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Dr. Henning Kuhnert

Research Staff


MARUM Director


+49 421 218-65520


+49 421 218-65505



MARUM I, 1150

Henning Kuhnert

Current Research Interests

  • Reconstuction of past changes of the surface ocean hydrography (temperature, salinity) using Mg/Ca ratios and δ18O in planktonic foraminifera.
  • Calibration of carbonate system proxies including U/Ca, B/Ca, and Ba/Ca ratios in benthic foraminifera.

Study areas include the tropical Atlantic off West Africa (Mauretania, Senegal) and South America (Brazil), and the Western Indian Ocean off Tanzania. My research is embedded in the MARUM project Land-ocean interaction and climate variability in low latitudes.


  • 2014: Maria S. Merian cruise MSM39, St. John's-St. John's
  • 2012: Maria S. Merian cruise MSM20/3, Recife-Bridgetown
  • 1996: Meteor cruise M34/3, Walvisbay-Recife
  • 1995: Ningaloo Reef


Crivellari, S, Chiessi, CM, Kuhnert, H, Häggi, C, da Costa Portilho-Ramos, R, Zeng, JY, Zhang, Y, Schefuß, E, Mollenhauer, G, Hefter, J, Alexandre, F, Sampaio, G and Mulitza, S (2018) Increased Amazon freshwater discharge during late Heinrich Stadial 1. Quaternary Science Reviews, 181. 144-155. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.12.005

Campos, MC, Chiessi, CM, Voigt, I, Piola, AR, Kuhnert, H and Mulitza, S (2017) δ13C decreases in the upper western South Atlantic during Heinrich Stadials 3 and 2. Climate of the Past, 13(4). 345-358. doi:10.5194/cp-13-345-2017 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Mulitza, S, Chiessi, CM, Schefuß, E, Lippold, J, Wichmann, D, Antz, B, Mackensen, A, Paul, A, Prange, M, Rehfeld, K, Werner, M, Bickert, T, Frank, N, Kuhnert, H, Lynch-Stieglitz, J, Portilho-Ramos, RC, Sawakuchi, AO, Schulz, M, Schwenk, T, Tiedemann, R, Vahlenkamp, M and Zhang, Y (2017) Synchronous and proportional deglacial changes in Atlantic meridional overturning and northeast Brazilian precipitation. Paleoceanography, 32(6). 622-633. doi:10.1002/2017PA003084 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Santos, TP, Lessa, DO, Venancio, IM, Chiessi, CM, Mulitza, S, Kuhnert, H and Albuquerque, ALS (2017) The impact of the AMOC resumption in the western South Atlantic thermocline at the onset of the Last Interglacial. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(22). 11,547-11,554. doi:10.1002/2017GL074457 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Santos, TP, Lessa, DO, Venancio, IM, Chiessi, CM, Mulitza, S, Kuhnert, H, Govin, A, Machado, T, Costa, KB, Toledo, F, Dias, BB and Albuquerque, ALS (2017) Prolonged warming of the Brazil Current precedes deglaciations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 463. 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.01.014 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Gussone, N, Filipsson, HL and Kuhnert, H (2016) Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Ca isotope ratios in benthonic foraminifers related to test structure, mineralogy and environmental controls. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 173. 142-159. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2015.10.018 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Johnstone, HJH, Steinke, S, Kuhnert, H, Bickert, T, Pälike, H and Mohtadi, M (2016) Automated cleaning of foraminifera shells before Mg/Ca analysis using a pipette robot. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17(8). 3502-3511. doi:10.1002/2016GC006422

Kuhnert, H, Kuhlmann, H, Mohtadi, M, Meggers, H, Baumann, KH and Pätzold, J (2014) Holocene tropical western Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures in covariation with climatic changes in the Indonesian region. Paleoceanography, 29(5). 423-437. doi:10.1002/2013PA002555 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Kuhnert, H and Mulitza, S (2011) Multidecadal variability and late medieval cooling of near-coastal sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical North Atlantic. Paleoceanography, 26. PA4224. doi:10.1029/2011PA002130

Rackebrandt, N, Kuhnert, H, Groeneveld, J and Bickert, T (2011) Persisting maximum Agulhas leakage during MIS 14 indicated by massive Ethmodiscus oozes in the subtropical South Atlantic. Paleoceanography, 26. PA3202. doi:10.1029/2010PA001990 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Raitzsch, M, Hathorne, EC, Kuhnert, H, Groeneveld, J and Bickert, T (2011) Modern and Late Pleistocene B/Ca ratios of the benthic foraminifer Planulina wuellerstorfi determined with laser ablation ICP-MS. Geology, 39(11). 1039-1042. doi:10.1130/G32009.1

