Dr. Joachim Schönfeld
Ocean Circulation and
Climate Dynamics
Research Unit:

Room: 8/C-107
Phone: +49 431 600-2315
E-Mail: jschoenfeld(at)geomar.de


Wischhofstraße 1-3
D-24148 Kiel


Research Interests

  • Benthic Foraminifera
  • Proxy development
  • Biomonitoring
  • Quaternary paleoceanography
  • Mesozoic and Cenozoic stratigraphy


Education and Career

Diplom-Geologe, University of Kiel

 Dr. rer. nat., University of Kiel

Post Doc, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, University of Kiel, Germany

1990 - 1993
Junior Scientist, Federal Bureau of Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover, Germany

1993 - 1999
Research Associate, GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences, Kiel, Germany

1999 - 2001
Research Associate, FB 5 - Geowissenschaften, Bremen University, Germany

2002 - 2004
Project Scientist, Tethys Geoconsulting Ltd., Kiel, Germany

current Staff Scientist, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany

Selected Publications


Mendes, I., Lübbers, J., Schönfeld, J., Baldermann, A., Carrasco, A.R., Cravo, A., Gomes, A., Grasse, P. & Stamm, F.: Novel field experiment on alkalinity enhancement in intertidal environments.

Schmidt, S., Hathorne, E. C., Schönfeld, J., Kathleen Gosnell & Garbe-Schönberg, D.: Incorporation of dissolved heavy metals into the skeleton of the scleractinian corals Porites lobata and Porites lichen based on multielement culturing experiments.


2018 - 2023

Milker, Y., Schönfeld, J., Meng, S., Wrozyna, C., Schneppmüller, M. & Schmiedl, G., 2023. Are they everywhere? – Benthic foraminifera from saline springs in central Germany -- Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 53: 286–304, doi: 10.2113/gsjfr.53.4.286.

Schönfeld, J., Glock, N., Polovodova Asteman, I., Roy, A.S., Warren, M., Weissenbach, J & Wukovits, J., 2023. Benthic foraminiferal patchiness - revisited -- Journal of Micropalaeontology, 42: 171–192, doi: 10.5194/jm-42-171-2023.

Glock, N., Erdem, Z. & Schönfeld, J., 2022. The Peruvian oxygen minimum zone was similar in extent but weaker during the Last Glacial Maximum than Late Holocene. -- Communications Earth & Environment, 3:307, 14 pp., doi: 10.1038/s43247-022-00635-y.

Schmidt, S., Hathorne, E.C., Schönfeld, J. & Garbe-Schönberg, D., 2022. Heavy metal uptake of near-shore benthic foraminifera during multi-metal culturing experiments. -- Biogeosciences, 19: 629–664, doi: 10.5194/bg-19-629-2022.

Schmidt, S. & Schönfeld, J., 2022. An Early Modern anthropogenic heavy metal record of the Helgoland Mud Area, (German Bight, North Sea). -- Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 173: 425–444, doi: 10.1127/zdgg/2022/0368.

Schönfeld, J. & Mendes, I., 2022. Benthic foraminifera and pore water carbonate chemistry on a tidal flat and salt marsh at Ria Formosa, Algarve, Portugal. -- Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 276, 108003, 16 pp., doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2022.108003.

Woehle, C. Roy, A.S., Glock, N., Michels, J., Wein, T., Weissenbach, J., Romero, D., Hiebenthal, C., Gorb, S.N., Schönfeld, J., & Dagan, T., 2022. Denitrification in foraminifera has ancient origins and is complemented by associated bacteria. -- PNAS, 119, No. 25, e2200198119, 11 pp., doi: 10.1073/pnas.2200198119.

Francescangeli, F., Milker, Y., Bunzel, D., Thomas, H., Norbisrath, M., Schönfeld, J. & Schmiedl, G., 2021. Recent benthic foraminiferal distribution in the Elbe Estuary (North Sea, Germany): A response to environmental stressors. -- Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 251, 107198, 14 pp., doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2021.107198.

Schmidt, S. & Schönfeld, J., 2021. Living and dead foraminiferal assemblage from the supratidal sand Japsand, North Frisian Wadden Sea: distributional patterns and controlling factors. -- Helgoland Marine Research, 75, 6, 22 pp., doi: 10.1186/s10152-021-00551-2.

Schönfeld, J., Beccari, V., Schmidt, S. & Spezzaferri, S., 2021. Biometry and taxonomy of Adriatic Ammonia species from Bellaria-Igea Marina (Italy). -- Journal of Micropalaeontology, 40: 195–223, doi: 10.5194/jm-40-195-2021.

Schönfeld, J. & Mendes, I., 2021. Environmental triggers of faunal changes revealed by benthic foraminiferal monitoring. -- Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 253, 107313, 16 pp., doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2021.107313.

Erdem, Z., Schönfeld, J., Rathburn, A.E., Pérez, M.E., Cardich, J., & Glock, N., 2020. Bottom-water deoxygenation at the Peruvian Margin during the last deglaciation recorded by benthic foraminifera. -- Biogeosciences, 17: 3165–3182, doi: 10.5194/bg-17-3165-2020

Glock, N., Romero, D., Roy, A.-S., Woehle, C., Dale, A., Schönfeld, J., Wein, T., Weissenbach, J. & Dagan, T., 2020. A hidden sedimentary phosphate pool inside benthic foraminifera from the Peruvian upwelling region might nucleate phosphogenesis -- Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 289: 14–32, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2020.08.002.

