Dr. rer. nat. Tobias Lauer

Laboratory head (Optical dating / sediment analyses)

Anschrift: Büro:

Geo- und Umweltforschungszentrum (GUZ)

Universität Tübingen

Schnarrenbergstr. 94-96
72076 Tübingen


Room 3I40, GUZ



tobias.lauerspam prevention@ifg.uni-tuebingen.de

Sprechzeiten: Nach Vereinbarung

Research Interests:

I am the laboratory head of the dating and sediment analyses laboratory at the GUZ (Geo- and Environmental Center) at Tübingen University (Terrestrial Sedimentology). My focus is on geochronology (specifically luminescence dating), quaternary, palaeolithic and palaeoenvironmental research. My main aim is to unravel sedimentological systems and to understand how climatic shifts in the past determined changes in palaeoenvironment.

In a DFG funded project (249.350 EUR) we are currently investigating the characteristics and potential of a yellow stimulated feldspar luminescence signal with the aim to date Quaternary sediments.

I am also participating in the project "Climate Change and Early Humans in the North (CCEHN)". I am here PI of the geochronology part (242.220 EUR):






Reviews and Editorials

Review activities

  • Quaternary Science Reviews
  • PNAS
  • Quaternary Geochronology
  • Catena
  • Geomorphology
  • Geochronometria
  • Quaternary Science Journal
  • Austrian Journal of Earthsciences
  • Radiation Measurements
  • Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie
  • Journal of Human Evolution
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
  • Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology
  • Journal of Mountain Science
  • Reviewer for the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH)


Editorial board: Quaternary International

Special issues:

Bridgland, D., Lauer, T., Stokes, M., (2024): Evolution of fluvial systems in Eurasia at different time scales (Dedicated to the memory of Rob Westaway). Geomorphology

Cordier, S., Kalicki, T., Lauer, T., Rixhon, G., Van Balen, R. (2020). Unraveling fluvial system evolution - Timescales and forcing. Geomorphology

Zielhofer, C., Suchodoletz, H. v., Lauer, T., Heinrich, J. (2014). Climatic signals in geomorphological systems. Approaches from aeolian, fluvial, colluvial, periglacial, coastal, and man-made geomorphological systems. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, 58/1.


Since March 2022 Lab leader, Terrestrial Sedimentology

Geo- and Environmental Center (GUZ) - Universität Tübingen

Chronological- and sedimentological work on quaternary sites with focus on Central Europe and Asia; Palaeoenvironmental research based on terrestrial sediment archives. Methodological work in optical dating; Student supervision; Teaching; Laboratory management;

PI of the DFG founded project on yellow light feldspar stimulation

2015 - 2022

Postdoctoral Researcher
at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution

Since 2016: Head of the MPI EVA Luminescence- and Infrared-Radiofluorescence dating laboratory.

Chronological, geomorphological, sedimentological and palaeoenvironmental studies on archaeological/ quaternary sites with focus on Central- and Eastern Europe;

May 2019-July 2019: Research stipend at the Université du Québec à Montréal


Postdoctoral Researcher
at the Leibniz-Institute of Applied Geophysics
Involved in the research project “Northern Iranian loess and its palaeoclimatic implication”; chronological, stratigraphical and sedimentological studies, application of various luminescence dating techniques, coordinator of a field campaign to the northern Iranian loess-plateau


Researcher/ Postdoctoral Researcher
at the Geographical Institute Leipzig

Lectures in physical geography, supervising of students/ BA theses, research in the field of quaternary sciences, geochronology, palaeoenvironmental studies/geomorphology and sedimentology


PhD thesis
at the Leibniz-Institute of Applied Geophysics (LIAG)
in Hannover in the working group of Prof. Manfred Frechen
Title of the thesis: Luminescence and infrared-radiofluorescence dating of fluvial deposits from the Rhine system – methodological aspects and new insights into quaternary geochronology


Studies of Geography (main subject), Geology and Political Sciences  

at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen (Germany);


Erasmus at the Université Aix-Marseille I, Aix-en-Provence, France

External lectureships



Geographical Institute Leipzig; 1 SWS, MA-students

Seminar on palaeoenvironmental research

2021; 2020; 2018; 2017; 2016; 2015

Geographical Institute Giessen, 4 SWS, BA-students

(Online) seminar + excursion: Soils; periglacial slope deposits; geomorphological processes; geology of South-West Germany; loess


