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Dr. Lars-Peter Wörmer


Organic Geochemistry


+49 421 218-65710


+49 421 218-95715



MARUM I - 2570

Lars-Peter Wörmer

Research Interest

  • Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) of geobiomolecules
  • Ultra-high resolution climate and environmental reconstruction
  • Bacterial endospores in the deep biosphere and elsewhere
  • Cyanobacterial diazotrophy and diagnostic lipid biomarkers
  • Microbial (lipid) biomarkers

Career and education

2021 Senior Researcher (tenured)
2015 2021 Senior Researcher at MARUM (Universität Bremen)
ZOOMECULAR project (link) Endospores in the deep marine biosphere: distribution, abundance and function (link)
2010 2015 Postdoctoral research at MARUM (Universität Bremen)
DARCLIFE project (link)
2009 2010 Postdoctoral research at the Department of Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
2005 2009 Ph.D. at the Department of Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain):
"Distribution and degradation of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin in reservoirs"
Tutor: Dr. Antonio Quesada
2004 NASA Planetary Biology Internship at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, USA)
"Microbial degradation of organoarsenicals"
Supervisor: Dr John F. Stolz
1999 2004 Environmental Sciences student at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)

Selected Publications

Book chapter

Wörmer L., Lipp J.S., Hinrichs KU. (2015) Comprehensive Analysis of Microbial Lipids in Environmental Samples Through HPLC-MS Protocols. In: McGenity T., Timmis K., Nogales B. (eds) Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols. Springer Protocols Handbooks. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg link

Selected papers

Paleoenvironmental reconstruction via molecular proxies

Saito, R., Wörmer, L., Taubner, H., Kaiho, K., Takahashi, S., Tian, L., Ikeda, M., Summons, R. E., Hinrichs, K. U., 2023. Centennial scale sequences of environmental deterioration preceded the end-Permian mass extinction. Nature Communications, 14(1), 2113.

Wörmer, L., Wendt, J., Boehman, B., Haug, G. H., & Hinrichs, K. U., 2022. Deglacial increase of seasonal temperature variability in the tropical ocean. Nature, 612(7938), 88-91.

Obreht, I., De Vleeschouwer, D., Wörmer, L., Kucera, M., Varma, D., Prange, M., Laepple, T., Wendt, J., Nandini-Weiss, S. D., Schulz, H., Hinrichs, K. U. (2022). Last Interglacial decadal sea surface temperature variability in the eastern Mediterranean. Nature Geoscience, 15(10), 812-818.

Alfken, S., Wörmer, L., Lipp, J. S., Wendt, J., Schimmelmann, A., Hinrichs, K.-U., 2020. Mechanistic insights into molecular proxies through comparison of sub-annually resolved sedimentary records with instrumental water column data. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 35, e2020PA004076. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020PA004076

van Maldegem, L.M., Sansjofre, P., Weijers, J.W.H., Wolkenstein, K., Strother, P.K., Wörmer, L., Hefter, J., Nettersheim, B.J., Hoshino, Y., Schouten, S., Damste, J.S.S., Nath, N., Griesinger, C., Kuznetsov, N.B., Elie, M., Elvert, M., Tegelaar, E., Gleixner, G., Hallmann, C., 2019. Bisnorgammacerane traces predatory pressure and the persistent rise of algal ecosystems after Snowball Earth. Nature Communications 10, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08306-x

Wörmer, L., Elvert, M., Fuchser, J., Lipp, J.S., Buttigieg, P.L., Zabel, M., Hinrichs, K.-U., 2014. Ultra-high-resolution paleoenvironmental records via direct laser-based analysis of lipid biomarkers in sediment core samples. PNAS 111, 15669-15674. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1405237111

Exploration of microbial life in extreme environments through molecular biomarkers

Wörmer, L., Gajendra, N., Schubotz, F., Matys, E.D., Evans, T.W., Summons, R.E., Hinrichs, K.-U., 2020. A micrometer-scale snapshot on phototroph spatial distributions: mass spectrometry imaging of microbial mats in Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park. Geobiology 18 (6), 742-759. https://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12411

