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Dr. Lars-Peter Wörmer

Research Staff


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

Academic Formation & scientific experience

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 chapters

  • 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

Scientific articles

2022 Napier, T. J., Wörmer, L., Wendt, J., Lückge, A., Rohlfs, N., & Hinrichs, K. U. (2022). Sub‐annual to interannual Arabian Sea upwelling, sea surface temperature, and Indian monsoon rainfall reconstructed using congruent micrometer‐scale climate proxies. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, e2021PA004355.
2021 Alfken, S., Wörmer, L., Lipp, J. S., Napier, T., Elvert, M., Wendt, J., ... & Hinrichs, K. U. (2021). Disrupted coherence between upwelling strength and redox conditions reflects source water change in Santa Barbara Basin during the 20th century. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 36(12), e2021PA004354.
2020 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. 
  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
  Hoshino T, Doi H, Uramoto GI, Wörmer L, Adhikari R R, Xiao N, Morono Y, D’Hondt S, Hinrichs K-U, Inagaki F. (2020). Global diversity of microbial communities in marine sediment. PNAS 201919139
  Obreht I, Wörmer L, Brauer A, Wendt J, Alfken S, De Vleeschouwer D, Elvert M, Hinrichs KU. (2020) An annually resolved record of Western European vegetation response to Younger Dryas cooling. Quaternary Science Reviews. 231:106198.
  Gutiérrez MH, Vera J, Srain B, Quiñones RA, Wörmer L, Hinrichs KU, Pantoja-Gutiérrez S. (2020) Biochemical fingerprints of marine fungi: implications for trophic and biogeochemical studies. Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 84:75-90.
2019 Alfken S, Wörmer L, Lipp JS, Wendt J, Taubner H, Schimmelmann A, Hinrichs KU. (2019) Micrometer scale imaging of sedimentary climate archives–Sample preparation for combined elemental and lipid biomarker analysis. Organic Geochemistry. 127:81-91.
  Wörmer L, Wendt J, Alfken S, Wang JX, Elvert M, Heuer VB, Hinrichs KU. Towards multiproxy, ultra-high resolution molecular stratigraphy: Enabling laser-induced mass spectrometry imaging of diverse molecular biomarkers in sediments. Organic Geochemistry. 127:136-45.
  Wörmer L, Hoshino T, Bowles MW, Viehweger B, Adhikari RR, Xiao N, Uramoto GI, Könneke M, Lazar CS, Morono Y, Inagaki F., Hinrichs K.-U. (2019) Microbial dormancy in the marine subsurface: Global endospore abundance and response to burial. Science advances. 5(2), eaav1024.
  van Maldegem LM et al. (2019) Bisnorgammacerane traces predatory pressure and the persistent rise of algal ecosystems after Snowball Earth. Nature communications. 10(1):476.
2018 Schulze-Makuch D et al. (2018) Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert. PNAS link
  Shvarev D, Nishi C, Wörmer L, Maldener I. (2018) The ABC Transporter Components HgdB and HgdC are Important for Glycolipid Layer Composition and Function of Heterocysts in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Life 8(3), 26 link
2017 Perez R, Wörmer L, Sass P, Maldener I. (2017) A highly asynchronous developmental program triggered during germination of dormant akinetes of filamentous diazotrophic cyanobacteria. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 94, 1 link
  Evans TW, Wörmer L, Lever MA, Lipp JS, Lin YS, Jorgensen BB, Hinrichs K-U. (2017) Size and composition of subseafloor microbial community in the Benguela upwelling area examined from intact membrane lipid and DNA analysis. Organic Geochemistry 111, 86-100 link
2016 Kellermann MY, Yoshinaga MY, Valentine RC, Wörmer L, Valentine DL. (2016) Important roles for membrane lipids in haloarchaeal bioenergetics. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes 1858 (11), 2940-56.
