T. Luedecke

Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1812


Dr. Tina Lüdecke

Research Associate



Research interests

I focus my research on the development of African savannas in the Plio-Pleistocene. As a tool I work among other things with the analysis of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes from fossil herbivore and early hominin tooth enamel, as well as pedogenic archives to reconstruct the development of C4-grasslands as a result of changing atmospheric CO2-concentration, seasonality and distribution of precipitation, and retreat of tree cover. The southeast African savanna is here particularly interesting since the vegetation pattern can be correlated with paleontological data of the evolution and migration of the early hominids. In addition, I use clumped isotopes to detect paleotemperatures, which add valuable information to paleohabitat-reconstructions. Also, I am engaged in the method-development of simultaneous measurment of absolute concentrations of 72 elements in the periodic table  (6Li to 238U) via ICP-MS at New York University.

As a research associate at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, I am part of the Paleo-Primate-Project (PPP) in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, which combines geological features of the two most fossil-rich paleoanthropological regions of Eastern and Southern Africa. The goal of PPP is to reconstruct the ecological and evolutional history of the southern part of the East African Rift from the Miocene to present.

Short CV


  • Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, PhD, May 2016.  PhD Thesis: “Stable Isotope-Based Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions of Neogene Terrestrial Archives
  • Leibniz University Hannover, Germany, Geosciences, Diplom, December 2010. Diploma Thesis: “Late Cenozoic Paleoenvironmental Signatures of the Central Anatolian Plateau – Stable Isotope Geochemistry and Sedimentology of Lacustrine Sediments and Carbonate Paleosols

Professional experience

  • 2017– Present: Research Scientist, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany. Funded through DFG Project "eigene Stelle": Early Hominin Adaptation in the Southern East African Rift.
  • 2017 - Present: Research associate, University of Oxford, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, Oxford, England
  • 2016 – 2017: Post-Doc, New York University (NYU), Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, New York, USA
  • 2016: Research Scientist, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany


Habermann, J.M., Alberti, M., Aldeias, V., Alemseged, Z., Archer, W., Bamford, M., Biro, D., Bobe, R., Braun, D.R., Capelli, C., Cunha, E., Ferreira, M.J., Lüdecke, T., Madiquida, H., Martinez, F., Negash, E., Paulo, L.M., Pinto, M., Stalmans, M., Tatá, F., Wynn, J., Carvalho, S. (2018). Neogene coastal-plain estuarine record in the Gorongosa area, central Mozambique: paleoenvironment and paleoecological implications for the ancient East African margin and its use in primate land use potential. Accepted at Paleogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, PALAEO3_2018_385.

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

Martinez, F., 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., Tátá, F., Carvalho, S., (2018). A missing piece of the Papio puzzle: Gorongosa baboons’ phenostructure and their relationships with Papio species. Accepted at Journal of Human Evolution, HUMEV_20018_60.

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.

 Invited Seminars

  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 2017.
  • Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, 2016.  

Conference talks


  • 8th Annual Meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE), Faro, Portugal


  • East African Association of Palaeoanthropology and Palaeontology (EAAPP), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • AnalytiX-2017, BIT’s 5th Annual Congress of AnalytiX-2017, Fukuoka, Japan


  • 100+25 years of Homo erectus: Dmanisi and beyond, International Senckenberg Conference, Tbilisi, Georgia. 
  • International Geological Congress (IGC), Cape Town, South Africa. Abstract# 2047


  • The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans (ROCEEH) - Expansions 2015, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Geological Society of America (GSA), Annual Meeting 2015, Baltimore, USA, Abstract# 102-8


  • Geological Society of America (GSA), Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, Abstract# 292-0. 
  • European  Geophysical Union (EGU), General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, Abstract# EGU2014-12168


  • American Geophysical Union (AGU), Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA, Abstract #PP24A-02
  • European  Geophysical Union (EGU), General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, Abstract# EGU2013-4616


  • AGU-GV "FRAGILE EARTH", Munich, Germany, Abstract# 41-6