016
PhD candidate, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt, Germany. Stable isotope-based reconstruction of Neogene terrestrial archives. Magna cum laude (very good)
Martinez, F.I., Capelli, C., Ferreira da Silva, M.J., Aldeias, V., Alemseged, Z., Archer, W., Bamford, M., Biro, D., Bobe, R., Braun, D., Habermann, J.M., Lüdecke, T., Madiquida, H., Mathe, J., Negash, E., Paulo, L.M., Pinto, M., Stalmans, M., Tatá, F., Carvalho, S. A. (2019) A missing piece of the Papio puzzle: Gorongosa baboon phenostructure and intrageneric relationships. Journal of Human Evolution, 130, 1-20.
Ernst, M., Thiemeyer, H., Lüdecke, T. Stable isotope signatures of radiocarbon dated pedogenic carbonate from Tell Chuera (NE Syria) reveal fluctuating paleoenvironmental patterns in the Pleistocene Levant. In press at Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, MS#553.
Habermann, J.M., Alberti, M., Aldeias, V., Alemseged, Z., Archer, W., Bamford, M., Biro, D., Braun, D.R., Capelli, C., Cunha, E., Ferreira da Silva, M., Lüdecke, T., Madiquida, H., Martinez, F.I., Mathe, J., Negash, E., Paulo, L.M., Pinto, M., Stalmans, M., Tatá, F., Wynn, J.G., Bobe, R., Carvalho, S. (2019). Gorongosa by the sea: First Miocene fossil sites from the Urema Rift, central Mozambique, and their coastal paleoenvironmental and paleoecological contexts. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 514, 723-738.
Lüdecke, T., Kullmer, O., Wacker, U., Sandrock, O., Fiebig, J., Schrenk, F., Mulch, A. (2018). Dietary Versatility of Early Pleistocene Hominins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 13330-13335.
Bäuchle, M., Lüdecke, T., Rabieh, S., Calnek, K., Bromage, T.G. (2018). Quantification of 71 detected elements from Li to U for aqueous samples by simultaneous-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Royal Society of Chemistry Advances, 8, 37008-37020.
Meijers, M.J.M., Brocard, G.Y., Cosca, M.A., Lüdecke, T., Teyssier, C., Whitney, D., Mulch, A. (2018). Rapid late Miocene surface uplift of the Central Anatolian Plateau margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 497, 29-41, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.05.040
Lüdecke, T., Mulch, A., Kullmer, O., Sandrock, O., Thiemeyer, H., Fiebig, J., Schrenk, F. (2016). Stable isotope dietary reconstructions of herbivore enamel reveal heterogeneous savanna ecosystems in the Plio-Pleistocene Malawi Rift. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 459, 170–181.
Lüdecke, T., Schrenk, F., Thiemeyer, H., Kullmer, O., Bromage, T.G., Sandrock, O., Fiebig, J., Mulch, A. (2016). Persistent C3 vegetation accompanied Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution in the Malawi Rift (Chiwondo Beds, Malawi). Journal of Human Evolution, 90, 163-175.
Fiebig, J., Hofmann, S., Löffler, N., Lüdecke, T., Methner, K., Wacker, U. (2015). Slight pressure imbalances can affect accuracy and precision of dual inlet-based clumped isotope analysis. Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 16, 1-17.
Lüdecke, T., Thiemeyer, H. (2013). Palaeoenvironmental Characteristics of the Plio-Pleistocene Chiwondo and Chitimwe Beds (N-Malawi). In: Runge, J. Palaeoecology of Africa Vol. 32, 143-161. An International Yearbook of Landscape Evolution and Palaeoenvironments.
Lüdecke, T., Mikes, T., Rojay, B., Cosca, M.A., Mulch, A. (2013). Stable isotope-based reconstruction of Oligo-Miocene paleoenvironment and paleohydrology of Central Anatolian lake basins (Turkey). Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, 22, 793-819.
I am a geologist who uses stable isotope geochemistry to quantify paleoelevations of mountain ranges, as well as to reconstruct continental paleoenvironments. I establish the necessary chronological framework using magnetostratigraphy and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. My goal is to link tectonic processes to changes in paleoenvironmental patterns (vegetation, hydrology, climate, seasonality). I work within the ‘Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironmental Dynamics’ group of Andreas Mulch.
