Prof. Dr. Dirk Nürnberg

GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
FB1: Ozeanzirkulation und Klimadynamik
FE:   Paläo-Ozeanographie
Wischhofstr. 1-3, Geb. 8c, Raum 106
D-24148 Kiel



Reached Antarctica, Jan. 2022

Hurray: 30 years ago we reached the Northpole on Sept. 7, 1991: Gruppenfoto

Accepted: Fang et al. (2024): Precessional hydroclimatic synchronicity changes in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool driven by the Intertropical Convergence Zone over the past 450 kyr. Geological Magazine/Cambridge

OUT OF THE PRESS: Qin et al. (2024): Obliquity pacing of deep Pacific carbonate chemistry during the Plio-Pleistocene. Geophysical Research Letters, 51, e2024GL110093.

Govindankutty Menon et al. (2023): A deep‑learning automated image recognition method for measuring pore patterns in closely related bolivinids and calibration for quantitative nitrate paleo‑reconstructions.

Buchwald et al. (2023): Plankton community changes during the last 124 000 years in the subarctic Bering Sea derived from sedimentary ancient DNA. The ISME Journal.

Bubenshchikova et al. (2023): The Pauzhetka tephra (South Kamchatka): A key middle Pleistocene isochron for the Northwest Pacific and Okhotsk Sea sediments. Quaternary Geochronology

Zimmermann et al. (2023): Marine ecosystem shifts with deglacial sea-ice loss inferred from ancient DNA shotgun sequencing. Nature Communications, 14 . Art.Nr. 1650. DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-36845-x. Press, Press, Press, Press

Jacobi, Nürnberg, Chao, Lembke-Jene, Tiedemann (2023) ENSO vs glacial-interglacial-induced changes in the Kuroshio-Oyashio transition zone during the Pleistocene. Front. Mar. Sci. 10:1074431. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1074431

Hübscher & Nürnberg et al. (2023): Loop Current attenuation after the Mid-Pleistocene Transition contributes to Northern hemisphere cooling. Marine Geology

Current Project: Lamy & Nürnberg: Dynamics of Surface to Intermediate/Mode Water in the Pleistocene Subantarctic Pacific (IODP Expedition 383 DYNAPACC). Int. Ocean Discovery Program. Fact Sheet.

WATCH THIS: Movies / Oceanblogs / Cruise Report from SONNE cruise 264 to the North Pacific

Das grosse Fressen (Nature Comm.) (press release) (press release)

KDM-Broschüre:  Future of the Gulf Stream




Research / Forschung

Within the Research Unit Paleoceanography, research interests focus on the „chemical paleoceanography“:

• Foraminiferal (isotope)geochemistry: Development and application of the Mg/Ca-paleothermometry, light stable isotopes, foramininferal Na/Ca as paleo-salinity proxy, trace elements.

• Reconstructions of late Quaternary sea surface, subsurface, and intermediate water temperatures and salinities, thermocline change, terrigenous flux, marine productivity, and (sub)surface hydrography in different ocean environments.

• Reconstructions of northern high latitude sedimentological processes, sea-ice, oceanography, and climate during the late Pleistocene.

• Ocean gateway dynamics and development of oceanic warmpools: Opening history of the Southern Gateway (Australia-Tasman-Antarctica), Pliocene closure of the Panamanian Isthmus, restriction of the Indonesian Gateway.

• Research areas: Arctic Ocean, N Atlantic, Iceland, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Southern Ocean (SE-Australian sector), equatorial W Pacific, SE, E, and NW Pacific, Okhotsk Sea, Bering Sea.

DN has teaching commitment at Kiel University. DN is proponent of 32 DFG and BMBF research projects since 1997, head of the stable isotope and Mg/Ca-labs, and supervised various Ph.D., M.Sc. and B.Sc. theses. DN participated, partly led, and mostly applied for 28 land and ship-expeditions.