Heuer, V.B. et al., 2020. Temperature limits to deep subseafloor life in the Nankai Trough subduction zone. Science 370 (6521), 1230-1234. https://doi.org /10.1126/science.abd7934

Wörmer, L., Hoshino, T., Bowles, M.W., Viehweger, B., Adhikari, R.R., Xiao, N., Uramoto, G., Konneke, M., Lazar, C.S., Morono, Y., Inagaki, F., Hinrichs, K.-U., 2019. Microbial dormancy in the marine subsurface: Global endospore abundance and response to burial. Science Advances 5, eaav1024. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav1024

Schulze-Makuch, D. et al. 2018. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert. PNAS 115, 2670-2675. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1714341115

Environmental fate of natural and anthropogenic pollutants

Wörmer, L., Huerta-Fontela, M., Cirés, S., Carrasco, D., Quesada, A., 2010. Natural photodegradation of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. Environmental Science & Technology 44, 3002-3007. https://doi.org/10.1021/es9036012

Stolz, J.F., Perera, E., Kilonzo, B., Kail, B., Crable, B., Fisher, E., Ranganathan, M., Wörmer, L., Basu, P., 2007. Biotransformation of 3-nitro-4-hydroxybenzene arsonic acid (Roxarsone) and release of inorganic arsenic by Clostridium species. Environmental Science & Technology 41, 818-823. https://doi.org/10.1021/es061802i

Teaching Experience

(Co)supervised theses

  • Susanne Alfken - PhD Thesis "Refining molecular stratigraphy through mass spectrometry imaging of sediments at sub-millimeter resolution" (2019)
  • Sree Lakshmi Santosh - MSc Thesis "New insights into the feeding ecology of eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea through body composition analyses and molecular imaging" (2023)
  • Syed Farukh Shehzad Bukhari - MSc Thesis "The rhizosphere microbiome of salt marshed: dependency on vegetation cover and impact on methane fluxes" (2023)
  • Nina Rohlfs - MSc Thesis "Molecular-proxy based calibration of ocean paleothermometers for mass spectrometry imaging based applications" (2019)
  • Niroshan Gajendra - MSc Thesis "High-resolution imaging of biomarker distributions in microbial mats of the Yellowstone National Park" (2018)
  • Andreas Greve - MSc Thesis "High resolution imaging of spatially structured microbial communities with LDI-FTICR-MS and microXRF: biomarker distribution and elemental mapping in Antarctic microbial mats on the micrometer scale" (2016)
  • Stanislav Jabinski - BSc thesis "Erste Erkentnisse zu hochauflösenden bildgebenden Biomarker- und Elementanalysen anhand Sedimenten des Gotland Beckens" (2016)
  • Niroshan Gajendra - BSc thesis "Tiefenverteilungen von bakteriellen Endosporen in Sedimenten des östlichen Mittelmeeres" (2015)
  • Susanne Alfken - MSc Thesis "Laser-based assessment of shorte-term climate fluctuations: Validation and application of LDI FTICR-MS as a tool for ultra-high-resolution molecular stratigraphy" (2015)
  • Thomas Evans - MSc thesis "A new approach for the improved detection of phospholipids (PLs) in subseafloor sediments - The separation of PLs from the organic matrix and a case study in the Benguela upwelling area" (2012)
  • Stefan Braun - MSc thesis "New cell separation procedure improves the analysis of intact polar membrane lipids of sub-seafloor microbial communities" (2011)


  • since 2021: Molecular Geobiology (M.Sc. Marine Geosciences, Universität Bremen)
  • since 2014: Biogeochemistry Projects (M.Sc. Marine Geosciences, Universität Bremen)
  • 2004-09: Department of Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)

Scientific Expeditions

DARCSEAS (Feb 2011)

Meteor M84/1 (DarcSeas): Deep subseafloor Archaea in the Eastern Mediterranean, Marmara, and Black Seas: carbon cycle, life strategies, and role in sedimentary ecosystems.
Cruise report

LIMNOPOLAR (January-February 2010)

Non-marine aquatic ecosystems in the polar regions and their reaction to potential climate change (Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antartica)