Prof. Taylor Schildgen

Taylor Schildgen
Prof. Taylor Schildgen
Group Leader
Building F, Room 453
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-27507

Function and Responsibilities:

I am a W2 professor in Section 4.6 (Geomorphology), leading a group on Landscape Evolution and Climate Interactions, with a joint appointment and teaching responsibilities at the University of Potsdam.

Research Interests:

My group and I are interested in how climate and tectonic forcing influence landscape erosion rates, erosion processes, and sedimentation patterns. We investigate this problem through empirical field studies on alluvial fans and fill terraces, model development on the controls of alluvial stream profiles, and combinations of empirical and model-based approaches to better constrain paleo-climate conditions at our study locations (e.g., by joint inversions of paleo-lake levels and glacial moraines to determine past changes in temperature and precipitation). Recently, our efforts have been focused on the impacts of climate change on landscape evolution at both millennial- and million-year timescales.
Link to   Google Scholar page


Since 7/2015     W2 Professor, Section 4.6 (Geomorphology), GFZ Potsdam
2/2013-6/2015   Emmy Noether Group leader, University of Potsdam, Germany
4/2011-1/2013   Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer, University of Potsdam, Germany
4/2009-3/2011   Alexander von Humboldt Post-doctoral Fellow
3/2008-3/2009   Post-doctoral researcher, DFG-Leibniz Center for Earth Surface and Climate Studies, University of Potsdam


2000 B.A. in Geosciences, Williams College, USA
2002 M.Sc. in GIS, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
2008 Ph.D. in Geology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


  • ICEHouse (Emmy Noether grant, 2013-2017):  Impacts of Climate change on Erosion and Hillslope processes. Ph.D. candidate Stefanie Tofelde is working on using fluvial fill terraces and modern observations of detrital 10Be concentrations to reconstruct landscape response to climate forcing on millennial timescales. Post-doctoral researcher Jürgen Mey is working on developing a full energy-balance model for mountain glaciers and deriving paleoclimate conditions by coupling lake level and glacier modeling. Post-doctoral researcher Mitch D'Arcy (Alexander von Humboldt Fellow) is investigating how alluvial-fan sedimentology and architecture may reflect past climatic fluctuations, and what glacial moraine records may reveal about climatic teleconnections throughout South America. Former post-doctoral researcher Andrew Wickert (now an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota) is working on deriving models of alluvial-river profile evolution, with a focus on the controls of river aggradation and incision. 
  • LandFlux project (Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, since 2018): Post-doctoral researcher Duna Roda-Boluda (Marie Curie fellow) is working on quantifying landslide activity and contribution to sediment fluxes with cosmogenic radionuclides and grain-size distributions.
  • StRATEGy (DFG grant, since 2015): SuRfAce processes, TEctonics and Georesources: The Andean forland basin of Argentina. Post-doctoral researcher Heiko Pingel has been working on reconstructing paleo-erosion rates over the past 5 million years from the Humahuaca Basin of NW Argentina, using cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al.

Research Boards and Committees:

Editorial service
  • Since 2020: Editor-in-Chief, Tectonics
  • 2017-2019: Editor, Tectonics
  • 2014-2017: Associate Editor, Tectonics
  • 2014-2017: Editorial Board, Lithosphere
Scientific societies
  • Since 2015: EGU Division officer (Geomorphology)