Current research projects
The Neogene paleoaltimetry of central Anatolia
I employ stable isotope paleoaltimetry to reconstruct central Anatolian topography with the ultimate goal of identifying mechanism(s) of surface uplift as a result of mantle versus crustal processes. Results show that the southern Central Anatolian Plateau (CAP) margin reached similar-to-present elevations of ~2 km by 5 Ma.
Collaborators: D. Whitney (U Minnesota), G. Brocard (U Sydney), C. Teyssier (U Minnesota)
Neogene ecosystems of the present-day Central Anatolian Plateau (CAP)
Stable isotope geochemistry in fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary systems provides information on lake hydrology, as well as on paleoenvironment and paleoclimate. Many of the lakes in the CAP area exhibit evidence for an open hydrology, therefore indicating they were either outward draining (Black Sea, Mediterranean) or into a terminal lake.
Soil carbonates provide a proxy material for paleovegetation reconstructions. Large variations in stable carbon isotope values indicate the dominance of C4 over C3 carbon fixation in central Anatolia over certain periods in the geological past.
More recently, I have started to work on mammal tooth enamel from mammal fossil localities in central Anatolia, which provide a means of reconstructing paleodiet and seasonality. The variation in mammalian traits over geological time within nearby mammal localities suggests significant changes in paleohabitats and therefore vegetation and diet.
Collaborators: O. Başoğlu (Gazi U), F. Kaya (U Helsinki), C. Pehlevan (Nevşehir U)
Geochronology of the Central Anatolian Plateau
For many of the fluvio-lacustrine Anatolian basins in which the proxy materials were sampled, I establish new age constraints by combining magnetostratigraphy, 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and existing mammal stratigraphy. The obtained age framework for the studied basins allows the paleoaltimetric and paleoenvironmental data to be put in a spatio-temporal framework.
Collaborators: C. Langereis (Utrecht U), J. Feinberg (U Minnesota), M. Cosca (USGS)
Mountain uplift and biodiversity in Anatolia
The world’s mountain ranges have long been recognized as biodiversity hotspots. In order to relate mountain uplift and environmental changes to biodiversity, I work with macroecologists and macroevolutionary biologists. Paleogeography, mammal diversity, dissimilarity and turnover, as well as paleovegetation and paleoclimate data are being combined to assess the effect of mountain uplift on biodiversity for a case study in Anatolia.
Collaborators: S. Huang, S. Fritz (both Senckenberg BiK-F)
Plate tectonic reconstructions and the restoration of the geometries of mountain belts in the greater Black Sea region
Rotational paleomagnetic studies led to the restoration of the original geometries of the Pontides (Turkey) and Lesser Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia) orogens, as well as the Central Anatolian Crystalline Complex (Turkey). Using paleomagnetism, I produced plate tectonic reconstructions for Baltica, the southern Eurasian margin (Crimea, Pontides) and the South Armenian Block. The remagnetized nature of (mostly) marine carbonates caught my special attention. I also examined the Jurassic paleo-subduction zone configuration of the Black Sea region based on 40Ar/39Ar dating and geochemical analysis of Crimean volcanic rocks.
Utrecht University, Netherlands, Geology/Geophysics PhD, 2010
Utrecht University, Netherlands, Earth Sciences MSc, 2005
Utrecht University, Netherlands, Earth Sciences BSc, 2002
2016 – Present: Research Scientist, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany
2012 – 2015: Postdoctoral Associate, University of Minnesota, USA, NSF Continental Dynamics – Central Anatolian Tectonics (CD-CAT) project
2010 – 2012: Henri Poincaré Postdoctoral Fellow, Université de Nice – Sophia Antipolis, France, ‘Paleomagnetism of the Armenian Block and its foreland: constraints on Tethyan plate reconstructions and oroclinal bending during the Phanerozoic’
Meijers, M.J.M., Peynircioglu, A.A., Cosca, M.A., Brocard, G.Y., Whitney, D., Langereis, C.G., Mulch, A., 2018. Climate stability in central Anatolia during the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 498, 53-67, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.03.001
Meijers, M.J.M., Brocard, G.Y., Cosca, M.A., Lüdecke, T., Teyssier, C., Whitney, D., Mulch, A, 2018. Rapid late Miocene surface uplift of the Central Anatolian Plateau margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 497, 29-41, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.05.040
Meijers, M.J.M., Strauss, B., Özkaptan, M., Feinberg, J., Mulch, A., Whitney, D.L., N. Kaymakcý, 2016. Age and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of partially remagnetized lacustrine sedimentary rocks (Oligocene Aktoprak basin, central Anatolia, Turkey). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17, 914-939, doi:10.1002/2015GC006209
Rolland, Y., Hässig, M., Bosch, D., Meijers, M.J.M., Sosson, M., Bruguier, O., Adamia, Sh., Sadradze, N., 2016. A review of the plate convergence history of the East Anatolia-Transcaucasus region during the Variscan: insights from the Georgian basement and its connection to the Eastern Pontides. Journal of Geodynamics 96, 131-145, doi:10.1016/j.jog.2016.03.003.
