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Bachelor and Master projects

Master projects

1. Determination of natural and anthropogenic forcing of climate change in the eastern Mediterranean during the last 2000 years using organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts.
(time interval of choise, for instance little icea age, Roman Warm Period, Medival Warm Period etc)

Aim: reconstruction of upper water temperaturtes and precipitation, pollution etc. in the coastal region off southern Italy.

Material/method: dinoflagellate cyst associations will be analysed by light-microscopy from core sediments. Organic fraction from core sediments will be concentrationd by chemical tratment (HCL and HF)

Knowledge to be present: General background knowledge about oceanography and dinoflagellate ecology

Special skills to be learned: Information about potential forcing factors (solar forcing, volcanic activity, differential climate modes etc.), combination with archeological information, Frequency analysis/wavelett analysis. Modern analogue techniques.
2. Determination of natural and anthropogenic forcing of climate change in the German North Sea during the last 300 years using organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts.

Aim: reconstruction of upper water temperaturtes and precipitation, pollution etc. in the coastal region off Germany.

Material/method: dinoflagellate cyst associations will be analysed by light-microscopy from core sediments. Organic fraction from core sediments will be concentrationd by chemical tratment (HCL and HF).

Knowledge to be present: General background knowledge about oceanography and dinoflagellate ecology.

Special skills to be learned: Information about potential forcing factors (solar forcing, volcanic activity, differential climate modes etc.), combination with archeological information, Frequency analysis/wavelett analysis. modern analogue techniques.
3. Species selective preservation of organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts

Aim: determination of the species selective degradation rates of organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst species.

Material/method: degradation experiments on core sediments collected from oxygen minimum zones can be carried out in temperature chambers. Degradation rates of individual cyst species will be studied along oxygen gradients in core sediments (for instance along so called „burn-down“ events of sapropels).

Knowledge to be present: basic knowledge about organic geochemistry, basic knowledge about dinoflagellate cyst ecology, basic knowledge about oceanography, basic statistical knowledge.

Special skills to be learned: Information about special palaeoceanographic changes that occur in relation to oxygen minimum development (for instance sapropel formation, brine formation/ventilation), multivariate analyses, modern analogue techniques, chemical redox changes related processes in sediments .

Bachelor projects

1. High temporal resolution reconstructions of upper water temperatures of the western Indian Ocean during the Late Quaternary based on stable oxygen isotopes of the calcareous dinoflagellate Thoracosphaera heimii

Aim: Palaeoceanographic reconstruction of sea surface water temperatures based on stable oxygen isotopes.
Material/method: T.heimii cysts will be isolated from marine core sediments. Isotopic compositions will be analysed by mass.spectrometry.
Knowledge to be present: basic knowledge about oceanography and dinoflagellate biology.
Special skills and knowledge to be learned: Background knowledge about isotope fractionation, vital effects, effects of differential physical factors on isotope signals (e.g. alkalinity/pH of seawater, salinity etc.). Frequency analysis/wavelett analysis.


2. Seasonal production of organic or calcareous dinoflagellate cyst in an upwelling area off NW Africa.

Aim: determine the physical factors that steer the seasonal production and export of dinoflagellate cysts out of the upper water column.
Material/method: dinoflagellate cysts associations will be analysed from sediment trap sediments. Environmental data will be gathered from web-based databases.
Knowledge to be present: General background knowledge about oceanography and dinoflagellate ecology
Special skills to be learned: Multivariate analysis, use of ocean data view, extracting satellite data from web-based sources.


3. High temporal resolution reconstruction of temperature and precipitation in the eastern Mediterranean during the last 2000 years
(time interval of choise, for instance little icea age, Roman Warm Period, Medival Warm Period etc)

Aim: reconstruction of upper water temperaturtes and precipitation in the Italian region
Material/method: Dinoflagellate cyst associations will be analysed from core sediments. Archeological information will be gathered from literature.
Knowledge to be present: General background knowledge about oceanography and dinoflagellate ecology
Special skills to be learned: Frequency analysis/wavelett analysis. Archeological information