Geographical Institute Leipzig; 2 SWS, BA-students

Seminar on periglacial environments + excursion on Pleistocene sediment archives


Geographical Institute Leipzig;
5-days field trip focusing on landscape evolution, periglacial processes, soil development and geoecology in south-west Germany


Geographical Institute Würzburg;
4-days field trip focusing on periglacial slope deposits and soil development in south-west Germany


Geographical Institute of the FU Berlin; 2 SWS, BA-students
Course on laboratory methods in Physical Geography



Buller, A,M. et al. (with Tobias Lauer), 2024. The environmental and cultural background for the reoccupation of the Armenian Highlands after the Last Glacial Maximum: The contribution of Kalavan 6. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 56; 1045540.


Aquino, A., Scardia, G., Prud’homme, C., Dava, A.K., Lezzerini, M., Engström Johansson, A., Marquer, L.,Sfaraliev, N., Lauer, T., Fitzsimmons, K.E., 2024. Variability in geochemical weathering indices in loess over the last full glacial cycle at Karamaidan, central Asia (Tajikistan)., Front. Earth Sci, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2024.1347910

Mylopotamitaki, D., Weiss, M., Fewlass, H.*, Zavala, E.I.*, Rougier, H., Sümer, A.P., Hajdinjak, M., Smith, G.M., Ruebens, K., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Pederzani, S., Essel, E., Harking, F.S., Xia, H., Hansen, J., Kirchner, A., Lauer, T., Stahlschmidt, M., Hein, M., Talamo, S., Wacker, L., Meller, H., Dietl, H., Orschiedt, J., Olsen, J.V., Zeberg, H., Prüfer, K., Krause, J., Meyer, M., Welker, F., McPherron, S.P., Schüler, T., Hublin, J.-J., 2024. Homo sapiens reached the higher latitudes of Europe by 45,000 years ago. Naturehttps://doi.org/ 10.1038/s41586-023-06923-7

Pederzani, S., Britton, K., Trost, M., Fewlass, H., Bourgon, N., McCormack, J., Jaouen, K., Dietl, H., Döhle, H.-J., Kirchner, A., Lauer, T., Le Corre, M., McPherron, S.P., Meller, H., Mylopotamitaki, D., Orschiedt, J., Rougier, H., Ruebens, K., Schüler, T., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Smith, G., Talamo, S., Tütken, T., Welker, F., Zavala, E.I., Weiss, M., Hublin, J.-J. Stable isotopes show Homo sapiens dispersed into cold steppes ~45,000 years ago at Ilsenhöhle in Ranis, Germany. Nat. Ecol. Evol. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-023- 02318-z


Archer, W., Presnyakova, D., Aldeias, V., Colarossi, D., Hutten, L., Lauer, T., Porraz, G., Rossouw, L., Shaw, M. (2023) Late Acheulean occupations at Montagu Cave and the pattern of Middle Pleistocene behavioral change in Western Cape, southern Africa. Journal of Human Evolution, 103435.


Sherriff, J.E., Petrosyan, A., Rogall, D., Nora, D., Frahm, E., Lauer, T., Karambaglidis, T., Knul, M.V., Vettese, D., Arakelyan, D., Gur-Arieh, S., Vidal-Matutano, P., Morales, J., Fewlass, H., Blockley, S.P.E., Timms, R., Adigyozalyan, A., Haydosyan, H., Glauberman, P., Gasparyan, B., Malinsky-Buller, A. (2023) Palaeoenvironmental and chronological context of hominin occupations of the Armenian Highlands during MIS 3: Evidence from Ararat-1 cave. Quaternary Science Advances, 100122


Tinapp, C., Selzer, J., Döhlert-Albani, N., Fischer, B., Heinrich, S., Herbig, C., Kreienbrink, F., Lauer, T., Schneider, B., Stäuble, H. (2023) Late Weichselian–Holocene valley development of the Elbe valley near Dresden – linking sedimentation, soil formation and archaeology. Quatrernary Science Journal (E&G) 72/1, 95-111.



Barbieri, A., Maier, A., Lauer, T., Mischeka, C., Hattermann, M., Uthmeier, T., 2022. Post-LGM environments and foragers on the move: New data from the lower Altmühl Valley (Franconian Jura, SE Germany). Journal of Human Evolution, 173.


