Historical Geology – Palaeontology

    1989 - 2017

    Former Prof. Dr. Helmut Willems

    Our research aims at the reconstruction of environmental processes covering the last 120 million years. Marine sediments containing microfossils are our most important indicators to identify former paleoclimatic and paleoecological conditions. The study of interactions between geosphere and biosphere as well as long-lasting changes of ecosystems and biodiversity will help us to better understand today’s climatic and ecological conditions and prospective developments.

    Working Area

    Our field work is focused on marine Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary sequences in the Himalayas, the Tibetan Plateau, Tanzania and the Pyrenees. The white chalks of northern Germany are of importance in the investiga-tion of fossil calcareous dinoflagellates. Water samples for the cultivation of calcareous di-noflagellates are obtained from ship cruises and coastal areas.


    Characterization of sediments and microfos-sils using scanning electron microscopy (SEM with EDX) and light microscopic methods, including cathodoluminescense and fluores-cence microscopy. Geochemical analyses (C and O isotopes). Carbonate microfacies analysis. Culturing experiments with calcare-ous dinoflagellates under controlled environ-mental conditions.


    Telefon +49 421 218 - 65130