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Number of credits: 3

Course manager: Vincent Grossi

Course type: ca. 2/3 lectures and 1/3 tutorials

Main objectives

To acquire fundamental knowledge (basic concepts, approaches and analytical methods, case studies, multi-proxy approaches, limitations, etc.) about the use of different bio-indicators (lipid biomarkers, pollen grains, dinoflagellates, siliceous plankton, carbonates, transition metals) in (paleo)environmental and biogeochemical studies.


  • Initiation to organic and inorganic biosignatures (biomarkers) and associated analytical approaches/methods.
  • Comparison of elemental and molecular analyses to study the functioning and evolution of past and present-day ecosystems: case studies.
  • Stable (13C, D/H) and radiogenic (14C) compound specific isotope analyses and applications for paleo-environmental and paleo-climatic reconstructions.
  • Systematics and ecology of dinoflagellates: keys to environmental information in marine and continental ecosystems.
  • Pollen grain analysis: markers of vegetation dynamics – methods for reconstructing past climates.
  • Combination of different biotic markers for paleo-environmental reconstructions (case studies).
  • The marine silica cycle from the Precambrian to the present and evolution of biogenic siliceous signatures in sediments.

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