Winsemann, J., Hartmann, T., Lang, J., Fälber, R., Lauer, T., 2022. Depositional architecture and aggradation rates of sand-rich, supercritical alluvial fans: control by autogenic processes or high-frequency climatic oscillations? Sedimentary Geology 440.

Kirchner, A., Karaschewski, J., Schulte, P., Wunderlich, T., Lauer, T., 2022.Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Floodplain Evolution in Central Europe—Insights from the Upper Unstrut Catchment (NW-Thuringia/Germany). Geosciences 12(8):28.

Key, A., Lauer, T., Skinner, M.M., Pope, M., Bridgland, D.R., Noble, L., Proffitt, T. (2022). On the earliest Acheulean in Britain: first dates and in-situ artefacts from the MIS 15 site of Fordwich (Kent, UK). Royal Society Open Science 9, 211904.

Weiss, M., Hein, M., Urban, B., Stahlschmidt, M.C., Heinrich, M., Hilbert, Y.H., Power, R.C., Suchodoletz, H., Terberger, T., Böhner, U., Klimscha, F., Veil, S., Breest, K., Schmidt, J., Colarossi, D., Tucci, M., Frechen, M., Tanner, D.C., Lauer, T. (2022). Neanderthals in changing environments from MIS 5 to early MIS 4 in northern Central Europe – Integrating archaeological, (chrono)stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental evidence at the site of Lichtenberg. Quaternary Science Reviews 284, 107519.


Murari, M.K., Kreutzer, S., Frouin, M., Friedrich, J., Lauer, T., Klasen, N., Schmidt, C., Tsukamoto, S., Richter, D., Mercier, N. & Fuchs, M. (2021). Infrared Radiofluorescence (IR-RF): An inter-lab comparison. Geochronometria.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/geochr-2021-0007

Pederzani, S. C., Britton, K., Aldeias, V., Bourgon, N., Fewlass, H., Lauer, T., McPherron, S. P., Rezek, Z., Sirakov, N., Smith, G. M., Spasov, R., Tran, N.-H., Tsanova, T., & Hublin, J.-J. (2021). Subarctic climate for the earliest Homo sapiens in Europe. Science Advances, 7(39): abi4642.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abi4642

Hein, M., Urban, B., Tanner, D. C., Buness, A. H., Tucci, M., Hoelzmann, P., Dietel, S., Kaniecki, M., Schultz, J., Kasper, T., Suchodoletz, H., Schwalb, A., Weiss, M., & Lauer, T. (2021). Eemian landscape response to climatic shifts and evidence for northerly Neanderthal occupation at a palaeolake margin in Northern Germany (advance online). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, esp.5219.

Cordier, S., Kalicki, T., Lauer, T., Rixhon, G., & van Balen, R. (2021). Twenty-five years of FLAG activity: Concepts, foci, trends in research. Geomorphology, 373: 107443.

Malinsky-Buller, A., Glauberman, P., Ollivier, V., Lauer, T., Timms, R., Frahm, E., Brittingham, A., Triller, B., Kindler, L., Knul, M. V., Krakovsky, M., Joannin, S., Hren, M. T., Bellier, O., Clark, A. A., Blockley, S. P. E., Arakelyan, D., Marreiros, J., Paixaco, E., Calandra, I., Ghukasyan, R., Nora, D., Nir, N., Adigyozalyan, A., Haydosyan, H., & Gasparyan, B. (2021). Short-term occupations at high elevation during the Middle Paleolithic at Kalavan 2 (Republic of Armenia). PLoS One, 16: e0245700. 

Murari, M. K., Kreutzer, S., King, G., Frouin, M., Tsukamoto, S., Schmidt, C., Lauer, T., Klasen, N., Richter, D., Friedrich, J., Mercier, N., & Fuchs, M. (2021). Infrared radiofluorescence (IR-RF) dating: A review. Quaternary Geochronology, 64: 101155.


Lauer, T., Weiss, M., Bernhardt, W., Heinrich, S., Rappsilber, I., Stahlschmidt, M. C., von Suchodoletz, H., & Wansa, S. (2020). The Middle Pleistocene fluvial sequence at Uichteritz, central Germany: Chronological framework, paleoenvironmental history and early human presence during MIS 11. Geomorphology, 354: 107016.

