In response to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in coordination with the Foreign Office and the Federal Chancellery, announced a fundamental change in its cooperation policy with Russia and Belarus on February 25,22. Nationally and internationally, this pursues the goal of isolating the Russian government as far as possible. For this reason, all current and planned projects of the Alfred Wegener Institute with government agencies in Russia will be frozen and/or critically reviewed. For further inquiries, please contact

Arctic Lake System Dynamics

The terrestrial Arctic is a key region of ongoing climate change. The vast and diverse landscapes, especially in Siberia, offer the potential to pinpoint climatic and ecological connections between Arctic and boreal areas in the Northern Hemisphere. In order to widen our understanding of lake ecosystem response to recent and comparable past climate changes, we conduct palaeoenvironmental studies using sediments from lakes located along north-south and west-east transects.

Our research foci are

  • Palaeoclimate and biodiversity: teleconnections of spatiotemporal climate changes in northern Eurasia since the last glacial associated to diatom diversity and carbon sequestration.
  • Lake ontogeny: revealing inherent Arctic lake system and catchment dynamics.
  • Budgeting of sediment organic carbon and anorganic elements in lake basins.
  • Seasonality and extreme events: How do changes in winter ice-cover and summer open season influence Arctic lake systems? How strong is the impact of climate extreme events on lake ecosystems?
  • Human impact: assessment of lake system variations in response to historical anthropogenic activity.
  • Data science approaches: multi-site indicator analytics. Compile proxy data for palaeoclimate model validation.

Our multi-proxy approach includes parametric sub-bottoom profiling, sediment core retrieval and laboratory analyses of samples. Indicator analyses include the analyses of diatoms (including taxonomy, oxygen isotopes, and ancient DNA), pollen, chironomids, geochemical (XRF elements and XRD minerals) and physical sediment properties (grain size), as well as multivariate statistics.


Dr. Boris K. Biskaborn


Prof. Dr. Bernhard Diekmann

Dr. Larisa Nazarova (Guest from Federal University Kazan)

Stuart Vyse (Doctoral student)

Gregor Pfalz (Doctoral student)

Lara Hughes-Allen (Doctoral guest student, GEOPS, MOPGA)

Amy Forster (Undergraduate student)

Tim Kröger (Undergraduate student)

Adrian Schnitt (Undergraduate student)

Alexander Rudolf (Undergraduate student)

Rebecca Morawietz (Undergraduate student)

Jenny Barsch (Undergraduate student)

Helene Scheidemann (Undergraduate student)

Data Science approach for spatio-temporal analyses of sediment core proxy data from Arctic lakes: palaeoclimate, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.