Sosson, M., Stephenson, R., Sheremet, Y., Rolland, Y., Adamia, S., Melkonian, R., Kangarlý, T., Yegorova, T., Avagyan, A., Galoyan, G., Danelian, T., Hässig, M., Meijers, M.J.M., Müller, C., Sahakyan, L., Sadradze, N., Alania, V., Enukidze, O., Mosar, J., 2016. The Eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region during the Cretaceous: New evidence to constrain its tectonic evolution. Comptes Rendus Géosciences 348(1), 23-32, doi:10.1016/j.crte.2015.11.002
Meijers, M.J.M., Smith, B., Pastor Galán, D., Degenaar, R., Sadradze, N., Adamia, Sh., Sahakyan, L., Avagyan, A., Sosson, M., Rolland, Y., Langereis, C.G., Müller, C., 2015. Progressive orocline formation in the Eastern Pontides–Lesser Caucasus. In: Sosson, M., Stephenson, R.A., Adamia, S.A., (Eds), Tectonic Evolution of the Eastern Black Sea and Caucasus. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 428, 117-143, doi:10.1144/SP428.8
Van der Boon, A., Kuiper, K.F., Villa, G., Renema, W., Meijers, M.J.M., Langereis, C.G., Aliyeva, E., Krijgsman, W., 2015. Onset of Maikop sedimentation and cessation of Eocene arc volcanism in the Talysh Mountains, Azerbaijan. In: Sosson, M., Stephenson, R.A., Adamia, S.A., (Eds), Tectonic Evolution of the Eastern Black Sea and Caucasus. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 428, 145-169, doi:10.1144/SP428.3
Meijers, M.J.M., Smith, B., Kirscher, U., Mensink, M., Sosson, M., Rolland, Y., Grigoryan, A., Sahakyan, L., Avagyan, A., Langereis, C.G., Müller, C., 2015. A paleolatitude reconstruction of the South Armenian Block since the late Cretaceous: constraints on the Tethyan realm. Tectonophysics, 644–645, 197–219, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.01.012
Haldan, M.M., Meijers, M.J.M., Langereis, C.G., Larsen, B.T., Heyer, H., 2014. New palaeomagnetic results from the Oslo Graben, a Permian Superchron lava province. Geophysical Journal International, 199(3), 1554-1571, doi:10.1093/gji/ggu351
Lefebvre, C., Meijers, M.J.M., Kaymakci, N., Peynircioglu, A., Langereis, C.G. & van Hinsbergen, D.J. J., 2013. Reconstructing the geometry of central Anatolia during the late Cretaceous: Large-scale Cenozoic rotations and deformation between the Pontides and Taurides. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 366, 83-98, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.01.003
Gülyüz, E., Kaymakci, N., Meijers, M.J.M., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Lefebvre, C., Vissers, R.L.M., Hendriks, B.W.H. & Peynircioglu, A. A., 2013. Late Eocene evolution of the Çiçekdaðý Basin (central Turkey): Syn-sedimentary compression during microcontinent–continent collision in central Anatolia. Tectonophysics, 602, 286-299, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2012.07.003
Meijers, M.J.M., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Dekkers, M.J., Altiner, D., Kaymakci, N., Langereis, C.G., 2011. Pervasive Palaeogene remagnetization of the central Taurides fold-and-thrust belt (southern Turkey) and implications for rotations in the Isparta Angle. Geophysical Journal International, 184, 1090-1112, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04919.x
Dupont-Nivet, G., Lippert, P., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Meijers, M.J.M. and Kapp, P., 2010. Paleolatitude and age of the Indo-Asia collision. Geophysical Journal International, 182, 1189-1198, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04697.x
Meijers, M.J.M., 2010. Tethyan evolution of the Black Sea region since the Paleozoic: a paleomagnetic approach (PhD thesis Utrecht University). Geologica Ultraiectina, 319, http://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/41048
Meijers, M.J.M., Hamers, M.F., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Van der Meer, D.G., Kitchka, A., Langereis, C.G. and Stephenson, R.A., 2010. New late Paleozoic paleopoles from the Donbas Foldbelt (Ukraine): implications for the Pangea A vs. B controversy. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 297, 18-33, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.05.028
