Paleontology and Historical Geology


Coral reefs and climate change

The main focus of the working group Palaeontology and Historical Geology is the investigation of modern and fossil coral reefs and carbonate systems. Coral reefs are the largest living structures on earth, one of the most important marine ecosystems and of fundamental importance for coastal protection, tourism and fisheries in the tropics and subtropics. The rise in seawater temperatures due to global warming threatens the survival of coral reefs. In the last three decades, the frequency and intensity of coral bleaching and death has reached unprecedented levels. In addition, increasing pollution is accelerating reef demise. This problem can be investigated with state of the art analytical methods of palaeontology.

Our research focuses include:

  • Climate reconstructions on socially relevant time scales
  • Microplastic in carbonate systems
  • Carbonate sedimentology, diagenesis and microfacies
  • 3D seismic geomorphology in carbonate systems
  • Evaporite systems
  • Reconstruction of environmental conditions in Gondwana during the Jurrasic