Mendes, I., Lobo, F.J., Hanebuth, T., López-Quirós, A., Schönfeld, J., Lebreiro, S.M., Reguera, M.I., Antón, L. & Ferreira, Ô., 2020. Temporal variability of flooding events of Guadiana River (Iberian Peninsula) during the middle to late Holocene: Imprints in the shallow marine sediment record. -- Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 556, 109900, 16 pp., doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109900.

Schönfeld, J. & Lübbers, J., 2020. Checklist, assemblage composition, and biogeographic assessment of Recent benthic foraminifera (Protista, Rhizaria) from São Vincente, Cape Verdes. -- Zootaxa, 4731: 151–192, doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4731.2.1.

Schönfeld, J. & Voigt, T., 2020. Sediment geometry, facies analysis and paleobathymetry of the Schrammstein Formation (late Turonian) in southern Saxony, Germany -- Zeitschrift der deutschen Gesellschft für Geowissenschaften, 171: 199–209, doi: 10.1127/zdgg/2020/0220.

Jentzen,A., Schönfeld, J., Weiner, A., Weinkauf, M., Nürnberg, D. & Kucera, M., 2019. Seasonal and interannual variability in population dynamics of planktic foraminifers off Puerto Rico (Caribbean Sea) -- Journal of Micropalaeontology, 38: 231–247, doi: 10.5194/jm-38-231-2019.

Schönfeld, J., 2019. Wie Ost- und West-Forscher voneinander lernen -- In: Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (Hrsg.), Die Geschwindigkeit der Veränderung war atemberaubend, p. 4, www.helmholtz.de/wissenschaft_und_gesellschaft/die-geschwindigkeit-der-veraenderung-war-atemberaubend/ (letzter Zugriff am 8.11.2019, 12:32 Uhr).

Waelbroeck, C., Lougheed, B., Vazquez Riveiros, N., Missiaen, L., Pedro, J., Dokken, T., Hajdas, I., Wacker, L., Abbott, P., Dumoulin, J.P., Thil, F., Eynaud, F., Rossignol, L., Fersi, W., Albuquerque, A. L., Arz, H., Austin, W., Came, R., Carlson, A., Collins, J., Dennielou, B., Desprat, S., Dickson, A., Elliot, M., Farmer, E., Giraudeau, J., Gottschalk, J., Henderiks, J., Hughen, K., Jung, S., Knutz, P., Lebreiro, S., Lund, D., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Malaizé, B., Marchitto, T., Martinez Mendez, G., Mollenhauer, G., Naughton, F., Nave, S., Nuernberg, D., Oppo, D., Peck, V., Peeters, F., Penaud, A., Ramos, R.P., Repschläger, J., Roberts, J., Ruehlemann, C., Salgueiro, E., Sanchez Goni, M.F., Schönfeld, J., Scussolini, P., Skinner, L., Skonieczny, C., Thornalley, D., Toucanne, S., Rooij, D.V., Vidal, L., Voelker, A., Wary, M., Weldeab, S. & Ziegler, M., 2019. Consistently dated Atlantic sediment cores over the last 40 thousand years. Scientific Data,  6:165, 12 pp., doi: 10.1038/s41597-019-0173-8.

Bahr, A., Hoffmann, J., Schönfeld, J., Schmidt, M.W., Nürnberg, D., Batenburg, S.J. & Voigt, S., 2018. Low-latitude expressions of high-latitude forcing during Heinrich Stadial 1 and the Younger Dryas in northern South America -- Global and Planetary Change, 160: 1–9, doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.11.008.

Bertlich, J., Nürnberg, D., Hathorne, E.C., De Nooijer, L.J., Mezger, E.M., Kienast, M., Nordhausen, S., Reichart, G.-J., Schönfeld, J., Bijma, J., 2018. Salinity control on Na incorporation into calcite tests of the planktonic foraminifera Trilobatus sacculifer – evidence from culture experiments and surface sediments. -- Biogeosciences, 15: 5991–6018, doi: 10.5194/bg-15-5991-2018.

Glock, N., Erdem, Z., Wallmann, K., Somes, C.J., Liebetrau, V., Schönfeld, J.,  Gorb, S. &  Eisenhauer, A., 2018. Coupling of oceanic carbon and nitrogen facilitates spatially resolved quantitative reconstruction of nitrate inventories. -- Nature Communications, (2018)9:1217, 10 pp., doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03647-5.

Jentzen,A., Nürnberg, D., Hathorne, E.C., Schönfeld, J., 2018. Mg/Ca and d18O in living planktic foraminifers from the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Straits -- Biogeosciences, 15: 7077–7095, doi: 10.5194/bg-15-7077-2018.

Jentzen, A., Schönfeld, J., Schiebel, R., 2018. Assessment of the effect of increasing temperature on the ecology and assemblage structure of modern planktic foraminifers in the Caribbean and surrounding seas. -- Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 48: 251–272, doi: 10.2113/gsjfr.48.3.251.

Lübbers, J. & Schönfeld, J., 2018. Recent salt marsh foraminiferal assemblages from Iceland -- Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 200: 380–394, doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.11.019.

Schönfeld, J., 2018. Benthic foraminiferal monitoring revealed environmental triggers of faunal changes. -- Newsletter of Micropalaeontology, 98: 39–41.

Schönfeld, J., 2018. Monitoring benthic foraminiferal dynamics at Bottsand coastal lagoon (western Baltic Sea). -- Journal of Micropalaeontology, 37: 383–393, doi: 10.5194/jm-37-383-2018.

Woehle, C., Roy, A.S., Glock, N., Wein, T., Weissenbach, J., Rosenstiel, P., Hiebenthal, C., Michels, J., Schönfeld, J. & Dagan, T., 2018. A novel eukaryotic denitrification pathway in foraminifera. -- Current Biology, 28: 2536–2543, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.027.