Meijers, M.J.M., Kaymakci, N., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Langereis, C.G., Stephenson, R.A. and Hippolyte, J.-C., 2010. Late Cretaceous to Paleocene oroclinal bending in the Central Pontides (Turkey). Tectonics, 29, TC4016, doi:10.1029/2009TC002620
Meijers, M.J.M., Langereis, C.G., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Kaymakci, N., Stephenson, R.A. and Altiner, D., 2010. Jurassic-Cretaceous low paleolatitudes from the circum-Black Sea region (Crimea and Pontides) due to True Polar Wander. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 296, 210-226, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.04.052
Meijers, M.J.M., Vrouwe, B., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Kuiper, K.F., Wijbrans, J. , Davies, G.R., Stephenson, R.A., Kaymakci, N., Matenco, L. and Saintot, A. 2010. Jurassic arc volcanism on Crimea (Ukraine): implications for the paleo-subduction zone configuration of the Black Sea region. Lithos, 119, 412-426, doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2010.07.017
Meijers, M.J.M., 2005. Palaeomagnetic data from Crimea (Ukraine): New constraints for Mesozoic plate tectonic reconstructions of the southern margin of the East European Platform (revised 2008). Cambridge, CASP Reports, Black Sea Project (Phase II): 48
My primary research interest is the reconstruction of paleoaltimetry and paleoclimate using traditional stable and clumped isotope geochemistry.
Current projects involve Eocene and Miocene paleoclimate reconstruction of the western US and of the European Alps as well as the geochemical reconstructions of fluid flow in fault zones (Japan).
- LOEWE priority program “VeWa” – Project B2 “Kontinentale Paläoklima- & Biodiversitätsentwicklung” (link)
- DFG SPP AlpArray “Neogene Paleoelevation and Paleoclimate of the Central Alps – Linking Earth Surface Processes to Lithospheric Dynamics” http://www.spp-mountainbuilding.de/about/index.html
2016-current: Research Associate, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt and Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
2016: PhD, Goethe Universität Frankfurt
PhD thesis: “Recovering Eocene paleotopography and paleoclimate of the North American Cordillera through integrated stable isotope and clumped isotope analyses”
2010 – 2016: PhD candidate at BiK-F/Goethe Universität Frankfurt
2010: Diploma, Leibniz University of Hannover
Diploma thesis: „Fluid flow and detachment kinematics of a Cordilleran detachment zone“
2004 – 2010: Study in Geosciences, Leibniz University of Hannover and University of Bern, Switzerland
Methner K., A. Mulch, J. Fiebig, U. Wacker, A. Gerdes, S.A. Graham, C.P. Chamberlain (2016) Rapid middle Eocene temperature change in western North America. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 450, 132-139, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.053.
Methner K., J. Fiebig, U. Wacker, P. Umhoefer, C. Page Chamberlain, A. Mulch (2016) Eo-Oligocene proto-Cascades topography revealed by clumped (Δ47) and oxygen isotope (δ18O) geochemistry (Chumstick Basin, WA, USA). Tectonics 35(3), 546-564, doi:10.1002/2015TC003984.
Enkelmann, E., Ehlers, T.A., Merli, G., Methner, K. (2015) Thermal and exhumation history of the Eocene Chumstick Basin, Washington State, USA. Tectonics 34(5), 951-969, doi:10.1002/2014TC003767.
Fiebig, J., Hofmann, S., Löffler, N., Lüdecke, T., Methner, K., Wacker, U. (2015) Slight pressure imbalances can affect accuracy and precision of dual inlet-based clumped isotope analysis. Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, 1-17, doi:10.1080/10256016.2015.1010531.
Methner, K., Mulch, A., Teyssier, C., Wells, M., Cosca, M., Gottardi, R., Gébelin, A., Chamberlain, C.P. (2015) Eocene and Miocene extension, meteoric fluid infiltration and core complex formation in the Great Basin (Raft River Mountains, Utah). Tectonics 34, doi:10.1002/2014TC00376647.
