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Prof. Christian Hallmann

Wissenschaftliches Personal


MPI-Forschungsgruppe Organische Paläobiogeochemie


+49 421 218-65820



IW-3, Raum 1300

Christian Hallmann

Education, Training, Appointments

since 2012Max-Planck-Research-Group leaderMPI for Biogeochemistry
since 2012Staff Scientist & LecturerMARUM
2010-2011Postdoctoral AssociateMIT
2008-2009Agouron Postdoctoral Fellow in GeobiologyMIT
2005-2009PhD in Applied ChemistryCurtin University
1999-2004Diplom in Geology-PaleontologyUniversity of Cologne


Our lab uses methods of molecular and isotopic organic geochemistry to study Precambrian Earth system evolution and enhance our understanding of the co-evolution of environmental conditions and organismic diversity. Two key focus areas are the Archean–Proterozoic boundary, which witnessed the first rise of atmospheric oxygen, and the Neoproterozoic Era. During the latter period, strong imbalances in the marine carbon cycle were accompanied by severe glacial episodes, changes in global ocean chemistry and the first appearance of complex biota in the form of metazoa. Using biomarker lipids and their stable isotopic composition we attempt to understand the connection between these individual observations.

Currently teaching

  • 05-GEO-2-K8-1 - Molecular Geobiology (since 2012)

Selected publications

Feulner G*, Hallmann C*, Kienert H (2015) Snowball cooling after algal rise. Nature Geoscience 8: 659–662. Link

French K*, Hallmann C, Hope J, Schoon PL, Zumberge JA, Hoshino Y, Peters CA, George SC, Love GD, Brocks JJ, Buick R, Summons RE (2015) Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archean rocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112: 5915–5920. Link

Hallmann C*, Summons RE (2014) Paleobiological clues to early atmospheric evolution. In: Canfield D, Kasting J, Farquhar J (Eds) Treatise on geochemistry 2nd Ed., Vol. 6: The atmosphere – History Elsevier. pp 139–155. Link

Hallmann C*, Schwark L, Grice K (2008) Community dynamics of anaerobic bacteria in deep petroleum reservoirs. Nature Geoscience 1, 588–591. Link