I am a professor of environmental science and research on paleolimnology and environmental change. Since 2018, I am chairman of the employment committee at the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Our research group is interested primarily in long-term environmental and climate changes and their causes, particularly due to super-imposed human impacts. Present-day conditions cannot be understood correctly without an understanding of the past process that have led up to the present status of the environment.
In order to study these changes through time we use natural archives such as lake sediments, which accumulate in principle continuously on the bottom of every lake since the end of the last ice age until the present. With the help of sediment archives we can develop insights concerning biogeochemical processes that take place over longer timescales than those timeframes covered in field studies or through environmental monitoring programs.
The sediment record also gives us critical insights into environmental conditions in the absence of human disturbance, which is a necessary reference point to assess human impacts. Questions of broad interest include acidification of lakes, atmospheric metal pollution, the millennial history of mining and metallurgy along with related environmental impacts, land-use changes, carbon cycling in lakes, as well as climate change – and oftentimes some or all of these are intertwined.