Mulch, A., Chamberlain, C.P., Cosca, M.A., Teyssier, C., Methner, K., Hren, M.T., Graham, S.A. (2015) Rapid change in western North American high-elevation rainfall patterns during the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO). American Journal of Science, 315, 317-336. doi: 10.2475/04.2015.02
My research interest focuses on well dated recordings of paleoenvironmental changes occurring in (restricted) marine water basins during the geological past. My PhD research tackled the ‘conditio sine qua non’ of Earth Sciences: the age control. I was using an integrated stratigraphy approach (magnetostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, 40Ar/39Ar dating), resulting in the revised time-scale for the Paratethys domain (the ancient sea of Eurasia). I identified magnetofossil greigite uniquely produced by magnetotactic bacteria, as an essential component for reliable magnetostratigraphic dating in fresh-brackish water systems. An important topic was to quantify the paleoenvironmental changes within the Dacian basin determining 87Sr/86Sr ratios as proxy for continental water input.
Subsequently, I took another step by using organic geochemistry as another working tool. The d13C and dD ratios of molecular biomarkers (n-alkanes and alkenones) measured at multiple locations gave excellent results. I found out that, at the end of the Miocene, the Black Sea was subject to severe drought with extreme evaporation taking place that led to its water level draw.
To summarize, I am scientifically tailored to a multidisciplinary approach. I took the chance of developing extended fieldwork experience (in Romania, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Serbia,Armenia, Greece etc) that, by now, is matched by equally sized laboratory practice.
PhD (2006), Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
M.Sc. (2002), Geology/Geophysics, University of Bucharest, Romania
B.Sc. (2001), Geology/Geophysics, University of Bucharest, Romania
2016 – Present: Research Scientist, Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany
2015 – Present: Director of DACIAN project at Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Bucharest University, Romania
2013 – 2015: Guest Research Scientist affiliated to Utrecht University, Organic Geochemistry Laboratory and Paleomagnetic Laboratory, The Netherlands
2009 – 2013: Post-Doctoral Researcher (VENI personal Grant), Utrecht University, Organic Geochemistry Laboratory, The Netherlands
2009 – 2009: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Utrecht University, Paleomagnetic Laboratory, The Netherlands
2006 – 2009: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Paleomagnetic Laboratory, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
2002: Seismic interpreter, Schlumberger, Bucharest, Romania
2000 – 2002: Seismic interpretation junior researchers at Bucharest University, Romania
International (refereed) journals
· Van Baak, C.G.C., Krijgsman, W., Magyar, I, Sztanó, O., Golovina, L., Grothe, A., Hoyle, T., Mandic, O., Patina, I., Popov, S., Radionova, E., Stoica, M., Vasiliev, I.(2017) Earth-Science Reviews. Paratethys response to the Messinian salinity crisis, 172, 193-223, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.07.015.
· Vasiliev, I., Mezger, E.M., Lugli, S., Reichart, G.J, Manzi, V., Roveri, M. (2017) Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, How dry was the Mediterranean during the Messinian Salinity Crisis?, 471, 120-133.
· van Baak, C.G.C., Vasiliev, I., Palcu, D.V., Dekkers, M.J. and Krijgsman, W. (2016). A greigite-based magnetostratigraphic time frame for the Late Miocene to Recent DSDP Leg 42B cores from the Black Sea. Frontiers in Earth Sciences 4:60. doi:10.3389/feart.2016.00060.
· Van Baak, C.G.C., Radionova, E.P., Golovina, L.A., Raffi, I., Kuiper, K.F., Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W. (2016). Objective utilization of data from DSDP Site 380 (Black Sea), Terra Nova, 28, 230-231.
· Van Baak, C.G.C., Radionova, E.P., Golovina, L.A., Raffi, I., Kuiper, K.F., Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W. (2015). Messinian events in the Black Sea, Terra Nova, 27, 433-441.
· Vasiliev, I., Reichart, G.J., Grothe, A., Sinninghe-Damsté, J., Krijgsman, W., Sangiorgi, F., van Roij, L. (2015) Recurrent phases of drought in the Miocene of the Black Sea region, Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 423, 18-31.
· Chang, L., Vasiliev, I., van Baak, C. Krijgsman, W., Dekkers, M.J, Roberts, A.P., Fitz Gerald, J.D. van Hoesel, A., Winklhofer, M. (2014) Identification and environmental interpretation of diagenetic and biogenic greigite in sediments: a lesson from the Messinian Black Sea, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, 3612-3627.
· Grothe, G., Sangiorgi, F., Mulders, Y.R., Vasiliev, I., Reichart, G.J., Brinkhuis, H., Stoica, M., Krijgsman, W. (2014) Black Sea desiccation during the Messinian Salinity Crisis: fact or fiction? Geology, 42(7), 563-566. doi:10.1130/G35503.1.