Faust, D., Kreutzer, S., Trigui, Y., Pachtmann, M., Mettig, G., Bouaziz, M., Recio Espejo, J. M., Diaz del Olmo, F., Schmidt, C., Lauer, T., Rezek, Z., Fülling, A., & Meszner, S. (2020). New findings of Middle Stone Age lithic artifacts from the Matmata loess region in southern Tunisia. E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 69(1), 55-58. 

Flašarová, K., Strouhalová, B., Šefrna, L., Verrecchia, E., Lauer, T., Juřičková, L., Kolařík, P., & Ložek, V. (2020). Multiproxy evidence of middle and Late Pleistocene environmental changes in the loess-paleosol sequence of Bůhzdař (Czech Republic). Quaternary International, 552, 4-14.

Hein, M., Weiss, M., Otcherednoy, A., & Lauer, T. (2020). Luminescence chronology of the key-Middle Paleolithic site Khotylevo I (Western Russia) - Implications for the timing of occupation, site formation and landscape evolution. Quaternary Science Advances, 2: 100008.


Moroni, A., Boschian, G., Crezzini, J., Montanari-Canini, G., Marciani, G., Capecchi, G., Arrighi, S., Aureli, D., Berto, C., Freguglia, M., Araujo, A., Scaramucci, S., Hublin, J.-J., Lauer, T., Benazzi, S., Parenti, F., Bonato, M., Ricci, S., Talamo, S., Segre, A. G., Boschin, F., & Spagnolo, V. (2019). Late Neandertals in central Italy. High-resolution chronicles from Grotta dei Santi (Monte Argentario - Tuscany). Quaternary Science Reviews, 217, 130-151. 

von Suchodoletz, H., Tinapp, C., Lauer, T., Glaser, B., Stäuble, H., Kühn, P., & Zielhofer, C. (2019). Distribution of Chernozems and Phaeozems in Central Germany during the Neolithic period. Quaternary International, 511, 166-184.

Wiśniewski, A., Lauer, T., Chłoń, M., Pyżewicz, K., Weiss, M., Badura, J., Kalicki, T., & Zarzecka-Szubińska, K. (2019). Looking for provisioning places of shaped tools of the late Neanderthals: Astudy of a Micoquian open-air site, Pietraszyn 49a (southwestern Poland) = À la recherche des lieux d’approvisionnement en outils des derniers néandertaliens: étude d’un site micoquien de plein air, Pietraszyn 49a (Sud-Ouest de la Pologne). Comptes Rendus Palevol, 18(3), 367-389.


Lang, J., Lauer, T., & Winsemann, J. (2018). New age constraints for the Saalian glaciation in northern central Europe: Implications for the extent of ice sheets and related proglacial lake systems. Quaternary Science Reviews, 180, 240-259.

Lauer, T., & Weiss, M. (2018). Timing of the Saalian- and Elsterian glacial cycles and the implications for Middle – Pleistocene hominin presence in central Europe. Scientific Reports, 8: 5111.

Vlaminck, S., Kehl, M., Rolf, C., Franz, S. O., Lauer, T., Lehndorff, E., Frechen, M., & Khormali, F. (2018). Late Pleistocene dust dynamics and pedogenesis in Southern Eurasia – Detailed insights from the loess profile Toshan (NE Iran). Quaternary Science Reviews, 180, 75-95.

Weiss, M., Lauer, T., Wimmer, R., & Pop, C. (2018). The variability of the Keilmesser-Concept: A case study from central Germany. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, 1(3), 202-246.

Zielhofer, C., Wellbrock, K., al-Souliman, A. S., von Grafenstein, M., Schneider, B., Fitzsimmons, K., Stele, A., Lauer, T., von Suchodoletz, H., Grottker, M., & Gebel, H. G. K. (2018). Climate forcing and shifts in water management on the Northwest Arabian Peninsula (mid-Holocene Rasif wetlands, Saudi Arabia). Quaternary International, 473, Part A, 120-140.


Lauer, T., Frechen, M., & Fischer, P. (2017). Luminescence dating of the Lower Middle Terrace site at Brühl, southern Lower Rhine Embayment – a first dating approach. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 168(1), 105-114.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1127/zdgg/2017/0109

Lauer, T., Frechen, M., Vlaminck, S., Kehl, M., Lehndorff, E., Shahriari, A., & Khormali, F. (2017). Luminescence-chronology of the loess palaeosol sequence Toshan, Northern Iran: A highly resolved climate archive for the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Quaternary International, 429(Part B), 3-12.

