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Dr. Verena Heuer

Research Staff


Organic Geochemistry


+49 421 218-65702


+49 421 218-65715



MARUM I, Raum 2700

Verena Heuer



Hinrichs Lab



Research Interests

  • Biosphere - geosphere interactions
  • The deep biosphere
  • Stable isotope chemistry of organic metabolites (e.g. acetate)
  • Scientific ocean drilling (e.g. the International Ocean Discovery Program IODP)


2003PhD, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Bremen
1993Diplom (M.Sc.) in Geoecology, University of Bayreuth
1991B.Sc., University of Canterbury, New Zealand
(c)Verena Heuer


since 2010Research Scientist in the Hinrichs Lab (Organic Geochemistry) at the University of Bremen
2004 - 2010Postdoctoral Fellow in the Hinrichs Lab (Organic Geochemistry) at the University of Bremen
1999 - 2002PhD student in the special research project SFB 261 'The South Atlantic in the Late Quaternary: Reconstruction of Mass Budget and Current Systems', University of Bremen
1996 - 1998Assistant for public relations at the Center of Excellence 'Ecological Development of Post-Mining Landscapes', Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus
1991 - 1992Guest investigator at the Limnological Research Center of the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG)/ETH Zurich, Switzerland
FS Poseidon
(c) Verena Heuer

Seagoing Experience

Sept. - Nov. 2016 Co-chief scientist during IODP Exp. 370 'Temperature Limit of the Deep Biosphere off Muroto (T-Limit)' with D/V CHIKYU
April 2013 Chief scientist during FS Poseidon cruise POS 450 "DARCSEAS II - Deep subseafloor Archaea in the western Mediterranean Sea: carbon cycle, life strategies, and role in sedimentary ecosystems"
Aug. - Sept. 2012 Mudgas monitoring scientist/organic geochemist during IODP Exp. 337 'Deep Coalbed Biosphere off Shimokita' with D/V CHIKYU
February 2011 Organic geochemist during FS Meteor cruise M84/1 "DARCSEAS - Deep subseafloor Archaea in the eastern Mediterranean, Marmara and Black seas: carbon cycle, life strategies, and role in sedimentary ecosystems"
Nov. - Dec. 2010 Organic geochemist during R/V Atlantis/DSV Alvin cruise 18/2 "Seafloor Brine Seep Microbial Observatory" in the Gulf of Mexico
Sept.-October 2009 Organic geochemist during IODP Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment Stage 2, IODP Exp. 322 "Subduction Inputs" with D/V Chikyu
Feb. - March 2009 Organic geochemist during FS Maria S. Merian cruise MSM 11/1 "Mid-Atlantic Ridge Site Surveys of Sediments and Basement in North Pond area in 7 Ma Western Flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 23°N" - a pre-site survey for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
April - May 2008 Organic geochemist during FS Meteor cruise M76/1 'Process studies in the eastern South Atlantic, Prosa'
Sept - Oct 2005 Pressure core sampling scientist/organic geochemist during IODP Exp. 311 'Cascadia Margin Gas Hydrates' with D/V JOIDES Resolution
June 2005 Organic geochemist during RV Professor Logachev cruise 'METRO/Training through Research 15' to the Black Sea
June - Aug 2004 Organic geochemist during IODP Exp. 301 'Juan de Fuca Hydrogeology' with D/V JOIDES Resolution
Jan - Feb. 2000 Inorganic geochemist during FS Meteor cruise M46/3 to the Argentina Basin
Dec 1999 Inorganic geochemist during FS Meteor cruise M46/2 to the continental margin off southern Brazil and Uruguay
July 1999 Student trainee during Trans Mediterranean Cruise MTP II (Marine Science and Technology Program of the European Commission) with RV Aegaio




Schmidt, F, Koch, BP, Goldhammer, T, Elvert, M, Witt, M, Lin, YS, Wendt, J, Zabel, M, Heuer, VB and Hinrichs, KU (2017) Unraveling signatures of biogeochemical processes and the depositional setting in the molecular composition of pore water DOM across different marine environments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 207. 57-80. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2017.03.005

Zhuang, GC, Lin, YS, Bowles, MW, Heuer, VB, Lever, MA, Elvert, M and Hinrichs, KU (2017) Distribution and isotopic composition of trimethylamine, dimethylsulfide and dimethylsulfoniopropionate in marine sediments. Marine Chemistry, 196. 35-46. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2017.07.007

Beulig, F, Heuer, VB, Akob, DM, Viehweger, B, Elvert, M, Herrmann, M, Hinrichs, KU and Küsel, K (2015) Carbon flow from volcanic CO2 into soil microbial communities of a wetland mofette. The ISME Journal, 9(3). 746-759. doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.148

Inagaki, F, Hinrichs, KU, Kubo, Y, Bowles, MW, Heuer, VB, Hong, WL, Hoshino, T, Ijiri, A, Imachi, H, Ito, M, Kaneko, M, Lever, MA, Lin, YS, Methe, BA, Morita, S, Morono, Y, Tanikawa, W, Bihan, M, Bowden, SA, Elvert, M, Glombitza, C, Gross, D, Harrington, GJ, Hori, T, Li, K, Limmer, D, Liu, CH, Murayama, M, Ohkouchi, N, Ono, S, Park, YS, Phillips, SC, Prieto-Mollar, X, Purkey, M, Riedinger, N, Sanada, Y, Sauvage, J, Snyder, G, Susilawati, R, Takano, Y, Tasumi, E, Terada, T, Tomaru, H, Trembath-Reichert, E, Wang, DT and Yamada, Y (2015) Exploring deep microbial life in coal-bearing sediment down to 2.5 km below the ocean floor. Science, 349(6246). 420-424. doi:10.1126/science.aaa6882 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Yoshinaga, MY, Lazar, CS, Elvert, M, Lin, YS, Zhu, C, Heuer, VB, Teske, AP and Hinrichs, KU (2015) Possible roles of uncultured archaea in carbon cycling in methane-seep sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 164. 35-52. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2015.05.003