· Vasiliev, I., Reichart, G.J., Krijgsman, W. (2013). Impact of the Messinian Salinity Crisis on Black Sea hydrology – Insights from hydrogen isotopes on molecular biomarkers, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 362, 272-282.
· ter Borgh. M., Vasiliev, I., Stoica, M., Kneževiæ, S., Matenco, L., Krijgsman, W., Rundic, L., Cloeting, S. (2013). The isolation of the Pannonian basin (Central Paratethys): new constraints from magnetostratigraphy and biostratigraphy, Global Planetary Change, 103, 99-118.
· Van Baak, C.G.C., Vasiliev, I., Stoica, M., Kuiper, K., Forte, A.M., Aliyeva, E., Krijgsman, W. (2013). A magnetostratigraphic time frame for the Plio-Pleistocene transgressions in the South Caspian Basin, Azerbaijan. Global Planetary Change, doi: 10.1016/j.glopacha.2012.05.004., 103, 119-134.
· Stoica, M., Lazar, I., Krijgsman, W., Vasiliev, I., Jipa, D., Floroiu, A. (2013). Paleoenvironmental evolution of the East Carpathians foredeep during late Miocene-early Pliocene (Dacian Basin; Romania). Global Planetary Change, 103.
· Filipescu, S., Wanek, F., Miclea, A., de Leeuw, A., Vasiliev, I. (2011). Micropaleontological response to the changing environment across the Sarmatian Pannonian boundary in the Transylvanian Basin (Oarba de Mures section, Romania). Geologica Carpathica, 62, 91-102.
· Vasiliev I., Iosifidi A.G., Khramov A.N., Krijgsman W., Kuiper, K.F., Langereis C.G., Popov V.V., Stoica M., Tomsha V.A., Yudin S.V. (2011). Magnetostratigraphy and radiometric dating of upper Miocene – lower Pliocene sedimentary successions of the Black Sea Basin (Taman Peninsula, Russia), Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 310, 163-175.
· Joannin, S., Cornée, J.J., Münch, Ph., Fornari, M., Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W., Nahapetyan, S., Gabryelian, Y., Ollivier, V., Roiron, P., Chataîgnier, Ch. (2010). Early Pleistocene climatic cycles in continental deposits of the Lesser Caucasus of Armenia inferred from palynology, magnetostratigraphy, and 40Ar/39Ar dating, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 291, 149-158.
· Krijgsman, W., Stoica, M., Vasiliev, I., Popov, V.V. (2010). Rise and fall of the Paratethys Sea during the Messinian Salinity Crisis, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 290, 183-191.
· Vasiliev, I., Reichart, G.J., Davies, G., Krijgsman, W., Stoica, M. (2010). Strontium isotope ratios of the Eastern Paratethys during the Mio-Pliocene transition; Implications for interbasinal connectivity, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 292, 123-131.
· Vasiliev, I., de Leeuw, A., Filipescu, S., Krijgsman, W., Kuiper, K., Stoica, M., Briceag, A. (2010). The age of the Sarmatian-Pannonian transition in the Transylvanian Basin (Central Paratethys), Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 297, 54-69.
· Vasiliev, I., Maþenco, L., Krijgsman, W. (2009). The syn- and post-collisional evolution of the Carpathian foredeep (Romania): New constraints from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility and paleostress analyses. Tectonophysics, 407, 457-465.
· Vasiliev, I., Franke, C. Meeldijk, Dekkers M. J., Langereis, C. G., Krijgsman, W. (2008). Putative greigite magnetofossils from the Pliocene epoch, Nature Geoscience, 1(11), 782-786.
· Vasiliev, I., Bakraè, K., Kovaèiæ, M., Abdu;-Aziz, H., Krijgsman, W. (2008). Palaeomagnetic results from the Sarmatian/Pannonian Boundary in North-Eastern Croatia (Vranovic Section, Nasice Quarry), Geologica Croatica, 60(2), 151-163.
· Vasiliev, I., Dekkers, M.J., Krijgsman, W., Franke, C., Langereis, C.G. and Mullender, T.A.T. (2007). Early diagenetic greigite as a recorder of the palaeomagnetic signal in Miocene–Pliocene sedimentary rocks of the Carpathian foredeep (Romania), Geophysical Journal International, 171, 613-629.
