Prof. Dr. Heiko Pälike

1994–1997 BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
1997–1998 MSc Hydrogeology, University College London
1998–2002 PhD, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

2001–2002 Postdoc, Godwin Laboratory, University of Cambridge
2002–2004 Postdoc, Stockholm University
2004–2007 Lecturer, Ocean & Earth Science, University of Southampton
2007–2011 Reader, Ocean & Earth Science, University of Southampton
2011–2012 Professor, Ocean & Earth Science, University of Southampton
2012- Adjunct Professor, Ocean & Earth Science, University of Southampton

Professor in Bremen since 2012

Research Areas:
Palaeoceanography, Palaeoclimatology

One main research interest of our group is the Palaeoceanography of the Paleogene and investigating the climate driven evolution of the worlds oceans. Our main research curiosity is driven by exploring climate forcing by variations of the Earth’s orbit on time scales from thousands to millions of years. Achievements include exploiting the fingerprint of this astronomical metronome, and to gain further insights into the (palaeo-)climate system, by using material available through the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). We also aim to advance the detailed calibration of the Geological Time Scale with astronomically driven climate cycles (“Milankovitch” cycles). The ultimate goal is a precise time scale for the entire Cenozoic. Building on this research, we also exploit the sediment record of past climate changes to refine astronomical models and extract physical parameters. In addition to stable isotope measurements of oxygen and carbon, the data for this research are obtained by rapid and non-destructive sediment core measurements (MST, XRF) to generate high-resolution proxy records, mostly from cores obtained by the international ocean drilling (ODP, IODP).

Working Area

The equatorial and subtropical Pacific and Arctic Ocean have been our most active working areas. In the framework of national and international cooperations, we are also active in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic


Our main methods and materials consist of sediment cores obtained from seagoing research vessels, primarily the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and related initiatives, as well as sea-going expeditions. We analyse these sediments using non-destructive (e.g., XRF Core Scanning), and geochemical methods (stable isotope measurements of oxygen and carbon on species specific foraminifera samples, and bulk sediments). We apply modern time series analysis techniques to improve the geological time scale, and apply complex Earth System Models of Intermediate Complexity to put the research data into a framework to deduce global conditions and sensitivities.


Telefon +49 421 218 - 65980