Biogeochemistry Projects

Lecturers: Marcus Elvert, Susann Henkel, Verena Heuer, Sabine Kasten, Lars-Peter Wörmer


Based on theoretical foundations given in module “Biogeochemical Processes: Concepts”, we now focus on practical applications in the field and our geochemical laboratories. In addition to a one-to-two day field exercise focusing on biogeochemical sampling of marine sediments, groups of students will work on small, interdisciplinary projects, which will be designed according to recent research questions/techniques in the fields of marine (in)organic geochemistry and biogeochemistry. Specific topics of the concept module will be discussed in small groups, for example, principles of geochemical modeling or handling of complex data sets.


1) Students will be familiar with fundamental laboratory methods and techniques in (in)organic geochemistry essential for scientific geochemical work.
2) Students will be able to tackle research questions in biogeochemistry.
3) Students will be in a position to provide conceptions of the ocean as a biogeochemical system.
4) Students will be provided with skills to work independently as well as in a team.


The assessment is based on presentation of results at the end of the labwork phase (34%) and the final report (66%). The report should document the project work incl. its scientific foundation and is supposed to be written in an article-like fashion. The participation in the field and lab exercises is mandatory.

Exam Form:



Ardrey (2003) Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 296 pages.
Boudreau & Joergensen (eds) (2001) The benthic boundary layer. Oxford Press.
Broekaert (2001) Analytical Atomic Spectrometry with Flames and Plasmas, Wiley-VCH, 364 pages.
Canfield, Thamdrup & Kristensen (eds) (2005) Aquatic Geomicrobiology, Academic Press.
Grob & Barry (2004) Modern Practice of Gas Chromatography, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1045 pages.
Schulz & Zabel (eds) (2006) Marine Geochemistry. 2nd ed., Springer Verlag.


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