Project groups


Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Jens O. Herrle

Understanding the evolution of one of the most common modern phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa, as crucial component of the marine food chain and biogeochemical cycles, is fundamental to assess future changes of the marine phytoplankton related to global warming. Our project aims at assessing the mode, tempo and spatial changes of E. huxleyi- and Gephyrocapsa-morphotypes to understand their diversity, biogeographic distribution (marginal sea, shelf, open ocean) and ecological preferences (e.g., temperature, salinity, productivity). The main focus of the project will be to test the impact of temperature, ocean acidification and salinity changes on the distribution and abundances E. huxleyi- and Gephyrocapsa-morphotypes during the last 20.000 years.


Dr. Christina Gebühr, Researcher


Bollmann, J., Herrle, J.O., Cortez, M. & S.R. Fielding (2009) : The effect of sea water salinity on the morphology of Emiliania huxleyi in plankton and sediment samples. - Earth and Planetary Science Letters 284, 320-328.

Fielding, S.R., Herrle, J.O., Bollmann, J., Worden, R.H. & D.J.S. Montagnes (2009) : Assessing the applicability of Emiliania huxleyi coccolith morphometry as a sea surface salinity proxy. - Limnology and Oceanography 54, 1475-1480.

Gischler, E., Ginsburg, R.N., Herrle, J.O. & S. Prasad (2010) : Mixed carbonates and siliciclastics in the Quaternary of southern Belize: Pleistocene turning points in reef development controlled by sea-level change - Sedimentology 57, 1049-1068.

Karas, C., Nürnberg, D. & R. Tiedemann (2012) : The Southwest Pacific during the Pliocene: A reply to Dickens and Backman, 2011. - Earth and Planetary Science Letters 331–332: 360–363.

Karas, C., Nürnberg, D., Tiedemann, R. & D. Garbe-Schönberg (2011) : Pliocene Indonesian Throughflow and Leeuwin Current dynamics: Implications for Indian Ocean polar heat flux. - Paleoceanography 26(2) doi:10.1029/2010PA001949.

Karas, C., Nürnberg, D., Tiedemann, R. & D. Garbe-Schönberg (2011) : Pliocene climate change of the Southwest Pacific and the impact of ocean gateways. - Earth and Planetary Science Letters 301: 117–124.

McAnena, A., Flogel, S., Hofmann, P., Herrle, J.O., Griesand, A., Pross, J., Talbot, H.M., Rethemeyer, J., Wallmann, K. & T. Wagner (2013) : Atlantic cooling associated with a marine biotic crisis during the mid-Cretaceous period. - Nature Geoscience 6: 558-561.

Pälike, H., Nishi, H., Lyle, M., Raffi, I., Klaus, A., Gamage, K., and the Expedition 320/321 Scientists (including J.O. Herrle) (2009) : Pacific Equatorial Transect. - IODP Preliminary Report, 320. doi:10.2204/

Pälike, P.,..., Herrle, J., et al. (2012) : A Cenozoic record of the equatorial Pacific carbonate compensation depth. - Nature 488: 609-614.

Schröder-Adams, C., Herrle, J.O. & Q. Tu (2012) : Albian to Santonian carbon isotope excursions and faunal extinctions in the Canadian Western Interior Sea: Recognition of eustatic sea-level controls on a forebulge setting. - Sedimentary Geology 281: 50-58.