Hammerschmidt, S, Wiersberg, T, Heuer, VB, Wendt, J, Erzinger, JA and Kopf, AJ (2014) Real-time drilling mud gas monitoring for qualitative evaluation of hydrocarbon gas composition during deep sea drilling in the Nankai Trough Kumano Basin. Geochemical Transactions, 15(1). doi:10.1186/s12932-014-0015-8

Heuer, VB, Aiello, IW, Elvert, M, Goldenstein, N, Goldhammer, T, Könneke, M, Liu, X, Pape, S, Schmidt, F, Wendt, J and Zhuang, G (2014) Report and preliminary results of R/V POSEIDON cruise POS450, DARCSEAS II – Deep subseafloor Archaea in the Western Mediterranean Sea: Carbon Cycle, Life Strategies, and Role in Sedimentary Ecosystems, Barcelona (Spain) – Malaga (Spain), April 2 – 13, 2013. Berichte, MARUM – Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen. urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00103992-13

Zhuang, GC, Lin, YS, Elvert, M, Heuer, VB and Hinrichs, KU (2014) Gas chromatographic analysis of methanol and ethanol in marine sediment pore waters: Validation and implementation of three pretreatment techniques. Marine Chemistry, 160. 82-90. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2014.01.011 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Hädrich, A, Heuer, VB, Herrmann, M, Hinrichs, KU and Küsel, K (2012) Origin and fate of acetate in an acidic fen. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 81(2). 339-354. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01352.x

Lin, YS, Heuer, VB, Goldhammer, T, Kellermann, MY, Zabel, M and Hinrichs, KU (2012) Towards constraining H2 concentration in subseafloor sediment: a proposal for combined analysis by two distinct approaches. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 77(15). 186-201. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2011.11.008 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Ertefai, TF, Heuer, VB, Prieto-Mollar, X, Vogt, C, Sylva, SP, Seewald, JS and Hinrichs, KU (2010) The biogeochemistry of sorbed methane in marine sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74. 6033-6048. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.08.006 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Heuer, VB, Krüger, M, Elvert, M and Hinrichs, KU (2010) Experimental studies on the stable carbon isotope biogeochemistry of acetate in lake sediments. Organic Geochemistry, 41(1). 22-30. doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2009.07.004.

Lever, MA, Heuer, VB, Morono, Y, Masui, N, Schmidt, F, Alperin, MJ, Inagaki, F, Hinrichs, KU and Teske, AP (2010) Acetogenesis in deep subseafloor sediemnts of the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank: A synthesis of geochemical, thermodynamic, and gene-based evidence. Geomicrobiology Journal, 27(2). 183-211. doi:10.1080/01490450903456681

Lin, YS, Heuer, VB, Ferdelman, TG and Hinrichs, KU (2010) Microbial conversion of inorganic carbon to dimethyl sulfide in anoxic lake sediment (Plußsee, Germany). Biogeosciences, 7(8). 2433-2444. doi:10.5194/bg-7-2433-2010 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Heuer, VB, Pohlman, JW, Torres, ME, Elvert, M and Hinrichs, KU (2009) The stable carbon isotope biogeochemistry of acetate and other dissolved carbon species in deep subseafloor sediments at the northern Cascadia Margin. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73. 3323-3336. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2009.03.001 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Pohlman, JW, Kaneko, M, Heuer, VB, Coffin, RB and Whiticar, MJ (2009) Methane sources and production in the northern Cascadia margin gas hydrate system. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 287(3-4). 504-512. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.08.037 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Heuer, VB, Elvert, M, Tille, S, Prieto-Mollar, X, Hmelo, LR, Krummen, M and Hinrichs, KU (2006) Online d13C analysis of volatile fatty acids in sediment/porewater systems by liquid chromatography-isotope ratio-mass spectrometry. Limnology and Oceanography-Methods, 4. 346-357. doi/10.4319/lom.2006.4.346

Riedel, M, Collett, T, Malone, M, Akiba, F, Blanc-Valleron, MM, Ellis, M, Guerin, G, Hashimoto, Y, Heuer, VB, Higashi, Y, Holland, M, Jackson, P, Kaneko, M, Kastner, M, Kim, JH, Kitajima, H, Long, P, Malinverno, A, Myers, G, Palekar, L, Pohlman, J, Schultheiss, P, Teichert, B, Torres, M, Tréhu, AM, Wang, J, Wortmann, U and Yoshioka, H (2006) Gas hydrate transect across northern Cascadia margin. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 87(33). 325. doi:10.1029/2006EO330002

Heuer, VB (2003) Spurenelemente in Sedimenten des Südatlantik. Primärer Eintrag un frühdiagenetische Überprägung. Berichte aus dem Fachbereich Geowissenschaften der Universität Bremen, 209. Department of Geosciences, Bremen University. urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-ep000103306

Kasten, S, Zabel, M, Heuer, VB and Hensen, C (2003) Processes and Signals of Non-Steady-State Diagenesis in Deep-Sea Sediments and their Pore Waters. In: Wefer, G, Mulitza, S and Ratmeyer, V (eds.) The South Atlantic in the Late Quaternary: Reconstruction of Material Budgets and Current Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 431-459. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-18917-3_20

Book Chapters

Bell, E.M and Heuer, V.B. (2012) The Deep Biosphere: Deep Subterranean and Subseafloor Habitats. In Life at Extremes: Environments, Organisms and Strategies for Survival (ed. E.M. Bell), CAB International, 345-363.