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Benjamin Nettersheim

Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

My research focuses on reconstructing the prevailing environmental conditions and composition of ecosystems from times long past. For this, I analyse biomarkers, the molecular fossils of biological lipids ('fossil fat') in combination with other geological observations such as Fe-speciation, elemental and isotopic compositions.

I studied Georesources Managment (BSc) and Applied Geosciences (MSc) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, before conducting a PhD with Jochen Brocks in Paleobiogeochemistry at the Australian National University, focusing on the oldest well preserved biomarkers on Earth that are found in 1640 million-years-old rocks in northern Australia. I then joined the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry as an Agouron Geobiology fellow and continue working as a postdoctoral researcher with Chris Hallmann and his team trying to gain insights into the early evolution of eukaryotes and animals, and the transformation of biomolecules into fossil organic matter.


  • –present
    Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute