Quaternary Palaeontology | Weimar

Quaternary Macrofloras


Frank Kienast Team Quartärpaläontologie Weimar
Dr Frank Kienast
Head of Quaternary macrofloras section

Research interests

  • Quaternary vegetation history of Eurasia
  • Interactions between megaherbivores and vegetation during the Quaternary
  • Ecological consequences of biodiversity loss in the past
  • Composition, structure and functioning of the cold-stage mammoth-steppe biome
  • Impact of permafrost dynamics on Arctic vegetation
  • Phylogeography of Arctic plants

Quaternary palaeontology | Quaternary macrofloras

Curriculum vitae | ORCiD 0000-0001-8367-3363

since 2008
Head of the Quaternary Macroflora Section of Senckenberg Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology in Weimar, curator of the macro-botanical collections, installation of a carpological reference collection

Field work in Yakutia (Northeast Siberia, Russia), Transbaikalia, Mongolia, and Alaska

Postdoc at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (DFG KI 849/1-2, own project)

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grant, stay at the Northeast Federal University Yakutsk and fieldwork in Central and Northeast Yakutia (Republic Sakha, Russian Federation)

PhD (Dr. rer. nat.), PhD topic: Reconstruction of Late Quaternary vegetation and climate in the Laptev Sea region basing on botanical macro remains

PhD student in the working group „Permafrost deposits as palaeoclimate archives” at the Periglacial Research Section at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

Diploma degree (Dipl.-Geoecologist), Diploma topic: Quaternary plant macrofossils from Ice Complex deposits at Cape Sabler, Lake Taymyr, N-Siberia

Diploma student at the University of Potsdam, Department of Geoecology, Minor in Biology


Scientific publications

SPENGLER III, R. N., KIENAST, F., ROBERTS, P., BOIVIN, N., BEGUN, D. R., ASHASTINA, K. & PETRAGLIA, M. (2023): Bearing Fruit: Miocene Apes and Rosaceous Fruit Evolution. – Biological Theory 18 (2): 134-151.
Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13752-022-00413-1

KIENAST, F., DAVYDOV, S. P. (2021): Forest Steppe-Like Vegetation Near Cherskiy (West Beringia) During the Early Pleistocene Olyorian Period Reconstructed Using Plant Macrofossils. – Frontiers in Earth Science 9: 741473.
Open access: https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2021.741473.

REINECKE, J., ASHASTINA, K., KIENAST, F., TROEVA, E., WESCHE, K. (2021): Effects of large herbivore grazing on relics of the presumed mammoth steppe in the extreme climate of NE‑Siberia. – Scientific Reports 11: 12962.
Open access: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92079-1.

MARTINETTO, E., BERTINI, A., BHANDARI, S., BRUCH, A., CHERIN, M., FIELD, J. H., GABRIELYAN, I., GIANOTTI, F., KERN, A. K., KIENAST, F. LINDSEY, E. L., MOMOHARA, A., RAVAZZI, C., THOMAS, E. R. (2020): The last three millions of unequal spring thaws (chap. 1). In: MARTINETTO, E., TSCHOPP, E., GASTALDO, R. A. (Eds.): Nature through Time. Virtual field trips through the Nature of the past. Springer Textbooks in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment. – 1-53; Springer | https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35058-1_1.

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., DIETZE, E., MATTHES, H., GROSSE, G., STRAUSS, J., LABOOR, S., ULRICH, M., KIENAST, F. & WETTERICH, S. (2020): The genesis of Yedoma Ice Complex permafrost – Grain-size endmember modeling analysis from Siberia and Alaska. – E&G Quaternary Science Journal 69 (1): 33-53.
Open access: https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-69-33-2020

KIENAST, F., ASHASTINA, K. & TROEVA, E. (2018): Phylogeography of a west-Beringian endemic plant: An ancient seed of Stellaria jacutica Schischk. detected in permafrost deposits of the last interglacial. – Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 259: 48-54 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.09.012.

ASHASTINA, K., KUZMINA, S., RUDAYA, N., TROEVA, E., SCHOCH, W. H., RÖMERMANN, C., REINECKE, J., OTTE, V., SAWINOV, G., WESCHE, K., KIENAST, F. (2018): Woodlands and steppes: Pleistocene vegetation in Yakutia’s most continental part recorded in the Batagay permafrost sequence. – Quaternary Science Reviews 196: 38-61 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.07.032.

