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Public Outreach

  • A detailed article in the “Kölner Universitätsmagazin” presents several projects of the SPP 1833 in Cologne. It summarizes the latest findings of Carsten Münker, Jonas Tusch, Daniel Herwartz and Florian Kurzweil about tungsten-isotopes and their relation to the onset of plate tectonics, the evolution of the oceanic redox state and the link between atmospheric CO2-contents and ocean water temperatures. Read the article here…
  • Michelle Gehringer, University of Kaiserslautern, was invited to give a presentation for the CyanoWorld Online Seminar series. Her talk "How Cyanobacteria changed the world" about her early earth research within the SPP 1833 is available here
  • The "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" reported about the research paper of Herrmann A.J., Sorwat J., Byrne J.M., Frankenberg-Dinkel, N. and Gehringer M.M.: „Diurnal Fe(II)/Fe(III) cycling and enhanced O2 production in a simulated Archean marine oxygen oasis“ ( Read the press release here
  • The Quanta Magazine reported about the study of Jonas Tusch et al. how plate tectonics drove the evolution of complex life. (Tusch, J., Münker, C., Hasenstab, C., Jansen, M., Marien, C.S., Kurzweil, F., Van Kranendonk, M.J., Smithies, R.H., Maier, W., Garbe-Schönberg, D. (in press): Convective isolation of Hadean mantle reservoirs through Archean time. PNAS). Read the report here
  • A newspaper article in the "Weserkurier" on March 23rd, 2021, reported about the project "Non-detrital Gallium and Aluminum in Early Precambrian Marine Chemical Sediments and the Potential Use of the Ga/Al Ratio as a Geochemical Proxy for Metal Sources and Relative Fluxes to the Early Ocean" of Prof. Michael Bau. Read the article here...
  • In a study within the SPP 1833, biologically-relevant organic molecules have been detected in Archaean fluid inclusions, which most likely served as nutrients for early life on Earth. The scientists examined about 3.5 billion-year-old barites from the Dresser Formation in Western Australia. Helge Mißbach et al. published their results in Nature Geoscience, see the press release here.
  • Dr. Michelle Gehringer and Achim Herrmann presented their research in a television report as part of the Sat1-Regionalmagazin. On November 26th, they featured in "Algen – die Superstars von morgen?" See the video here...
  • During the "GeoUtrecht 2020 - Virtual conference" (21-26 August 2020), C. Heubeck (Jena) and P. Mason (Utrecht) coordinated a session with the topic "Early Earth and Life: Insights from recent research in the Barberton Greenstone Belt". Contributions from our SPP were e.g.:

    Heubeck, C., Janse von Rensburg, D., Reimann, S., Zametzer, A., 2020, Quartzofeldspathic Moodies Group sandstones (Barberton Greenstone Belt, ~3.22 Ga, South Africa and Eswatini) are derived from intra-BGB felsic igneous rocks, not from extra-BGB granites: Annual Meeting DGGV Utrecht, 24-26 August 2020, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    Schmitz, M., Heubeck, C., 2020, Which tectonic model of the Barberton Greenstone Belt compares best with regional stratigraphic and structural data ? A review: Annual Meeting DGGV Utrecht, 24-26 August 2020, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    Reimann, S., Heubeck, C., Janse van Rensburg, D., Fugmann, P., Zametzer, A., 2020, Syndepositional hydrothermalism selectively preserves one of the earliest photoautotrophic ecosystems, Moodies Group (3.22 Ga), Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: Annual Meeting DGGV Utrecht, 24-26 August 2020, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    Janse van Rensburg, D., Reimann, S., Heubeck, C., Zametzer, A., Fugmann, P., 2020, Did volcanoes erupting in estuaries (Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, BGB) serve as microbiological cradles during the Archean? : Annual Meeting DGGV Utrecht, 24-26 August 2020, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


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  • On November, 15th, 2018, Dr. Inga Köhler presented her children‘s book „How Earth became habitable - a journey through the Precambrian“ on invitation by the SPP 1833 at the University of Cologne. More than 150 children and parents attended the lecture and carefully listened to the adventures of the time travelling cat Portas meeting the first bacteria on Earth, learning, how water was delivered to Earth and why the oceans had various colours during Earth‘s history.  From the accretion of Earth to the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere, the book covers the most important steps in creating an environment not only suitable for bacteria and other simple life forms, but also for mankind.  
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  • A video about the field workshop 2017 in Australia was published by the coordination office. Watch it here:

  • Dr. Sami Nabhan was invited to talk about his early earth research for the TV-programme BR-alpha. See his lecture at "Campus Talks"  here

  • Dr. Benjamin Eickmann and Professor Ronny Schönberg (both University of Tübingen) together with international collaborators published their latest work about Earth's oldest known oxygen in Nature Geoscience: "Isotopic evidence for oxygenated Mesoarchaean shallow oceans". Evidence for this early oxygen stems from 2.97 Ga old microbial carbonates of the Pongola Supergroup in South Africa, which were sampled by a co-author of this study, Professor Axel Hofmann of the University of Johannesburg, with the intention to investigate the redox-conditions during deposition of these sediments. Professor Hofmann was also one of the main leaders of the SPP1833 field trip to South Africa in August 2016, during which this outcrop - amongst many others - was visited. The article has been discussed at "Science Daily" and the TAZ commented that "stale air" can be worse: "Dit is die Baliner Luft!"...
  • Prof. Sumit Chakraborty (RUB) published his work on the onset of plate tectonics in Nature Geoscience: "Emergence of silicic continents as the lower crust peels off on a hot plate-tectonic Earth". See the press release  here...

If you have or had any publicly available interviews, articles or general press releases related to the SPP 1833, the community is interested in it. Please send your media publications to