Raitzsch, M, Kuhnert, H, Hathorne, EC, Groeneveld, J and Bickert, T (2011) U/Ca in benthic foraminifers: A proxy for the deep-sea carbonate saturation. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 12(6). doi:10.1029/2010GC003344 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, Suzuki, A, Kuhnert, H, Rimbu, N and Kawahata, H (2010) Pacific Decadal Oscillation documented in a coral record of North Pacific winter temperature since 1873. Geophysical Research Letters, 37. L14605. doi:10.1029/2010GL043572 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Gussone, N, Zonneveld, KAF and Kuhnert, H (2010) Minor element and Ca isotope composition of calcareous dinoflagellate cysts of Thoracosphaera heimii. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289. 180-188. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.11.006 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Heindel, K, Birgel, D, Peckmann, JL, Kuhnert, H and Westphal, H (2010) Formation of deglacial microbialites in coral reefs off Tahiti (IODP 310) involving sulfate-reducing bacteria. Palaios, 25(9-10). 618-635. doi:10.2110/palo.2010.p10-032r PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Mulitza, S, Heslop, D, Pittauerová, D, Fischer, HW, Meyer, I, Stuut, JB, Zabel, M, Mollenhauer, G, Collins, JA, Kuhnert, H and Schulz, M (2010) Increase in African dust flux at the onset of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region. Nature, 466. 226-228. doi:10.1038/nature09213 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, Suzuki, A, Kuhnert, H, Dima, M, Lohmann, G and Kawahata, H (2009) Subtropical coral reveals abrupt early-twentieth-century freshening in the western North Pacific Ocean. Geology, 37(6). 527-530. doi:10.1130/G25581A.1 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Kuhnert, H, Bickert, T and Paulsen, H (2009) Southern Ocean frontal system changes precede Antarctic ice sheet growth during the middle Miocene. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 284(3-4). 630-638. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.05.030 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Friedrich, O, Erbacher, J, Moriya, K, Wilson, PA and Kuhnert, H (2008) Warm saline intermediate waters in the Cretaceous tropical Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience, 1(7). 453-457. doi:10.1038/ngeo217 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Raitzsch, M, Kuhnert, H, Groeneveld, J and Bickert, T (2008) Benthic foraminifer Mg/Ca anomalies in South Atlantic core top sediments and their implications for paleothermometry. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 9(5). Q05010. doi:10.1029/2007GC001788 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Rathmann, S and Kuhnert, H (2008) Carbonate ion effect on Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and stable isotopes on the benthic foraminifera Oridorsalis umbonatus off Namibia. Marine Micropaleontology, 66(2). 120-133. doi:10.1016/j.marmicro.2007.08.001 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Crüger, T, Kuhnert, H, Pätzold, J and Zorita, E (2006) Calibrations of Bermuda corals against large-scale sea surfac temperature and sea level pressure pattern time series and implications for climate reconstructions. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 111. D23103. doi:10.1029/2005JD006903

Epplé, VM, Brey, T, Witbaard, R, Kuhnert, H and Pätzold, J (2006) Sclerochronological records of Arctica islandica from the inner German Bight. The Holocene, 16(5). 763-769. doi:10.1191/0959683606hl970rr PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Langer, G, Gussone, N, Nehrke, G, Riebesell, U, Eisenhauer, A, Kuhnert, H, Rost, B, Trimborn, S and Thoms, S (2006) Coccolith strontium to calcium ratios in Emiliania huxleyi: The dependence on seawater strontium and calcium concentrations. Limnology and Oceanography, 51(1). 310-320. doi:10.4319/lo.2006.51.1.0310

Kuhnert, H, Crüger, T and Pätzold, J (2005) NAO signature in a Bermuda coral Sr/Ca record. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 6. Q04004. doi:10.1029/2004GC000786 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, Lohmann, G, Kuhnert, H, Lorenz, SJ, Scholz, D, Pätzold, J, Al-Rousan, S and Al-Moghrabi, SM (2004) Increased seasonality in Middle East temperatures during the last interglacial period. Nature, 429(6988). 164-168. doi:10.1038/nature02546 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Rathmann, S, Hess, S, Kuhnert, H and Mulitza, S (2004) Mg/Ca ratios of the benthic foraminifera Oridorsalis umbonatus obtained by laser ablation from core top sediments: Relationship to bottom water temperatures. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 5(12). Q12013. doi:10.1029/2004GC000808 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Kuhnert, H, Pätzold, J, Schnetger, B and Wefer, G (2002) Sea-surface temperature variability in the 16th century at Bermuda inferred from coral records. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 179(3-4). 159-171. doi:10.1016/S0031-0182(01)00410-2 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Kuhnert, H, Pätzold, J, Wyrwoll, K-H and Wefer, G (2000) Monitoring climate variability over the past 116 years in coral oxygen isotopes from Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 88. 725-732. doi:10.1007/s005310050300

Kuhnert, H, Pätzold, J, Hatcher, BG, Wyrwoll, K-H, Eisenhauer, A, Collins, LB, Zhu, ZR and Wefer, G. (1999) A 200-year coral stable oxygen isotope record from a high-latitude reef off Western Australia. Coral Reefs, 18. 1-12. doi:10.1007/s003380050147

Activity as Reviewer

I have reviewed manuscripts for the following journals:


Chemical Geology

Climate Dynamics

Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems


Geo-Marine Letters

Geophysical Research Letters

Global and Planetary Change

Journal of Oceanography

Marine Micropaleontology

Nature Communications

Nature Geoscience


Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

Quaternary Science Reviews