Current projects:

  • SONNE-EMPEROR (BMBF), 1 Dokotorand/Ph.D. student, SO264 cruise report, Factsheet
  • Dynamics of Surface to Intermediate/Mode Water in the Pleistocene Subantarctic Pacific (IODP Expedition 383 DYNAPACC), 1 Postdoc, Factsheet
  • Western Boundary Current in Relation to Atlantic Subtropical Gyre Dynamics During Abrupt Glacial Climate Fluctuations. Factsheet
  • Intermediate water variability in the tropical West-Atlantic during glacial to deglacial climate change. Factsheet
  • Paleo-proxy studies: Foraminiferal Na/Ca as salinity proxy. Factsheet
  • Last Glacial to Holocene sea-surface and subsurface ocean dynamics south of Australia. Ongoing M.Sc. Thesis. Factsheet
  • Reconstruction of the Pleistocene atmospheric/oceanic circulation in the South Pacific (SOPATRA), 1 Doktorand/Ph.D.student, SO213-Fahrtbericht, Press, BMBF-Bericht
  • West Pacific Warm Pool seasurface and thermocline dynamics, Factsheet
  • Iceland paleoclimatology and paleoceanography, PublicationDoktorandin/Ph.D.student, Factsheet

News / Aktuelles

Expeditions in 2016-2022

Newest Publications (published in 2020 - 2022)

Berichte 2016-2018:

List of all publications can be found here. Eine ausführliche Liste der wiss. Publikationen in internationalen Fachzeitschriften mit Doppelbegutachtungssystem, andere Publikationen sowie Tagungsbeiträge finden Sie hier.


Experience / Tätigkeiten


Project Personnel (DFG and BMBF funding) / Projektpersonal

Postdocs (*current / *laufend)

Ph.D. students (*current) / Doktoranden/innen (*laufend)

  • Lara Jacobi (2023), Reconstruction of the spatial and temporal variabilityof the surface to subsurface ocean dynamics of the North West Pacific during the Pliocene to Pleistocene. BMBF SO264 SONNE-EMPEROR.
  • *Fang Qian(started in Jan. 2022), Pleistocene West Pacific Warm Pool dynamics. CSC fund.
  • *Jiangnan Shi (started in Nov. 2018), Miocene/Pliocene West Pacific Warmpool dynamics. CSC fund.
  • Jacqueline Bertlich (2020), Salinity control on Na incorporation into foraminiferal calcite. HOSST graduate school. Petersen-Price awardess. Now: Laboratorium Fertigungstechnik, Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg.
  • *Mariam Mirzaloo (current), HOSST, Iceland paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. Publication
  • Stefan Reissig (.....), The Atlantic “heat pump”: Late Pleistocene to Holocene changes in the upper ocean thermal structure of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in relation to changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Publication. Now: Kreis Plön Klimaschutz & Digitalisierung.
  • David Poggemann (2017) Role of intermediate water variability in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in deglacial climate change. INTERMED, Future Ocean, DFG. Now: Krug & Poggemann GbR / Zeiten°Grad
  • Anna Jentzen (2017) Habitat and geochemical characterization of living planktonic foraminifera in the Caribbean. Gruner Böhringer AG.
  • Raul Ivan Tapia Arroyo (2016), Paleo-Water Column Structure in the South Pacific: Evidence from foraminiferal d18O and Mg/Ca (SOPATRA, BMBF). Now: Institute of Oceanography National Taiwan University, Taipeh, Taiwan (R.O.C.) PaleoProxy Lab
  • Tebke Böschen (2013) Planktonic and benthic foraminifers as geochemical proxies recording hydrographic changes in the eastern equatorial Pacific. SFB754, DFG. Now:  IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education.
  • Tanja Mildner (2013) Past and present dynamics in the western subtropical Atlantic. LOOP, SPP INTERDYNAMIK, DFG
  • Jan Riethdorf (2012) Rekonstruktion der Pleistozän-Holozänen Klimageschichte und Ozeanographie im subarktischen NW-Pazifik. KALMAR, BMBF. Now: AGROLAB GmbH. 
  • Cyrus Karas (2010) Die miozäne bis pliozäne Einengung der Indonesischen Ozeanpassage und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Ozeanzirkulation und das Klima. INDONESIAN THROUGHFLOW, DFG. Now: Universidad de Santiago de Chile.
  • Rina Zuraida (2009) Rapid climatic changes in the Indonesian Gateway. DFG. Now: Marine Geological Institute of Indonesia.
  • Marcus Regenberg (2006) Inorganic and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Tropical Atlantic/Caribbean Planktonic Foraminifera: Implications for the Reconstruction of Upper Ocean Temperatures and Stratification. DFG. Now: AGROLAB GmbH.
  • Jeroen Groeneveld (2005) Effect of the Pliocene closure of the Panamanian Gateway on Carribean and east Pacific sea surface temperatures and salinities by applying combined Mg/Ca and δ18O measurements (5.6-2.2 Ma). DFG-Research Group OCEAN GATEWAYS. Now: Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University
  • Natasja Brughmans (2003) Paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic evolution in the southwestern Tasman Sea during the Pleistocene to Quaternary – Implications for paleoproductivity, paleo-sea surface temperature, and terrigeneous flux from geochemical proxy data. SPATS, DFG
  • André Kaiser (2001) Oceanography, productivity and sea ice distribution in the Sea of Okhotsk during the last 350 ka. KOMEX, BMBF
  • Anja Müller (2000) Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in biogenic carbonate of planktic foraminifers und benthic ostracodes. DFG. Now: Dr. Hartmann Chemietechnik: Home