  Gomez-Saez GV, Niggemann J, Dittmar T, Pohlabeln AM, Lang SQ, Noowong A, Pichler T, Wörmer L, Bühring SI. (2016) Molecular evidence for abiotic sulfurization of dissolved organic matter in marine shallow hydrothermal systems. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 190, 35-52
2015 Becker KW, Lipp JS, Wörmer L, Versteegh GJM, Hinrichs K-U (2015). Rapid and simultaneous analysis of three molecular sea surface temperature proxies and application to sediments of the Sea of Marmara. Organic Geochemistry 85, 42-43. (link)
  Yoshinaga MY, Gagen EJ, Wörmer L, Broda NK, Meador TB, Wendt J, Thomm M, Hinrichs K-U (2015). Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus modulates its membrane lipids in response to hydrogen and nutrient availability. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6, 5. (link)
2014 Wörmer L, Elvert M, Fuchser J, Lipp JS, Buttigieg PL, Zabel M, Hinrichs K-U. Ultra-high-resolution paleoenvironmental records via direct laser-based analysis of lipid biomarkers in sediment core samples. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) 111, 15669-15674 (link)
  Bühring S I., Kamp A, Wörmer L, Ho S, Hinrichs K-U. Functional structure of laminated microbial sediments from a supratidal sandy beach of the German Wadden Sea (St. Peter-Ording). Journal of Sea Research 85, 463-473 (link)
2013 Zhu C, Lipp J S, Wörmer L, Becker K W, Schröder J, Hinrichs K-U. Comprehensive glycerol ether lipid fingerprints through a novel reversed phase liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry protocol. Organic Geochemistry 65, 53-62. (link)
  Wörmer L, Lipp JS; Schröder J, Hinrichs K-U. Application of two new LC-ESI-MS methods for improved detection of intact polar lipids (IPLs) in environmental samples. Organic Geochemistry 59, 10-21 (link)
  Cirés S, Wörmer L, Wiedner C, Quesada A. Temperature-dependent dispersal strategies of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria): Implications for the annual life cycle. Microbial Ecology 65, 12-21 (link)
2012 Wörmer L, Cirés S, Velázquez D, Quesada A, Hinrichs K-U. Cyanobacterial heterocyst glycolipids in cultures and environmental samples: Diversity and biomarker potential. Limnology & Oceanography 57(6), 1775-1788 (link)
  Yoshinaga M Y, Wörmer L, Elvert M, Hinrichs K U. Novel Cardiolipins from Uncultured Methane-Metabolizing Archaea. Archaea, doi:10.1155/2012/832097 (link)
 2011 Wörmer L, Cirés S, Agha R, Verdugo M, De Hoyos C, Quesada A. First detection of cyanobacterial PSP (paralytic shellfish poisoning) toxins in Spanish freshwaters. Toxicon 57(6), 918-921 (link)
  Wörmer L, Cirés S, Quesada A. Importance of natural sedimentation in the fate of microcystins. Chemosphere 82, 1141-1146 (link)
2010 Wörmer L, Huerta-Fontela M, Cirés S, Carrasco D, Quesada A. Natural photodegradation of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. Environmental Science & Technology 44, 3002-3007 (link)
2009 Wörmer L, Carrasco D, Cires S, Quesada A. Advances in solid phase extraction of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 7, 568-575. (link)
2008 Wörmer L, Cires S, Carrasco D, Quesada A. Cylindrospermopsin is not degraded by co-occurring natural bacterial communities during a 40-day study. Harmful Algae 7, 206-213. (link)
2007 Stolz JF, Perera E, Kilonzo B, Kail B, Crable B, Fisher E, Ranganathan M, Wörmer L, Basu P. Biotransformation of 3-nitro-4-hydroxybenzene arsonic acid (roxarsone) and release of inorganic arsenic by Clostridium species. Environmental Science & Technology 41, 818-823. (link)


Teaching Experience

(Co)supervised theses

  • Susanne Alfken - PhD Thesis "Refining molecular stratigraphy through mass spectrometry imaging of sediments at sub-millimeter resolution" (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)