Dr. Sebastian Mutz

Funktion: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter


Universität Tübingen


Wilhelmstraße 56

72076 Tübingen

Büro: Raum 249, Wilhelmstr. 56

Phone: +49-(0)7071-29-73157

Fax: +49-(0)7071-29-3060

Email: sebastian.mutz(at)uni-tuebingen.de

Research Interests

Dr. Mutz‘s research involves the use and development of a wide range of empirical tools (incl. methods from frequentist and Bayesian statistics) in combination with numerical modelling and high performance computing to describe and explain the interactions between different Earth systems; in particular, the research focuses on the dynamics between atmospheric, tectonic and Earth surface processes.

Introducing changes to the Earth‘s climate can result in complex feedback loops with linked Earth systems on different time scales. Unfortunately, the data necessary to investigate these highly non-linear interactions is often absent, incomplete or not available in the required spatial or temporal resolution. This calls for the application of general circulation models (GCMs) to reconstruct palaeo-climates for different times in geological history with the help of model- and proxy-based reconstructions of past climatic boundary conditions. GCMs also allow the assessment of the climate system‘s sensitivity to various factors (incl. changes in orbital configuration, sea ice concentration, topography or atmospheric chemistry) and identify synergies in the system. This type of research requires empirical methods capable of describing and explaining complex systems while taking into account model uncertainties and inconsistencies in data.

Dr. Mutz‘s interdisciplinary studies of the interactions between climate and other Earth systems contribute to a more holistic understanding of Earth system dynamics and help identify non-linearities relevant to the reconstruction of geological history and estimates for contemporary climate change.

For more information see mutz.science

Running Research Projects


Extreme Tectonics and Rapid Erosion in Mountain Environments: EXTREME investigates the coupling between climate and tectonic interactions at plate corners.

EarthShape (DFG-SPP)

Earth Surface Shaping by Biota: EarthShape explores how biologic processes (in addition to climate and tectonics) shape the Earth surface and modulate the impact of climate change on the Earth surface.


APE (Alpine Paleoelevation/-climate Experiment) is part of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) priority programme MB-4D („Mountain Building Processes in 4D“) and aims to link Earth surface processes to lithospheric dynamics with the aid of palaeoclimate simulations and stable isotope altimetry.


Q-TiP is a project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and investigates the climatic controls on water resources in Central Asia with regard to the development of arid environments and their relevance for scenarios of ongoing and potential future climate change.


Applied Tectonics and Surface Processes. An introduction to quantitative geomorphology/surface processes, tectonic geomorphology, climate, dating techniques, and current ‘hot topics’ in tectonics-climate-surface processes research. Offered every winter semester for 5th semester BSc students and MSc students.

Mapping Class for BSc students. An introduction to geologic and geomorphic mapping techniques in Spain, 5th semester BSc course offered every September.

Scientific Background

2016 -

Akademischer Rat (lecturer and researcher) at the University of Tübingen

2014 – 2016

Post-Doc researcher at the University of Tübingen; research focus: Palaeo-climate modelling and interactions between surface uplift, surface processes and climate change


Post-Doc researcher at the University of Tübingen; research focus: Modelling of climate and δ18O distribution over the Tibetan Plateau

2008 – 2011

PhD student at the University of Würzburg (Dr. rer. nat.); research focus: Dynamic-statistical modelling of glacier mass balance in Norway

2004 – 2008

MGeol in Geology with Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester; master thesis: Preservational biases in the Late Mississippian phosphatic microfossil record

Additional Responsibilities

Recent publications

Mutz S.G., Ehlers T., Werner M., Lohmann G., Stepanek C., Li J., (2018). Estimates of Late Cenozoic climate change relevant to Earth surface processes in tectonically active orogens. Earth Surface Dynamics. doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-47

Mohadjer, S., Ehlers, T.A., Bendick R., Mutz, S.G., (2017). Review of GPS and Quaternary fault slip rates in the Himalaya-Tibet orogen, Earth Science Reviews. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.09.005

Li J., Ehlers T.A., Werner M., Mutz S.G., Steger C., Paeth H. (2017). Late quaternary climate, precipitation δ 18O, and Indian monsoon variations over the Tibetan Plateau. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.09.031

Mutz S.G., Ehlers T., Li J., Steger C., Paeth H., Werner M., Pouslen C. (2016). Precipitation δ 18O over the Himalaya-Tibet Orogen from ECHAM5-wiso Simulations: Statistical Analysis of Temperature, Topography and Precipitation. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. doi:10.1002/2016JD024856

Li J., Ehlers T.A., Mutz S.G., Steger C., Paeth H., Werner M., Poulsen C., Feng R. (2016). Modern precipitation δ 18O and trajectory analysis over the Himalaya-Tibet Orogen from ECHAM5-wiso simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. doi:10.1002/2016JD024818

Mutz S.G., Paeth H., Winkler S. (2015). Modelling of future mass balance changes of Norwegian glaciers by application of a dynamical-statistical model. Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2663-5