· Panaiotu, C.E., Vasiliev, I., Panaiotu, C.G., Krijgsman, W., Langereis, C.G. (2007). Provenance analysis as a key to orogenic exhumation: a case study from the East Carpathians (Romania), Terra Nova, 19, 120-126.
· Stoica, M., Lazar, I., Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W. (2007). Mollusc assemblages of the Pontian and Dacian deposits from the Topolog-Arges area (southern Carpathian foredeep – Romania), Geobios, 40, 391-405.
· Cornée, J.J., Münch, P., Quillévéré, F., Moissette, P., Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W., Verati, C., Lécuyer, C. (2006). Timing of Late Pliocene to Middle Pleistocene tectonic events in Rhodes (Greece) inferred from magneto- biostratigraphy and 40Ar/39Ar dating of a volcaniclastic layer, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 250, 281-291.
· Dupont-Nivet, G., Vasiliev, I., Langereis, C.G., Krijgsman, W., Panaiotu, C. (2005). Neogene tectonic evolution of the southern and eastern Carpathians constrained by paleomagnetism, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 236, 374–387.
· Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W., Stoica, M. Cor G. Langereis (2005). Mio-Pliocene magnetostratigraphy in the southern Carpathian foredeep and Mediterranean – Paratethys correlations, Terra Nova, 17, 376–384.
· Vasiliev, I., Krijgsman, W., Langereis, C.G., Panaiotu, C.E., Maþenco, L., Bertotti, G. (2004). Towards an astrochronological framework for the eastern Paratethys Mio-Pliocene sedimentary sequences of the Focsani basin (Romania), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 227, 231-247.
· Cloetingh, S., Horváth, F., Dinu, C., Stephenson, R.A., Bertotti, G., Bada, G., Garcia-Castellanos, D. D., Andriessen, P.A.M., Wortel, M.J.R., Spakman, W., Mocanu, V., Langereis, C.G., Krijgsman, W., Fokkema, J.T., Drijkoningen, G., Ambrosius, B.A.C., Neubauer, F., Fodor, L., Dunai, T., Willingshofer, E., Nador, A., Leever, K., Tarapoanca, M., Panea, I., Vasiliev, I. & TECTOP Working, Group (2003). Probing Tectonic Topography in the Aftermath of Continental Convergence in Central Europe, EOS, Trans. AGU, 84(10), 89-96.
National (refereed) journals
· Floroiu, A., Stoica, M., Vasiliev, I. and Krijgsman, W., (2011). Maeotian/Pontian ostracods in the Badislava – Topolog Area. Geo-Eco-Marina, 17, 237-244.
· Vasiliev, I. (2006). A new chronology for the Dacian Basin (Romania). Consequences for the kinematic and paleoenvironmental evolution of the Paratethys region. (PhD thesis Utrecht University), Geologica Ultraiectina, 267, 193 pp.
Analysis of molecular biomarker such as stable hydrogen (δD) and stable carbon (δ13C) isotope compositions of plant waxes as proxies for past rainfall and vegetation change and GDGT based paleothermometry on terrestrial climate archives.
Academic and Professional Background
Since 2013 Research assistant at Biodiversity and Climate Research Center Frankfurt (BiK-F)
2010-2011 Project collaborator at the CVR (Consorzio Venezia Ricerche), Venice, Italy
2012 Master Thesis in Environmental Sciences at the Ca‘ Foscari University of Venice, Italy: “Geochemical Characterization Of A Shallow Firn Core Retrieved From Colle Gnifetti (Monte Rosa, Italy)”
2009-2012 MSc in Environmental Sciences at the Ca‘ Foscari University of Venice, Italy and Hiroshima, Japan (Joint Degree – Joint International Master in Sustainable Development)
2003 – 2007 BSc in Natural Sciences at the University of Padua, Italy
I am currently working on organic geochemistry (biomarkers). My research focuses on the Miocene because it is a period with important and fast variations of the climate system. The aim of my study is to obtain a viable climatic model (temperatures and water budgets) for the Eurasian domain; a domain which has totally transformed since the early Miocene due to the birth of most of today’s orogen belts
CV (PDF, 131.92 KB)
- Research area: Central Alps and the Swiss Molasse Basin
- Goal: Reconstruct the paleoelevation of Miocene Central Alps and reveal climatic and paleoenvironmental conditions of Central Europe during the Neogene period
- Methods: d-d paleoaltimetry, δ18O and δ13C stable isotopes, carbonate clumped (D47) thermometry
My research area is located in the Central Alps and the adjacent Swiss Molasse Basin, the western part of the northern Alpine foreland Basin. This region catches deposits of the Central Alps which were eroded due to the orogen uplift. My focus is on terrestrial carbonate-rich sediments of Miocene age which were deposited in large fluvial megafan deltas. Miocene climatic conditions enabled the basin-wide formation of paleosols rich in pedogenic carbonate nodules. Those authigenic minerals are perfectly suitable for analyses of standard stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C) and clumped isotopes (D47) and tell us about prevailing paleotemperatures and paleoenvironmental conditions at the time and site of carbonate growth. One of my projects targets revealing of the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum with the help of carbonate clumped (D47) based thermometry. To understand how the temperature evolved during time is an important feature of my second project: reconstruction of the Miocene Alpine uplift with the d-d paleoaltimetry approach.
