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 Marine Mikropaläontologie
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Marine Mikropaläontologie

Willkommen bei der Arbeitsgruppe Marine Mikropaläontologie

Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe

Prof. Wolfgang Kuhnt

Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 14
24118 Kiel
Tel.: +49 431 880 2824
Fax: +49 431 880 4376

Research Profile

The Kiel Marine Micropaleontology Research Group


The Kiel Marine Micropaleontology Laboratory and Research Group actively focuses on the study of planktic and benthic foraminifera (marine prostists that build tests from calcite or foreign agglutinated particles) and their application for understanding climate and ocean evolution over the last 100 million years.


Facilities at the University of Kiel include a micropaleontological preparation laboratory, clean laboratory for geochemical preparation, and dedicated microscope and computer laboratories. We also house a comprehensive micropaleontology research library and extensive collections, including one of the largest collections in Europe of Recent seafloor samples (both slides and residues). This collection encompasses material from several thousands core tops, box-core and multicore samples collected from all oceans with special emphasis on the eastern Atlantic, Baltic Sea and SE Asian Seas.


Our research focuses on Recent, Cenozoic and Cretaceous foraminifera, in particular their evolution  (biostratigraphy), ecology and population dynamics. Foraminifera also provide crucial tools for paleoceanography, because their carbonate shells can be analyzed for their elemental composition (i.e. Mg/Ca) and stable isotopes of oxygen, carbon, calcium and boron. These geochemical and isotopic data are fundamental to derive estimates of past sea surface temperature, salinity and pH and to reconstruct productivity and water column structure.


Current projects of the Kiel Marine Micropaleontology group include:

(1) Neogene cyclostratigraphy and paleoceanography based on ODP and IODP sites from the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.

(2) mid-Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events with focus on carbon isotope stratigraphy, biostratigraphy and foraminiferal based productivity and oxygenation reconstructions. We have current field-based research projects in Southern France, Morocco and Tibet.

(3) Recent and Pleistocene climate variability in South East Asia and the Indonesian Throughflow area, using sediment cores and hydrographic data recovered by RV”Sonne” and “Marion Dufresne”.

(4) geochemistry of foraminiferal tests and implications for reconstruction of sea water chemistry.


Researchers from the Kiel Marine Micropaleontology group sailed on a number of ODP Legs and IODP Expeditions including Leg 159 (Equatorial Atlantic), Leg 182 (Great Australian Bight), Leg 184 (South China Sea), Leg 185 (Western Pacific), Leg 202 (Eastern Pacific) and Expedition 321 Equatorial Pacific).


Teaching focuses on introductory micropaleontology and stratigraphy through lectures and practical classes with advanced lectures on applied micropaleontology (temperature and productivity reconstructions, transfer function techniques). Field courses and individual mapping training are offered to graduate students in spectacular Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary sequences in Central Europe and the Alps as an essential component of their micropaleontological training.