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Jin-Xiang Wang

Institution: University of Bremen
Room: MARUM I, room 2170
Phone: +49 421 218 - 65743
E-mail: jx­wang@marum.de
Other webpage(s): Jin-Xiang's MARUM web page


Jin-Xiang Wang

PhD project:

Toward a better understanding of paleoenvironmental and biogeochemical processes through molecular imaging of biomarker distributions in sediments

In organic geochemistry, lipid biomarkers carry not only taxonomic information on source organisms but also reflect their adaptation to the habitat. It is thus a powerful tool for tracing biogeochemical processes and the reconstruction of paleoenvironments. Factors that limit the scope of biomarkers include the relatively high sample demand and the analytical complexity. Higher temporal and spatial resolution is an important goal, because it would allow us to address a set of novel and otherwise inaccessible questions related to climate change and biogeochemistry. To achieve this goal, an incredible analytical technique, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) coupled with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR‐MS) will be applied on laminated sediment cores. In my PhD project, I aim to extend the range of target molecules from currently GDGTs to other informative lipid molecules and further develop the method of spatial μ‐scale biomarker analysis.


My PhD project is part of the European Research Council funded Advanced Grant project “ZOOMecular” (PI: Prof. Kai-Uwe Hinrichs). The major task to be addressed by my PhD project is to decode the sedimentary fine print of lipid biomarkers. Such high resolution analysis will allow interrogating laminated sediment archives of Late Quaternary climate change, provide a new view of the mechanisms underlying delivery and preservation of molecular signals in sedimentary records, and investigate globally important biogeochemical processes on a new scale. Together with the ZOOMecular team, we will develop innovative analytical protocols for a suite of informative biomarkers in sedimentary matrices. The spatial and temporal distribution of these biomarkers will be examined in a range of environmental samples in undisturbed, laminated marine sediment cores including the Gotland Basin (Baltic Sea). Based on novel methods development, my thesis project will emphasize ultra-high resolution paleoenvironmental reconstruction and evaluation of sensitivity of marine ecosystems to climate variability.

The following three specific topics are involved in my PhD:

  1. Geomatrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (GALDI): process and application
  2. Mineral and microbe interaction
  3. Rapid climate change and response of ecosystem

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Hinrichs   University of Bremen
Prof. Dr. Gerald Haug Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, Mainz & ETHZ
Dr. Marcus Elvert   University of Bremen
Dr. Lars Wörmer   University of Bremen


GLOMAR Research Theme C