M.Sc. students (*current) / Diplomanden/innen (*laufend)

  • Luisa Franzen (2023) Upper ocean temperature and salinity variability in the central Drake Passage over the past ~140 kyrs. Univ. Kiel, 105 pages. Now: linkedin
  • Stella Zora Buchwald (2022) Sedimentary ancient DNA records 120,000 years of Bering Sea ecosystem change. Univ. Kiel, 73 pages. Now: Univ. Hamburg 
  • Akintunde Kayode (2020) Last glacial to holocene sea surface and subsurface ocean dynamics south of Australia. Univ. Kiel, 101 pages.
  • Tabitha Riff (2019) Stadial/interstadial variability of tropical W-Atlantic intermediate and subsurface water masses during late MIS 3 and MIS 2. Univ. Kiel, 89 pages. Now: Kompetenzzentrum Erneuerbare Energien und Klimaschutz Schleswig-Holstein  
    FuE-Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH.
  • Lia Brunke (2017) Deglacial surface to subsurface hydrographical changes in the eastern Caribbean related to perturbations in the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Univ. Kiel, 63 pages.
  • Julien Schirrmacher (June 2016) Paired d18O and Mg/Ca records of N. pachyderma sin. and G. bulloides from the Iceland-Faroe-Ridge. Now: SFB1266 Transformations Dimensionen.
  • Fernando Aguado Gonzalo (2014) South East Pacific oceanographic change during the Plio/Pleistocene. Univ. Kiel, 49 pages. Now: Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences 
  • Imke Bruhn (2014) Zwischenwasserdynamik im zentralen W-Atlantik.
  • Stefan Reissig (2013) Pleistocene sea surface temperature and salinity development in the subtropic East Atlantic off Cape Verde Islands.
  • David Poggemann (2012) Early Pliocene to Late Pleistocene seasurface and subsurface temperature development offshore Chile. Univ. Kiel, 79 pages.
  • Kristin Doering (2012) Surface and deep-water hydrographic conditions over the last 18.000 years from the Peruvian coast based on d18O and Mg/Ca ratios of Globigerinoides ruber and Uvigerina peregrina.
  • Claudia Jung (2009) Signal des Antarktischen Zwischenwassers im Golf von Mexico – Hinweise aus Mg/Ca und δ18O benthischer Foraminiferen.
  • Ariane Kujau (2008) Untersuchung des Mississippi-Terrigeneintrags in den nordöstlichen Golf von Mexiko während der letzten ca. 500.000 Jahre. Now: GFZ Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam
  • Anna Erichsen (2008) Impact of calcite dissolution Mg/Ca ratios of core-top planktonic foraminifers from Timor Sea. Now: PetroServices.
  • Cyrus Karas (2006) Seasurface temperature and salinity evolution at DeSoto Canyon (Gulf of Mexico) over the last ~400 kyrs – evidence from combined foraminiferal Mg/Ca and δ18O. Now: Univ. Sanntiago (Chile)
  • Martin Ziegler (2005) Short-term changes in sea-surface hydrography in the Atlantic Warm Water Pool - Gulf of Mexico and Florida Strait (IMAGES). Now: Universiteit Utrecht, NL
  • Ulla Pedersen (2002) Late glacial und holocene marine pollen/spore und green algae records from the Sea of Okhotsk: Implications for terrestrial Siberian climate development and Amur River run-off.
  • Reinhard Kozdon (2002) Ultra-high resolution reconstructions of paleoproductivity and terrigenous supply in the Sea of  Okhotsk during the last ca. 9.000 years. Now: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