DFG Project MU 2845/6-1: Mountain building processes in 4D
Research interests and current projects
One of my goals is to develop and apply new methods of paleoenvironmental reconstruction. My focus is the analysis of continental climate factors such as temperatures and isotopic compositions of fluids, e.g. on tooth enamel and pedogenic carbonates. Apart from fieldwork and operational support of the Goethe University-Senckenberg BiK-F Joint Stable Isotope Facility, I concentrate my efforts on methodological work on the geochemical proxy ‘clumped isotope’. Current research topics are the terrestrial climate evolution during the Middle Miocene Climatic Transition and method development of the combined high-precision ∆48 and ∆47 analysis of carbonates.
Terrestrial climate evolution during the Middle Miocene Climatic Transition
A comprehensive and well-dated terrestrial clumped isotope (Δ47) paleosoil carbonate dataset from Southern Europe (Spain) that ranges from 13 to 15 Ma was analyzed for paleoclimate reconstruction. The data covers the interval of the Middle Miocene Climate Transition (MCT) and shows a large decline in Δ47-based temperatures at 13.9 Ma indicating a major drop in continental temperatures. The Δ47 data further shows a highly dynamic transition into the MCT which can be linked to oceanic δ13C and δ18O isotope records.
Combined high-precision ∆48 and ∆47 analysis of carbonates
High-precision analysis of the excess abundance (relative to the stochastic distribution) of mass 48 isotopologues in CO2 evolved from acid digestion of carbonates (∆48) was first shown to be feasible using a 253 Plus™ gas source mass spectrometer. Follow up studies are now focusing on the deciphering of thermodynamics and possible kinetic effects during carbonate precipitation as well as back-calculating kinetic pathways of samples to derive pristine precipitation temperatures.
Clumped and oxygen isotope temperature calibration for biogenic apatite
Clumped isotope data from carbonated apatite from in vivo and in vitro samples were analyzed to refine the relationship between mineral growth temperature and carbonate clumped isotopic composition (Δ47). Δ47, δ18O and δ13C data were obtained from phosphoric acid digestion of chemically untreated teeth from an African elephant, Greenland sharks, sand tiger sharks and synthetic apatites. The temperature dependent oxygen isotope fractionation between structural carbonate in synthesized carbonated hydroxylapatites (CHAP) and water was calculated between 7 °C and 80 °C. Both new calibrations where applied to a modern Greenland shark and a fossil Carcharodon megalodon for reconstructing paleotemperatures and oxygen isotopic values of seawater.
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Geosciences Geology and Paleontology, Ph.D. studies, ongoing
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Geosciences Geology and Paleontology, M.Sc., 2015
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Geosciences, B.Sc., 2012
2016 – Present: Research Scientist, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (S-BiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany
2014 to 2015: Guest Scientist, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (S-BiK-F)
2012: Internship, CDM Consult GmbH, engineering office (contaminated sites)
2018 and 2019: Tutorials for the M.Sc. course “Tectonic and climate”, Goethe University Frankfurt
2012 and 2015: Support of geological mapping courses in Germany, Goethe University Frankfurt
Head of the search and rescue dog special unit, fire dept. Frankfurt Main
Administrative Assistant to Vice-Director, Prof. Dr. Andreas Mulch
Coordination of Research Group ‚Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironment Dynamics‘
Since 10/2010 with Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
09/2006 – 02/2007: graduated translator (Russian, English)
SDI – Professional College of Translation and Interpreting, Munich
09/2004 – 07/2006: certified multilingual administrative assistant (English, Spanish)
Technical College Inlingua, Munich
09/1998 – 11/2001: translator and interpreter (English, German)
Crimean-American College, Simferopol/Ukraine