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Dr Sebastian Breitenbach

Associate Professor

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

I am a palaeoclimatologist with strong affinity to caves and carbonates. I use carbonate chemistry and stable isotope geochemistry as tools to reconstruct past environmental and climate conditions. Ideally I then use these reconstructions to inform archaeologists, anthropologists and other interested parties and the public about the influence that climate has on society. To this end I follow a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach and work closely with experts from a broad range of research fields.

My research is globally spread as I select sites that are best suited for the research question at hand. Among other places, I work in Germany, Siberia, India, New Zealand, and Belize.

I am currently establishing clumped isotope thermometry in our new stable isotope laboratory.

Sebastian Breitenbach

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I am a palaeoclimatologist with strong affinity to caves and carbonates. My research interest includes palaeoclimatology, geothermometry, geochronology, climate-human interaction, geochemistry, continental environmental change, and human adaptation/behaviour in response to climate change.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Effects of organic matter complexation on partitioning of transition metals into calcite: Cave-analogue crystal growth experiments, Lindeman, I., Hansen, M., Scholz, D., Breitenbach, S., Hartland, A. 15 Jan 2022, In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
  • Archaeological and environmental cave records in the Gobi-Altai Mountains, Mongolia, Vanwezer, N., Breitenbach, S., Gázquez, F., Louys, J., Kononov, A., Sokol'nikov, D., Erdenedalai, A., Burguet-Coca, A., Picin, A., Cueva Temprana, A., Sánchez-Martínez, J., Taylor, W., Boivin, N., Jamsranjav, B., Petraglia, M. 10 Jun 2021, In: Quaternary International
  • Detecting and quantifying palaeoseasonality in stalagmites using geochemical and modelling approaches, Baldini, J., Lechleitner, F., Breitenbach, S., van Hunen, J., Baldini, L., Wynn, P., Jamieson, R., Ridley, H., Baker, A., Walczak, I., Fohlmeister, J. 15 Feb 2021, In: Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Holocene variability of East Asian summer monsoon as viewed from the speleothem δ18O records in central China, Cai, Y., Cheng, X., Ma, L., Mao, R., Breitenbach, S., Zhang, H., Xue, G., Cheng, H., Edwards, R., An, Z. 15 Mar 2021, In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
  • Hunting, herding, and people in the rock art of Mongolia: New discoveries in the Gobi-Altai Mountains, Vanwezer, N., Timothy Treal Taylor, W., Bayarsaikhan, J., Breitenbach, S., Amano, N., Louys, J., del Val, M., Boivin, N., Petraglia, M. 1 Jun 2021, In: Archaeological Research in Asia
  • Lignin oxidation products in soil, dripwater and speleothems from four different sites in New Zealand, Heidke, I., Hartland, A., Scholz, D., Pearson, A., Hellstrom, J., Breitenbach, S., Hoffmann, T. 8 Apr 2021, In: Biogeosciences
  • What we talk about when we talk about seasonality – A transdisciplinary review, Kwiecien, O., Braun, T., Brunello, C., Faulkner, P., Hausmann, N., Helle, G., Hoggarth, J., Ionita, M., Jazwa, C., Kelmelis, S., Marwan, N., Nava Fernandez, C., Nehme, C., Opel, T., Oster, J., Perşoiu, A., Petrie, C., Prufer, K., Saarni, S., Wolf, A., Breitenbach, S. 1 Nov 2021, In: Earth-Science Reviews
  • Intertropical Convergence Zone Variability in the Neotropics During the Common Era, Asmerom, Y., Baldini, J., Breitenbach, S., Prufer, K., Polyak, V., Ridley, H., Aquino, V., Baldini, L., Macpherson, C., Kennett, D. 14 Feb 2020, In: Science advances
  • Pacific climate reflected inWaipuna Cave drip water hydrochemistry, Nava Fernandez, C., Hartland, A., Gazquez, F., Kwiecien, O., Marwan, N., Fox, B., Hellstrom, J., Pearson, A., Ward, B., French, A., Hodell, D., Immenhauser, A., Breitenbach, S. 1 Jul 2020, In: Hydrological Earth System Science
  • Palaeoclimate evidence of vulnerable permafrost during times of low sea ice, Vaks, A., Mason, A., Breitenbach, S., Kononov, A., Osinzev, A., Rosensaft, M., Borshevsky, A., Gutareva, O., Henderson, G. 9 Jan 2020, In: Nature

PGR Supervision

Jade Robinson How did permafrost thaw affect regional climate and environment in continental Siberia? Start Date: 01/10/2021

Further Information

you can find more about my current work here:

COPRA and other useful tools can be downloaded from:


PhD October 19 2009

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