B.Sc. students (*ongoing / *laufend)

  • Ellen Rosemann (2022) Glazial/Interglaziale Veränderungen der Deckschicht-Temperaturen im Nordwest Pazifik basierend auf Mg/Ca-Verhältnissen planktischer Foraminiferen. Now: Univ. Münster.
  • Karl Meier (2015) Leeuwin Current dynamics during the last 150.000 years and its impact on the southwestern Australian continent. Now: Univ. Heidelberg.
  • Niklas Meincke (2012) Frühdiagenetische (istopen-)geochemische Veränderungen fossiler planktischer Foraminiferengehäuse im Golf von Mexiko. Now: Univ. Bremen
  • Lisa Griem (2012) Sauerstoffisotopenstratigraphie am Sedimentkern M78/1-186-2 vom West Florida Schelf mithilfe stabiler Isotopenmessungen an Gehäusen benthischer Foraminiferen.Now: Univ. Bergen (NO)
  • Miriam Ibenthal (2011) Geochemische Verteilungsmuster rezenter Sedimente im Ochotskischen Meer und der Bering See. Now: Agrar- und Umweltwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Rostock, DFG Research Training Group Baltic TRANSCOAST
  • Sarah Anders (2012) Biogen-Opal zur Rekonstruktion des Mississippi-Schmelzwasser-Ausstroms während des letzten Deglazials?
  • Stellan Rieken (2011) Mississippi Sedimenteintrag in den nördlichen Golf von Mexiko während der letzten 42.000 Jahre
  • Philipp Loose (2011) Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca und stabile Sauerstoffisotope in benthischen Foraminiferengehäusen (Uvigerina peregrina und Hoeglundina elegans) aus dem Golf von Mexiko und der Floridastraße: Potential für Bodenwassertemperatur-Rekonstruktionen. Now:
  • Johanna Ochs (2011) Vergleich zweier Sedimentationsräume der hohen Breiten zur Klimarekonstruktion - Versuch des Nachweises einer atmosphärischen Telekonnektion zwischen dem El'Gygytgyn See und dem Ochotskischen Meer. Now:

Teaching / Lehre

Password-geschützte Skripte (PDF) zum Download / Password protected script (PDF) for download

Einführung in die Marine Geologie 1 / Introduction to Marine Geology 1 (MNF-geow-B304)

  • Allg. Einf. (pdf); Absolute Altersbest. (pdf); Magnetostratigraphie (pdf); Biostratigraphie (pdf)

Einführung in die Paläoklimaforschung / Intro to Paleoclimate Research: Vorlesung und Seminar

  • Vorlesung: Marine Produktivität (Intro): TOC, Chlorin, d13C, Opal, Barium; Proxies: Meerestemperaturen; Proxies: Eisbergdrift und Meereis; Ozean-Entwicklung der letzten 100 Ma, Proxies: Das komplexe d18O Signal (N. Keul), Sealevel (N. Keul)
  • Seminar

M.Sc. Biol. Oceanography: Intro to Marine Geology (MNF-bioc-104)

  • Marine Stratigraphy, Past Ocean Heat Budget

Kartenkunde / Geol. Mapping (only winter term)

  • Skript 1, Skript 2, Skript 3, Skript 4, Skript 5, Skript 6, Skript 8/9, Skript 10/11

Foraminiferengeochemie / Foraminiferal Geochemistry (only winter term)

  • Introduction, Calcification, Habitat, Mg/Ca und Mg/Li, Na/Ca + Salzgehalt, Ca-Isotopes, Ba/Ca and Cd/Ca, Borisotope und B/Ca, Nd-Isotope, U/Ca in foraminifers, Sr/Ca in foraminifers and corals, etc.

Eine Zusammenstellung der Lehre ist zu sehen unter

My teaching committment at Univ. Kiel can be seen at