Personal profile:

Profile photo of  Dr. James Collins

Dr. James Collins

Section 5.1: Geomorphology

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Building F, room 457
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-27517
e-mail: james.collins(at)


About the person

Function and Responsibilities:

Postdoctoral researcher within the STEEPClim project ( Spatio  temporal   evolution of the hydrological cycle throughout the  European continent during  past abrupt  climate changes)
Responsible for the generation of European lake biomarker records and for the analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of climate evolution evident from comparison of the records

Research Interests:

Past climate of Europe, the SE Pacific, Africa
Biomarkers, stable isotopes
Organic geochemistry
Lake sediments, marine sediments


2016- Present: Postdoc at GFZ, Potsdam Germany
2013-2016: Postdoc at AWI, Bremerhaven, Germany
2011-2012: Postdoc at MARUM, Bremen, Germany
  1. Collins, J. A., Schefuß, E., Govin, A., Mulitza, S., & Tiedemann, R. (2014). Insolation and glacial–interglacial control on southwestern African hydroclimate over the past 140 000 years. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 398, 1-10.
  2. Collins, J. A., Govin, A., Mulitza, S., Heslop, D., Zabel, M., Hartmann, J., Röhl, U., Wefer, G. (2013) Abrupt shifts of the Sahara-Sahel boundary during Heinrich Stadials. Climate of the Past 9, 1181-1191.
  3. Collins, J. A., Schefuß, E., Mulitza, S., Prange, M., Werner, M., Tharammal, T., Paul, A., and Wefer, G. (2013) Estimating the hydrogen isotopic composition of past precipitation using leaf-waxes from western Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews, 65, 88-101.
  4. Bloemsma, M. R., Zabel, M., Stuut, J-B. W., Tjallingii, R., Collins, J. A., Weltje, G. J. (2012) Modelling joint variability of grain size and chemical composition in sediments. Sedimentary Geology 280, 135-148.
  5. Govin, A., Holzwarth, U., Heslop, D., Ford Keeling, L., Zabel, M., Mulitza, S., Collins, J. A., and Chiessi, C. M. ( 2012). Distribution of major elements in Atlantic surface sediments (36°N-49°S): Imprint of terrigenous input and continental weathering. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 13, Q01013
  6. Collins, J. A., Schefuß, E., Heslop, D., Mulitza, S., Prange, M., Zabel, M., Tjallingii, R., Dokken, T. M., Huang, E., Mackensen, A., Schulz, M., Tian, J., Zarriess, M., Wefer, G. (2011) Interhemispheric symmetry of the tropical African rainbelt over the past 23,000 years. Nature Geoscience, 4, 42-45
  7. Mulitza, S, Heslop, D, Pittauerova, D, Fischer, H.W., Meyer, I, Stuut, J.B, Zabel, M, Mollenhauer, G, Collins, J. A, Kuhnert, H, Schulz, M (2010) Increase in African dust flux at the onset of commercial agriculture in the Sahel region. Nature, 466, 226-228


2008-2011: PhD in Marine Geology, MARUM, Bremen, Germany
2004-2008: Bachelor and Master Degree in Earth Science (MEarthSci), University of Oxford, UK