Dr. Sophie Paul

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Division 1: Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics
Research Unit Paleoceanography

Room: 8/C-108
Phone: +49 431 600-2314
Email: spaul@geomar.de


GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Wischhofstraße 1-3
24148 Kiel



Research Interests

  • Assessing rare earth elements and yttrium (REY) and Nd isotopes in pore waters and marine archives to understand their potential and limitation as a proxy
  • Trace metal cycling in marine sediments during early diagenesis

Research Projects and Cruises

  • Since 07/2021: DFG project: Early diagenetic alteration of rare earth element and yttrium (REY) signals in marine sediments and impact on the use of REY as tracers in past and present marine environments
  • 2020 TRAM: Tracing origin and distribution of geogenic and anthropogenic dissolved and particulate critical high-technology metals in the southern North Sea (M169)
  • 2020 Metal-ML: Metal geochemistry meets machine learning: Assessing sedimentary and pore-water rare earth element variability from local to basin scale across the NE Atlantic Ocean (MSM96)
  • 2018-2021 EU JPI-Oceans project: Environmental Impacts and Risks of Deep-Sea Mining (MiningImpact2; SO268)
    • Determining baselines of trace elements in the sediment and pore water in polymetallic nodule areas of the Pacific
    • Assessing the role of colloids for metal distribution in the pore water and bottom water
  • 2018 Amazon-GEOTRACES - Interactions of trace metals, DOM, and particles in the Amazon estuary and associated plume as key processes for trace metal and DOM fluxes into the Atlantic (M147)
  • 2015-2017 EU JPI-Oceans project: Ecological aspects of deep-sea mining (SO242)
    • Assessing changes in sediment composition and (bio)geochemical fluxes due to anthropogenic mechanical disruptions with a focus on trace metals
    • Release of heavy metals from the sediment to the water column


  • 2015-2018 PhD in Geosciences (Jacobs University Bremen)
  • 2013-2014 MSc Environment and Development (University of Edinburgh)
  • 2010-2013 BSc Integrated Environmental Studies (Jacobs University Bremen)

Peer-reviewed Publications

Manceau, A., Paul, S. A. L., Simionovici, A., Magnin, V., Balvay, M., Findling, N., Rovezzi, M., Muller, S., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Koschinsky, A. (2022) Fossil Bioapatites with Extremely High Concentrations of Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium from Deep-Sea Pelagic Sediments. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.2c00169

Schmidt, K., Paul, S. A. L. and Achterberg, E. (2022) Assessing the availability of trace metals and rare earth elements in deep ocean waters of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, NE Pacific: application of an in situ DGT passive sampling method. Trends in Analytical Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trac.2022.116657

Gaye, B., Lahajnar, N., Harms, N., Paul, S. A. L., Rixen, T. and Emeis, K.C. (2022) What can we learn from amino acids about oceanic organic matter cycling and degradation? Biogeosciences 19, 807-830, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-807-2022.

Paul, S. A. L., Zitoun, R., Noowong, A., Manirajah, M. and Koschinsky A. (2021) Copper-binding ligands in deep-sea pore waters of the Pacific Ocean and potential impacts of polymetallic nodule mining on the copper cycle. Scientific reports 11: 18425. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-97813-3

Spiegel, T., Vosteen, P., Wallmann, K., Paul, S. A. L., Gledhill, M. and Scholz, F. (2021): Updated estimates of sedimentary potassium sequestration and phosphorus release in the Amazon shelf. Chemical Geology 560:120017. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2020.120017

Paul, S. A. L., Haeckel, M.,  Bau, M., Bajracharya, R. and Koschinsky, A. (2019): Small-scale heterogeneity of trace metals including rare earth elements and yttrium in deep-sea sediments and porewaters of the Peru Basin, southeastern equatorial Pacific. Biogeosciences 16, 4829–4849, doi: 10.5194/bg-16-4829-2019

Paul,S. A. L., Volz, J. B., Bau, M., Köster, M., Kasten, S. and  Koschinsky, A. (2019) Calcium phosphate control of REY patterns of siliceous-ooze-rich deep-sea sediments from the central equatorial Pacific. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 251, 56-72, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2019.02.019

Paul, S. A. L., Gaye, B., Haeckel, M., Kasten, S. and Koschinsky, A. (2018) Biogeochemical Regeneration of a Nodule Mining Disturbance Site: Trace Metals, DOC and Amino Acids in Deep-Sea Sediments and Pore Waters. Frontiers in Marine Science 5 (Article number 117). doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00117.

Paul, S. A. L., Wilson, A. M. W., Cachimo, R, and Riddell, M. A., (2016). Piloting participatory smartphone mapping of intertidal fishing grounds and resources in northern Mozambique: Opportunities and future directions. Ocean & Coastal Management, 134: 79-92.