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., KUZNETSOVA, T. V., ANDREEV, A. A., KIENAST, F., BOLSHIYANOV & D. YU (2018): Feldarbeit für die Rekonstruktion der Paläoumwelt. – In: 20 Jahre terrestrische Forschung in der sibirischen Arktis. Die Geschichte der Lena-Expeditionen. – 61-67; Alfred Wegener Institut, Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Berlin.

ASHASTINA, K., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., FUCHS, M. & KIENAST, F. (2017): Palaeoclimate characteristics in interior Siberia of MIS 6–2: first insights from the Batagay permafrost mega-thaw slump in the Yana Highlands. – Climate of the Past 13: 795-818.
Open access: https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-795-2017

DAMM, U., DRESSLER, S., HOPPENRATH, M., KIENAST, F., OTTE, V., PAULE, J., PRINTZEN, C., RITZ, C., WESCHE, K., WESENBERG, J. & ZIZKA, G. (2017): Botanik und Mykologie bei Senckenberg seit 1817 – Herbarium Senckenbergianum Frankfurt/Main, Görlitz, Weimar, Wilhelmshaven. – 1-28; Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Frankfurt/Main.

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., MEYER, H., ANDREEV, A., WETTERICH, S., KIENAST, F., BOBROV, A., FUCHS, M., SIERRALTA, M. & HERZSCHUH, U. (2016): Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental records from the Chatanika River valley near Fairbanks (Alaska). – Quaternary Science Reviews 147259-278 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.02.009.

SCHLEUSNER, Ph., BISKARBON, B. K., KIENAST, F., WOLTER, J., SUBETTO, D. & DIEKMANN, B. (2015): Basin evolution and palaeoenvironmental variability of the thermokarst lake El’gene-Kyuele, Arctic Siberia. – Boreas 44 (1): 216-229 | https://doi.org/10.1111/bor.12084.

MAUL, L. C., STEBICH, M., FRENZEL, P., HAMBACH, U., HENKEL, T., KATZSCHMANN, L., KIENAST, F., MENG, S., PENKMAN, K., ROLF, C., THOMAS, M. & KAHLKE, R.-D. (2013): Age and palaeoenvironment of the enigmatic Arternian Interglacial – evidence from the Muschelton at Voigtstedt/Hackelsberg (Thuringia, Central Germany). – Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 386: 68-85 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.05.005.

KIENAST, F. (2013): Plant macrofossil records – Arctic Eurasia. – In: Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science Vol. 3. – 733-745; Elsevier, 2nd edition.

ANDREEV, A. A., MOROZOVA, E., FEDOROV, G., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., BOBROV, A. A., KIENAST, F. & SCHWAMBORN, G. (2012): Vegetation history of central Chukotka deduced from permafrost paleoenvironmental records of the El’gygytgyn Impact Crater. – Climate of the Past 8: 1287-1300.
Open access: https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-8-1287-2012

WETTERICH, S., GROSSE, G., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., ANDREEV, A. A., BOBROV, A. A., KIENAST, F., BIGELOW, N. H. & EDWARDS, M. E. (2012): Late Quaternary environmental and landscape dynamics revealed from a pingo sequence on the northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska. – Quaternary Science Reviews 39: 26-44 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.01.027.

JØRGENSEN, T., HAILE, J., MÖLLER, P., ANDREEV, A., BOESSENKOOL, S., RASMUSSEN, M., KIENAST, F., COISSAC, E., TABERLET, P., BROCHMANN, C., BIGELOW, N., ANDERSEN, K., ORLANDO, L., GILBERT, P., THOMAS, M. & WILLERSLEV, E. (2012): A comparative study of ancient sedimentary DNA, pollen and macrofossils from permafrost sediments of northern Siberia reveals long-term vegetational stability. – Molecular Ecology 21: 1989-2003; | https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294x.2011.05287.x.

KIENAST, F., WETTERICH, S.,  KUZMINA, S.,  SCHIRRMEISTER, L., ANDREEV, A. A.,  TARASOV, P.,  NAZAROVA, L., KOSSLER, A., FROLOVA, L. & KUNITSKY, V .V. (2011): Paleontological records indicate the occurrence of open woodlands in a dry inland climate at the present-day Arctic coast in western Beringia during the last interglacial. – Quaternary Science Reviews 30 (17/18): 2134-2159 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.11.024.

