Micropaleontology - Paleoceanography

Prof. Dr. Michal Kucera

1993 BSc in Geology at the Charles University in Prague
1994 MSc in Geology at the Charles University in Prague
1998 PhD in Marine Geology at the University of Göteborg

1998–2000 Postdoc at UC Santa Barbara, USA
2000–2003 Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London
2003–2004 Reader of Marine Micropaleontology at Royal Holloway, University of London
2004–2004 Professor of Marine Micropaleontology at Royal Holloway, University of London
2004–2012 Professor of Micropaleontology at the University of Tübingen

Professor in Bremen since 2012

Research areas:
Marine micropaleontology, Quaternary and Cenozoic Paleoceanography, Paleobiology, Paleoecology, Evolution

Our research combines the study of marine microfossil with investigations of biological and ecological processes among their living representatives. Using foraminifera and dinoflagellates as model systems, we try to unravel how species of marine plankton evolve, what controls their success in marine ecosystems and how they have reacted to past periods of global change. This knowledge helps us to develop new methods for reconstructing past oceanic environments from microfossils and apply these to studies of Quaternary paleoclimatology. The overall aim of our work is to use the marine microfossil record to understand how ecosystems respond to global change and to generate data on the state of past oceans, their interaction with the terrestrial environment and their sensitivity to global climatic processes.

Working Area

Our research covers open oceans, coastal ecosystems and marine sediments exposed on land. Particular focus of our work has been on marginal seas, including the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Caribbean, the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay, the Arabian Sea and the South China Sea. We have worked in the high Arctic, in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica and in subtropical north Atlantic.


Our work combines a range of methods including molecular genetics, bioinformatics, plankton and sediment sampling, statistics, geochemistry and marine geology. We have equipment and expertise in plankton sampling with plankton nets and vertical fluorescence profiling, as well as all aspects of marine sediment sampling and processing for micropaleontological analyses, including palynological sample preparation. We operate a fully equipped laboratory for molecular genetics and a laboratory for culturing of benthic foraminifera and dinoflagellates. Our specialities are computer-assisted image analysis, morphometrics and the development of paleoceanographic transfer functions.


Ute Wolpmann (office)
phone: +49 421 218 - 65974
fax: +49 421 218 9865974

Prof. Michal Kucera
phone: +49 421 218 - 65970