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Dr. Martina Hollstein


Low Latitude Climate Variability


+49 421 218-65533



MARUM II, 3160

Martina Hollstein

Research Interests

The overarching motivation for my research is to better understand past climate variability and underlying mechanisms. I am particularly interested in deciphering the role of oceans in climate change. Therefore, my research mainly focuses on ocean-climate linkages in key climatic regions. For my reconstructions, I apply a range of different proxies, mostly based on planktic foraminifera, and also collaborate with numerical modelers to gain a more comprehensive view on the palaeoceanographic interpretations of the proxy data. Other focus areas of research concern biogeochemical and oceanographic processes in the modern ocean, and the impact of anthropogenic activities on the deep-sea environment.


Monsoon dynamics

This project is part of the Cluster of Excellence “The Ocean Floor – Earth’s Uncharted Interface”, research unit “Ocean floor as recorder”. One of the main tasks of Recorder is the development of “warmer-than-present world” scenarios from ocean floor climate archives with the help of climate models. As part of this, it is intended to decipher changes in the global hydrological cycle in response to natural climate perturbations.

The Australasian monsoon systems constitute a central element of the global hydrological cycle. Facing its influence on the living conditions of billions of people, gaining a comprehensive understanding of monsoon dynamics, particularly under warm climate conditions, is an enduring issue with respect to global future warming. Paleoclimatic data show that monsoon rainfall is influenced by varying sea surface temperature (SST) (gradients), for instance in response to astronomical forcing. However, the connection between SST and monsoon rainfall has not been studied in a systematic approach yet. Besides, temperature simulation is one of the main sources of error for projecting future rainfall. Deciphering the coupling between SST and monsoonal rainfall is thus crucial to better understand monsoon dynamics and project the future development of monsoon systems.

In this project, we will use proxy-based reconstructions and model simulations to assess the coupling between SST and monsoon rainfall from the geological past. Particularly, we will compile available and newly generated SST and rainfall records from the Australasian monsoon realms to analyze existing trends and variability across the Holocene and previous interglacial periods as “warmer-than-present world” analogues. The proxy data basis will be combined with numerical model simulations that address the SST influence on monsoon rainfall.

Academic CV

since 2022

Postdoc - MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen

2019 - 2022

Postdoc - Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover

MiningImpact 2: Environmental impacts and risks of deep-sea mining

2014 - 2018

PhD - MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen

Dissertation: "Variations in surface and thermocline conditions of the Western Pacific Warm Pool - Insights from Mg/Ca and stable isotopes in foraminifera tests"

06.2015 - 09.2015 Research Stay at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS) - Rutgers University (New Brunswick, USA)


  • Hollstein, M., Kienast, M., Lückge, A., Yokoyama, Y., Mohtadi, M. (2024). Sea surface temperatures across the Coral Sea over the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 39, e2023PA004757. doi:10.1029/2023PA004757.
  • Haalboom, S., Schöning, T., Urban, P., Gazis, I.G., de Stigter, H., Gillard, B., Baeye, M., Hollstein, M., Purkiani, K., Reichert, G.-J., Thomsen, L., Haeckel, M., Vink, A., Greinert, J. (2022). Monitoring of anthropogenic sediment plumesin the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, NE equatorical Pacific Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Sciences, 9:882155. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.882155.
  • Purkiani, K., Gillard, B., Paul, A., Haeckel, M., Haalboom, S., Greinert, J., de Stigter, H., Hollstein, M., Baeye, M., Vink, A., Thomsen, L., Schulz, M. (2021). Numerical simulation of deep-sea sediment transport induced by a dredge experiment in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Sciences, 8:719463. doi:10.3389/fmars.2021.719463.
  • Hollstein, M., Mohtadi, M., Kienast, M., Rosenthal, Y., Oppo, D.W., Groeneveld, J., Southon, J.R., Lückge, A. (2020). The impact of astronomical forcing on surface and thermocline variability across the 1 Western Pacific Warm Pool over the past 160 kyr. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35, e2019PA003832. doi:10.1029/2019PA003832.
  • Hollstein, M., Mohtadi, M., Rosenthal, Y., Prange, M., Oppo, D., Martínez Méndez, G., Tachikawa, K., Moffa Sanchez, P., Steinke, S., Hebbeln, D. (2018). Variations in Western Pacific Warm Pool surface and thermocline conditions over the past 110,000 years: Forcing mechanisms and implications for the glacial Walker circulation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 201, 429-445. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.10.030.
  • Hollstein, M., Mohtadi, M., Rosenthal, Y., Moffa Sanchez, P., Oppo, D., Martínez Méndez, G., Steinke, S., Hebbeln, D. (2017). Stable oxygen isotopes and Mg/Ca in planktic foraminifera from modern surface sediments of the Western Pacific Warm Pool: Implications for thermocline reconstructions. Paleoceanography, 32, doi:10.1002/2017PA003122.


  • SONNE-256 (TACTEAC) SW Pacific, Auckland (NZ) - Darwin (AUS), 17.04.-09.05.2017, Chief scientist: Mahyar Mohtadi