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Dr Sebastian Breitenbach

Associate Professor

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

I am head of the EnMaR (Environmental monitoring and reconstruction) research group.

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

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.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Controls on Speleothem Initial 234U/238U Ratios in a Monsoon Climate, Oster, J., Ronay, E., Sharp, W., Breitenbach, S., Furbish, D. Apr 2023, In: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
  • Deciphering local and regional hydroclimate resolves contradicting evidence on the Asian monsoon evolution, Wolf, A., Ersek, V., Braun, T., French, A., McGee, D., Bernasconi, S., Skiba, V., Griffiths, M., Johnson, K., Fohlmeister, J., Breitenbach, S., Pausata, F., Tabor, C., Longman, J., Roberts, W., Chandan, D., Peltier, W., Salzmann, U., Limbert, D., Trinh, H., Trinh, A. 14 Sep 2023, In: Nature Communications
  • Decline in seasonal predictability potentially destabilized Classic Maya societies, Braun, T., Breitenbach, S., Skiba, V., Lechleitner, F., Ray, E., Baldini, L., Polyak, V., Baldini, J., Kennett, D., Prufer, K., Marwan, N. 17 Mar 2023, In: Communications Earth and Environment
  • Defining paleoclimatic routes and opportunities for hominin dispersals across Iran, Shoaee, M., Breeze, P., Drake, N., Hashemi, S., Vahdati Nasab, H., Breitenbach, S., Stevens, T., Boivin, N., Petraglia, M. 1 Mar 2023, In: PLoS One
  • Holocene hydroclimate variability along the Southern Patagonian margin (Chile) reconstructed from Cueva Chica speleothems, Nehme, C., Todisco, D., Breitenbach, S., Couchoud, I., Marchegiano, M., Peral, M., Vonhof, H., Hellstrom, J., Tjallingii, R., Claeys, P., Borrero, L., Martin, F. 1 Mar 2023, In: Global and Planetary Change
  • Past fire dynamics inferred from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and monosaccharide anhydrides in a stalagmite from the archaeological site of Mayapan, Mexico, Homann, J., Karbach, N., Carolin, S., James, D., Hodell, D., Breitenbach, S., Kwiecien, O., Brenner, M., Lope, C., Hoffmann, T. 8 Aug 2023, In: Biogeosciences
  • Recurring summer and winter droughts from 4.2-3.97 thousand years ago in north India, Giesche, A., Hodell, D., Petrie, C., Haug, G., Adkins, J., Plessen, B., Marwan, N., Bradbury, H., Hartland, A., French, A., Breitenbach, S. 4 Apr 2023, In: Communications Earth and Environment
  • A simplified isotope dilution approach for the U–Pb dating of speleogenic and other low-232Th carbonates by multi-collector ICP-MS, Mason, A., Vaks, A., Breitenbach, S., Hooker, J., Henderson, G. 17 Jan 2022, In: Geochronology
  • Drought-Induced Civil Conflict Among the Ancient Maya, Kennett, D., Masson, M., Lope, C., Serafin, S., George, R., Spencer, T., Hoggarth, J., Culleton, B., Harper, T., Prufer, K., Milbrath, S., Russell, B., González, E., McCool, W., Aquino, V., Paris, E., Curtis, J., Marwan, N., Zhang, M., Asmerom, Y., Polyak, V., Carolin, S., James, D., Mason, A., Henderson, G., Brenner, M., Baldini, J., Breitenbach, S., Hodell, D. 19 Jul 2022, In: Nature Communications
  • 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

  • Maria Box Interglacial environmental dynamics in the permafrost region of Northern Mongolia Start Date: 01/10/2023
  • Jade Margerum Regional interglacial climate and environment of continental Siberia during the past 600,000 years. Start Date: 01/10/2021

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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