Climate dynamics, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem variability in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmiedl
University of Hamburg

The eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) responds sensitively to orbital and suborbital climate variability and related hydrological changes of the adjacent continents. Recurrent deposition of organic-rich sediment layers (sapropels) is caused by complex interactions between climatic and biogeochemical processes. Disentangling these influences is therefore important for Mediterranean palaeo-studies but also to understand climate links between the EMS and the African Monsoon system. Sapropels are diagnostic of anoxic deep-water phases, which have been attributed to deep-water stagnation, enhanced biological production, or both.

Fig2_SL112_LevantineTo examine how the EMS responds to climatic changes and to test existing hypotheses of sapropel S1 formation during the early Holocene (from 10.2 to 6.4 ka BP), we combined simulations with a regional ocean circulation model coupled to a biogeochemical model with a compilation of proxy data. Our results reveal a complex spatial and temporal pattern of environmental changes and suggest a glacial initiation of sapropel formation.

I have an educational background as geologist and paleontologist from the University of Würzburg. Since my time as PhD student at the AWI in Bremerhaven, I am fascinated by micropaleontology and marine paleoclimate research. I was able to continue and extend my research during postdoctoral activities at Tübingen, Columbus (Ohio) and Leipzig. My expertise is centered on benthic ecosystem variability and its forcing by both long- and short-term climate changes in various marginal seas and oceans, such as the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Sea and North Sea. My recent projects at the University of Hamburg profit from the diverse environment of the KlimaCampus, where I am able to cooperate with scientists within the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability and neighboring major research institutions.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 06/07/2015, 15:00 h – 16:15 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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