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Dr. Oliver Rach

Dr. Oliver Rach
Building F, Room 458 (Büro)
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

I am Labmanager in Section 4.6 - Geomorphology and responsible for the Organic Surface Geochemistry Lab (OSGL), the Sediment Lab (SedLab) and the Physical Experimental Lab (PhyLab). In addition to the general organization of our laboratories, my major tasks are analytical method development, documentation, quality assurance and the coordination of laboratory staff.
Link to my Google scholar publication list.

Research Interests:

My scientific interests are the interactions between atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere, especially how changes in one system can trigger, weaken or amplify processes in another (i.e. hydroclimatic changes and erosion). My research activities are focused on the investigation of climate variability (on short and long-term time scales), their causes and effects on the regional hydrological cycle and ecosystem to improve our understanding of the underlaying key mechnisms.

In addition to water isotope analysis (d 2H, d 18O, d 17O) I mainly work with molecular fossils (biomarkers) as proxy for spatial and temporal changes in hydroclimatic and ecological conditions. Biomarker analysis in general (i.e. Alkenone, GDGT's) as well as the compound-specific analysis of stable hydrogen (d 2H) and carbon(d 13C) isotope ratios (i.e. n-alkanes, fatty acids, sterols) enables the detection of even small changes in atmospheric circulation systems, temperature and /or regional vegetation cover. The second major part of my research activity is covered by the development and testing of new analytical methods and proxies in biomarker applications and stable isotope analysis.


-       Biomarkers (organic geochemistry)

-       stable isotopes (d2H, d18O, d17O, d13C)

-       Paleohydrology/ Paleoclimatolgy

-       Modelling


since 2015    Labmanager of Section 5.1-Geomorphology (Labs)

2014 - 2015  Labmanager of the "Basel Stable Isotope Ecology Lab" at the University of Basel (CH)
                         Department of Environmental Sciences
                         Physiological Plant Ecology (PPE) - Prof. Dr. A. Kahmen


2015              PhD in organic Geochemistry - University of Potsdam
                         (Titel: Qualitative and quantitative estimations of hydrological changes in western
                         Europe during abrupt climate shifts using lipid biomarker derived stable hydrogen
                         isotope records)

2010 - 2014  PhD-Student (organic geochemistry) at the University of Potsdam

2010               Diploma in geology - University of Potsdam
                          (Titel: High-resolution reconstruction of climate and environmental changes during
                          the middle Holocene based on varved sediments of lake Meerfelder Maar)
2004 - 2010  Studies in geology at the University of Potsdam (Diplom)


Application studies:

High and ultra-high-resolution reconstructions of hydroclimatic and ecological changes of Late Glacial and Late Holocene key-periods on several European key-sites

Development studies:

Proxy and method development on compound and non-compound specific stable isotope ratios

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