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Dr Sebastian Breitenbach

VC Senior Fellow

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


PhD October 19 2009

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • 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
  • 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
  • Permafrost-related hiatuses in stalagmites: Evaluating the potential for reconstruction of carbon cycle dynamics, Lechleitner, F., Mason, A., Breitenbach, S., Vaks, A., Haghipur, N., Henderson, G. 1 Mar 2020, In: Quaternary Geochronology
  • Effects of Improved 17O Correction on Interlaboratory Agreement in Clumped Isotope Calibrations, Estimates of Mineral-Specific Offsets, and Temperature Dependence of Acid Digestion Fractionation, Petersen, S., Defliese, W., Saenger, C., Daëron, M., Huntington, K., John, C., Kelson, J., Bernasconi, S., Colman, A., Kluge, T., Olack, G., Schauer, A., Bajnai, D., Bonifacie, M., Breitenbach, S., Fiebig, J., Fernandez, A., Henkes, G., Hodell, D., Katz, A., Kele, S., Lohmann, K., Passey, B., Peral, M., Petrizzo, D., Rosenheim, B., Tripati, A., Venturelli, R., Young, E., Winkelstern, I. 22 Jul 2019, In: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
  • Evaluating model outputs using integrated global speleothem records of climate change since the last glacial, Comas-Bru, L., Harrison, S., Werner, M., Rehfeld, K., Scroxton, N., Veiga-Pires, C., Ersek, V., Breitenbach, S. 9 Aug 2019, In: Climate of the Past
  • Fluvio-lacustrine sedimentation in the Agadir-Tissint Feija (Anti-Atlas, Morocco): a promising paleoclimate archive for the last glacial cycle in Northwest Africa, Nutz, A., Kwiecien, O., Breitenbach, S., Cai, Y., Della Porta, G., Danisch, J., Kabiri, L., Bodin, S. 1 Jun 2019, In: The Depositional Record
  • Holocene interaction of maritime and continental climate in Central Europe, Breitenbach, S., Plessen, B., Waltgenbach, S., Tjallingii, R., Leonhardt, J., Jochum, K., Meyer, H., Goswami, B., Marwan, N., Scholz, D. 1 May 2019, In: Global and Planetary Change
  • Local and Regional Indian Summer Monsoon Precipitation Dynamics During Termination II and the Last Interglacial, Magiera, M., Lechleitner, F., Erhardt, A., Hartland, A., Kwiecien, O., Cheng, H., Bradbury, H., Turchyn, A., Riechelmann, S., Edwards, L., Breitenbach, S. 16 Nov 2019, In: Geophysical Research Letters
  • Rainfall variations in central Indo-Pacific over the past 2,700 y, Tan, L., Shen, C., Löwemark, L., Chawchai, S., Edwards, R., Cai, Y., Breitenbach, S., Cheng, H., Chou, Y., Duerrast, H., Partin, J., Cai, W., Chabangborn, A., Gao, Y., Kwiecien, O., Wu, C., Shi, Z., Hsu, H., Wohlfarth, B. 27 Aug 2019, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Further Information

you can find more about my current work here:

COPRA and other useful tools can be downloaded from:

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.


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