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
Fax +49-431-600-2925


M.Sc. Arbeiten zu vergeben. Bei Interesse einfach anrufen :-)

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

OUT OF THE PRESS: Wang et al. (2021): Dating North Pacific Abyssal Sediments by Geomagnetic Paleointensity: Implications of Magnetization Carriers, Plio-Pleistocene Climate Change and Benthic Redox Conditions. Frontiers in Earth Sciences.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Wu et al. (2021): Orbital- and millennial-scale Antarctic Circumpolar Current variability in Drake Passage over the past 140,000 years. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24264-9. press

New 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.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Nürnberg et al. (2021) Western Boundary Current in relation to Atlantic Subtropical Gyre dynamics during abrupt glacial climate fluctuations. Global Planetary Change.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Zimmermann et al. (2021) Sedimentary ancient DNA from Kronotsky Peninsula: how sea ice, salinity and insolation dynamics have shaped diatom composition and richness over the past 20,000 years. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Fuhr et al. (2021) Tracing water mass mixing from the equatorial to the North Pacific Ocean with dissolved neodymium isotopes and concentrations. frontiers in Marine Science.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Bahr et al. (2020) Monsoonal forcing controlled cold water coral growth off south-eastern Brazil during the past 160 kyrs. Biogeosciences.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Ronge et al. (2020) Plio-Pleistocene variability of the East Pacific Thermocline and the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 10.1029/2019PA003758.

OUT OF THE PRESS: Naidu et al. (2020) Coherent response of the Indian Monsoon Rainfall to Atlantic Multi-decadal Variability over the last 2000 years. Scientific Reports, Vol. 10, Article number: 1302.

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

NEWS: Holocene Shift in N Pacific Intermediate Water Ventilation (PNAS) (press release)

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

KDM-Broschüre:  Future of the Gulf Stream

Pliocene plate tectonics, ocean circulation and climate (Sci. Rep. Nature) (press) (press)




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 BMBFresearch 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 25 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 2016-2020

Newest Publications

published in 2019 - 2021:

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 (started in June 2018), The Plio/Pleistocene to Holocene development of the pelagic North Pacific from surface to depth. BMBF SO264 SONNE-EMPEROR.
  • *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.
  • *Mariam Mirzaloo (current), HOSST, Iceland paleoclimatology and paleoceanography
  • 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.
  • David Poggemann (2017) Role of intermediate water variability in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in deglacial climate change. INTERMED, Future Ocean, DFG
  • Anna Jentzen (2017) Habitat and geochemical characterization of living planktonic foraminifera in the Caribbean. DFG. Now: Max-Plank-Institut für Chemie, Mainz.
  • Raul Ivan Tapia Arroyo (2016), Paleo-Water Column Structure in the South Pacific: Evidence from foraminiferal d18O and Mg/Ca (SOPATRA, BMBF). Now: Centro de Estudios Avanzados, Universidad de Playa Ancha, Viña del Mar, Chile.
  • Tebke Böschen (2013) Planktonic and benthic foraminifers as geochemical proxies recording hydrographic changes in the eastern equatorial Pacific. SFB754, DFG. Now: Exzellenzcluster Entzündungsforschung, Uni. Kiel.
  • 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: Umweltlabor Rhön-Rennsteig GmbH, 98617 Meiningen
  • Cyrus Karas (2010) Die miozäne bis pliozäne Einengung der Indonesischen Ozeanpassage und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Ozeanzirkulation und das Klima. INDONESIAN THROUGHFLOW, DFG. Now: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA.
  • 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: Inst. Geowiss. Univ. Kiel.
  • 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: MARUM Bremen
  • 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

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

  • *Stella Zora Buchwald (in Vorbereitung) Reconstruction of past marine communities using sedimentary ancient DNA.  
  • 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.
  • 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: Leibniz Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Stable Isotope Research Kiel
  • Fernando Aguado Gonzalo (2014) South East Pacific oceanographic change during the Plio/Pleistocene. Univ. Kiel, 49 pages.
  • 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.
  • 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)

  • Karl Meier (2015) Leeuwin Current dynamics during the last 150.000 years and its impact on the southwestern Australian continent.
  • Niklas Meincke (2012) Frühdiagenetische (istopen-)geochemische Veränderungen fossiler planktischer Foraminiferengehäuse im Golf von Mexiko. Now: Univ. Bergen (NO)
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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

Teaching / Lehre

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

Einführung in die Stratigraphie / Introduction to Stratigraphy (only summer term)

  • Allg. Einf. (pdf); Absolute Altersbest.: 1. Part (pdf), 2. Part (pdf); Magnetostratigraphie (pdf); Sauerstoffisotopenstratigraphie (pdf)

Einf. in die Paläozeanographie / Intro to Paleoceanography (only summer term)

  • Proxies: 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 Paläoklimaforschung 

Intro to Marine Geology (B.Sc.)

  • Stratigraphy 1 (Intro), Stratigraphy 2 (Biostrat.), Stratigraphy 3 (Magnetostrat.), Stratigraphy 4 (absolute dating)

M.Sc. Biol. Oceanography: Intro to Marine Geology (B.Sc.)

  • Marine Stratigraphy 1, Past Ocean Heat Budget

Kartenkunde / Geol. Mapping (only winter term)

  • Skript 1, Skript 2, Skript 3, Skript 4, Skript 5, Skript 6, Skript 7, Skript 8, Skript 9

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 UnivIS

My teaching committment at Univ. Kiel can be seen at UnivIS