Our department implements reconstructions of vegetation cover and climate via pollen analysis, anatomical appraisal of wood and macro-botanical material.

Ongoing projects:


  • Holocene dynamic of the East European forest-steppe: climate, human and fire impact

  • Plant and land use of Early Iron Age societies in the boreal zone of the mid-Kama region and its environmental impact

  • Recently concluded:
  • Dynamics of Mid-latitude/Mediterranean climate during the last 150 ka: Black Sea /Northern Anatolian Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions

  • South America

  • Dynamics of the Malvinas Current (MC) and Brazil-Malvinas Confluence (BMC) in the southwestern South Atlantic since the late Quaternary

  • Pleistocene and Holocene environmental changes in neotropical ecosystems with a focus on Amazon rainforest (PhD-student B. Wang since 2019)

  • Recently concluded:

  • Impacts of Climate, Sea Level Changes and Humans on Coastal Vegetation in Northeastern Brazil during the Late Quaternary (PhD-student Alves de Moraes since 2018)

  • Holocene vegetation dynamics and disturbance regimes in north Patagonia, Argentina (40 degrees South) (PhD-student Alvarez Barra until 2020)

  • Holocene vegetation and disturbance dynamics in Araucaria araucana forests of southern South America: towards a scientific basis for conservation (PhD-student R. Moreno until 2019)

  • Asia

  • Environmental changes and way of life in Central Oman during the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. (>2024)

  • Palaeoecology of the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh and the Role of Past Natural and Anthropogenic Disturbances on its Vegetation and Biodiversity

  • The long-term effects of fire, climate and human impact in the highland and lowland ecosystems of Sumatra, Indonesia)

  • The effect of climate and human impact in Sumatra, Indonesia - Long-term and modern palaeoecological studies in different rainforest and transformation systems

  • Studies on Holocene vegetation-, fire-, climate- and human history - comparing multi-site evidence from the forest-steppe biomes in Mongolian Altai, Tosontsengel and Orkhon Valley (2020>)

  • Recently concluded:
  • Putting the carbon back into peat (Dr. Hapsari 2018>)

  • Long-term vegetation dynamics along altitudinal and longitudinal gradients in the Hyrcanian forest region (northern Iran) (PhD-student Homami Totmaj 2018>)

  • Neogene vegetation history in north China with a palynological perspective and and its response to the major geological and environmental events (PhD-student Jian Wang 2019>)

  • EFForTS-CRC990 - A01 - Long-term vegetation dynamics, plant phenology and plant-pollinator interactions in rainforest and rainforest transformations in central Sumatra (Dr. Setyaningsih 2016 >)

  • Using the biological and chemical diversity in Iranian honey for successful beekeeping and bee care (Dr. Khansaritoreh >2020)

  • Economic revival of Iranian licorice (ERIL), from farm to market (>2018)

  • Studies on vegetation, fire, climate and human history in the mid- to late Holocene. A contribution to protection and management of the forest-steppe biome in the Mongolian Altai (>2019)

  • Coastal wetlands of Indonesia (>2018)

  • Africa

    Recently concluded:
  • Calibrated pollen-based reconstruction of East African vegetation and landscape change ~ 250,000 yr Lake Challa sediment record (Dr. van der Plas >2022)

  • Studies on late Quaternary environmental dynamics (vegetation, biodiversity, climate, fire and human impact) on Mt. Kilimanjaro - comparing the wet northern with the dry southern slopes

  • Multi-proxy micropaleontological studies on Holocene climate change and biodiversity history in Western Desert, Egypt (>2015)

  • Where we worked or took part in