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., GROSSE, G., SCHNELLE, M., FUCHS, M., ULRICH, M., KUNITSKY, V., KRBETSCHEK, M., GRIGORIEV, M., ANDREEV, A., KIENAST, F., MEYER, H., KLIMOVA, I., BABIY, O., BOBROV, A., WETTERICH, S. & SCHWAMBORN, G. (2011): Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental records from the western Lena Delta, Arctic Siberia. – Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 299: 175-196 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.10.045.

WERNER, K., TARASOV, P. E., ANDREEV, A. A., MÜLLER, S., KIENAST, F., ZECH, M., ZECH, W. & DIEKMANN, B. (2010): A 12.5-kyr history of vegetation dynamics and mire development with evidence of the Younger Dryas larch presence in the Verkhoyansk Mountains, East Siberia, Russia. – Boreas 39 (1): 56-68 | https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1502-3885.2009.00116.x.

BINNEY, H. A., WILLIS, K. J., EDWARDS, M. E., BHAGWAT, S. A., ANDERSON, P., ANDREEV, A. A., BLAAUW, M., DAMBLON, F., HAESAERTS, P., KIENAST, F., KREMENETSKI, K. V., KRIVONOGOV, S. K., LOZHKIN, A. V., MACDONALD, G. M., NOVENKO, E. Y., OKSANEN, P., SAPELKO, T. V., VALIRANTA, M. & VAZHENINA, L. (2009): The distribution of Late Quaternary woody taxa in Eurasia: evidence from a new macrofossil database. – Quaternary Science Reviews 28 (23/24): 2445-2464 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.04.016.

ANDREEV, A., GROSSE, G., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., KUZNETSOVA, T. V., KUZMINA, S. A., BOBROV, A. A., TARASOV, P. E., NOVENKO, E. YU., MEYER, H., DEREVYAGIN, A. YU., KIENAST, F., BRYANTSEVA, A. & KUNITSKY, V. V. (2009): Weichselian and Holocene palaeoenvironmental history of the Bol’shoy Lyakhovsky Island, New Siberian Archipelago, Arctic Siberia. – Boreas 38 (1): 72-110 | https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1502-3885.2008.00039.x.

KIENAST, F., TARASOV, P., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., GROSSE, G. & ANDREEV, A. (2008): Continental climate in the East Siberian Arctic during the last interglacial: implications from palaeobotanical records. – Global and Planetary Change 60 (3/4): 535-562 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.07.004.

WETTERICH, S., KUZMINA, S., KUZNETSOVA, T., ANDREEV, A. A., KIENAST, F., MEYER, H., SCHIRRMEISTER, L. & SIERRALTA, M. (2008): Palaeoenvironmental dynamics inferred from late Quaternary permafrost deposits on Kurungnakh Island, Lena Delta, Northeast Siberia, Russia. – Quaternary Science Reviews 27 (15/16): 1523-1540 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.04.007.

KIENAST, F., SCHIRRMEISTER, L. & WETTERICH, S. (2008): Vegetation Differentiation across a topographic Yedoma – Alas Transect in the High Arctic Tundra of Oyogos Yar, East Siberia. – Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Permafrost, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. – 937-940.

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., GROSSE, G., KUNITSKY, V., MAGENS, D., MEYER, H., DEREVIAGIN, A., KUZNETSOVA, T., ANDREEV, A., BABIY, O., KIENAST, F., GRIGORIEV, M. & PREUSSER, F. (2008): Periglacial landscape evolution and environmental changes of Arctic lowland areas for the last 60,000 years (Western Laptev Sea coast, Cape Mamontov Klyk). – Polar Research 27: 249-272 | https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-8369.2008.00067.x.

KIENAST, F. (2007): Arctic Vegetation History – Eurasia. – In: Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. – 2422-2434; Elsevier.

KIENAST, F., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., SIEGERT, C. & TARASOV, P. (2005): Palaeobotanical evidence for warm summers in the East Siberian Arctic during the last cold stage. – Quaternary Research 63 (3): 283-300 | https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2005.01.003.

KUNITSKY, V. V., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., GROSSE, G. & KIENAST, F. (2002): Snow Patches in Nival Landscapes and Their Role for the Ice Complex Formation in the Laptev Sea Coastal Lowlands. – Polarforschung 70: 53-67.

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., SIEGERT, C., KUZNETSOVA, T., KUZMINA, S., ANDREEV, A. A., KIENAST, F., MEYER, H. & BOBROV, A. A. (2002): Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic records from permafrost deposits in the Arctic region of Northern Siberia. – Quaternary International 89: 97-118 | https://doi.org/10.1016/S1040-6182(01)00083-0.

KIENAST, F. (2002): Die Rekonstruktion der spätquartären Vegetations- und Klimageschichte der Laptewsee-Region auf der Basis botanischer Großrestuntersuchungen. Dissertation, Universität Potsdam.

KIENAST, F., SIEGERT, C., DEREVIAGIN, A. & MAI, D. H. (2001): Climatic implications of late Quaternary plant macrofossil assemblages from the Taymyr Peninsula, Siberia. – Global and Planetary Change 31 (1/4): 265-281 | https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8181(01)00124-2.

KIENAST, F. (1998): Paläokarpologische Untersuchungen an Ablagerungen des Eiskomplexes vom Kap Sabler: Ein Beitrag zur Rekonstruktion der spätquartären Umweltbedingungen des Taymyrgebietes. Diplomarbeit, Universität Potsdam.


Popular scientific contributions

ASHASTINA, K. & KIENAST, F. (2016): Geheimnisse im sibirischen Permafrost. – Natur • Forschung • Museum – Das Senckenberg Wissenschaftsmagazin 146 (9/10): 260-273.

KAHLKE, R.-D., KEILER, J.-A. & KIENAST, F. (2014): Senckenberg Forschungsstation für Quartärpaläontologie Weimar. – In: Werneburg, R. & Mey, E. (Hrsg.), (2014): Thüringer Natur-Schätze : Naturkundliche Museen und Sammlungen im Freistaat Thüringen. – 138-147; Schnell + Steiner, Regensburg.

KIENAST, F., KAHLKE, R.-D., KEILER, J.-A., STEBICH, M. & WILDE, V. (2012): Weimarer quartärbotanische Sammlungen in neuem Domizil. – Natur • Forschung • Museum – Das Senckenberg Wissenschaftsmagazin 142 (9/10): 324-327.

DRESSLER, S., GEBAUER, P., HOPPENRATH, M., KIENAST, F., OTTE, V. & ZIZKA, G. (2011): Das neue Herbarium Senckenbergianum – Alte Institutionen unter einem gemeinsamen neuen Dach. – Natur • Forschung • Museum- Das Senckenberg Wissenschaftsmagazin 141 (3/4): 110-113.

KAHLKE, R.-D., KIENAST, F., MAUL, L. C. & STEBICH, M. (2009): Neuaufstellung der Quartärpaläontologischen Sammlungen. – Natur und Museum 139 (5/6): 196-201.

KIENAST, F. (2009): Der Untergang der pleistozänen Tundrensteppe. – Natur und Museum 139 (5/6): 172-177.

KIENAST, F. & STEBICH, M. (2009): Der Thüringische Flieder Syringa thuringiaca (Vitrine Mai/Juni 2009). – Natur und Museum 139 (5/6): 194-195.


Expedition reports

SCHIRRMEISTER, L., WETTERICH, S., KUNITSKY, V., TUMSKOY, V., DOBRYNIN, D., DEREVYAGIN, A., OPEL, T., KIENAST, F., KUZNETSOVA, T. & GORODINSKY, A. (2009): Palaeoenviromental studies on the Oyogos Yar coast. – In: BOIKE, J., BOL’SHIYANOV, D. Y., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., WETTERICH, S. (eds.): The Expedition LENA – NEW SIBERIAN ISLANDS 2007 during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007/2008. – Reports on Polar and Marine Research 584: 85-154.

WETTERICH, S. & KIENAST, F. (2009): Permafrost and modern environmental dynamics – Studies along the Dimitrii Laptev Strait: Scientific background and objectives. – In: BOIKE, J., BOL’SHIYANOV, D. Y., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., WETTERICH, S. (eds.): The Expedition LENA – NEW SIBERIAN ISLANDS 2007 during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007/2008. – Reports on Polar and Marine Research 584: 155-163.

KIENAST, F. (2009): Modern vegetation in the coastal lowlands of Oyogos Yar. – In: BOIKE, J., BOL’SHIYANOV, D. Y., SCHIRRMEISTER, L., WETTERICH, S. (eds.): The Expedition LENA – NEW SIBERIAN ISLANDS 2007 during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007/2008. – Reports on Polar and Marine Research 584: 165-173.

KIENAST, F. & GOGOLEVA, P. A. (2007): Vegetation studies in extremely continental regions of Yakutia. – Reports on Polar and Marine Research 550: 275-289.

KIENAST, F. & TSHERKASOVA, J. (2001): Comparative botanical recent-studies in the Lena River Delta. – Berichte zur Polarforschung 388: 24-44.