Lauer, T., Vlaminck, S., Frechen, M., Rolf, C., Kehl, M., Sharifi, J., Lehndorff, E., & Khormali, F. (2017). The Agh Band loess-palaeosol sequence – A terrestrial archive for climatic shifts during the last and penultimate glacial–interglacial cycles in a semiarid region in northern Iran. Quaternary International, 429(Part B), 13-30.

Tsukamoto, S., Kondo, R., Lauer, T., & Jain, M. (2017). Pulsed IRSL: A stable and fast bleaching luminescence signal from feldspar for dating Quaternary sediments. Quaternary Geochronology, 41, 26-36.

Vliet-Lanoë, B. V., Lauer, T., Meurisse-Fort, M., Gosselin, G., & Frechen, M. (2017). Late Holocene coastal dune activity along the Dover Strait, Northern France: Insights into Middle Ages and Little Ice Age coastal dynamics constrained by optically stimulated luminescence dating. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften = German Journal of Geology, 168(1), 53-66. 
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1127/zdgg/2016/0043

Wang, X., Wei, H., Khormali, F., Taheri, M., Kehl, M., Frechen, M., Lauer, T., & Chen, F. (2017). Grain-size distribution of Pleistocene loess deposits in northern Iran and its palaeoclimatic implications. Quaternary International, 429(Part B), 41-51.

Zielhofer, C., Fletcher, W. J., Mischke, S., De Batist, M., Campbell, J. F. E., Joannin, S., Tjallingii, R., El Hamouti, N., Junginger, A., Stele, A., Bussmann, J., Schneider, B., Lauer, T., Spitzer, K., Strupler, M., Brachert, T., & Mikdad, A. (2017). Atlantic forcing of Western Mediterranean winter rain minima during the last 12,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 157, 29-51.


Vlaminck, S., Kehl, M., Lauer, T., Shahriari, A., Sharifi, J., Eckmeier, E., Lehndorff, E., Khormali, F., & Frechen, M. (2016). Loess-soil sequence at Toshan (Northern Iran): Insights into late Pleistocene climate change. Quaternary International, 399, 122-135.


Lauer, T. (2015). Radioluminescence (RL). In W. J. Rink, & J. W. Thompson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods (pp. 685-685). New York [u.a.]: Springer.


Kreutzer, S., Lauer, T., Meszner, S., Krbetschek, M., Faust, D., & Fuchs, M. (2014). Chronology of the Quaternary profile Zeuchfeld in Saxony-Anhalt / Germany: A preliminary luminescence dating study. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues, 58(1), 5-26.
DOI: https://www.schweizerbart.de/papers/zfg_suppl/detail/58/81990/Chronology_of_the_Quaternary_profile_Zeuchfeld_in_?af=crossref

Lauer, T., Von Suchodoletz, H., Vollmann, H., Meszner, S., Frechen, M., Tinapp, C., Goldmann, L., Müller, S., & Zielhofer, C. (2014). Landscape aridification in Central Germany during the late Weichselian Pleniglacial – results from the Zauschwitz loess site in western Saxony. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues, 58(1), 27-50.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0372-8854/2013/S-00163


Cordier, S., Harmand, D., Lauer, T., Voinchet, P., Bahain, J.-J., & Frechen, M. (2012). Geochronological reconstruction of the Pleistocene evolution of the Sarre valley (France and Germany) using OSL and ESR dating techniques. Geomorphology, 165–166, 91-106.

Cordier, S., Lauer, T., Harmand, D., Frechen, M., & Brkojewitch, G. (2012). Fluvial response to climatic and anthropogenic forcing in the Moselle drainage basin (NE France) during historical periods: evidence from OSL dating. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 37(11), 1167-1175.

Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Mauz, B., & Frechen, M. (2012). Yellow stimulated luminescence from potassium feldspar: Observations on its suitability for dating. Radiation Measurements, 47(10), 974-980.


Lauer, T., Frechen, M., Klostermann, J., Krbetschek, M., Schollmayer, G., & Tsukamoto, S. (2011). Luminescence dating of Last Glacial and Early Holocene fluvial deposits from the Lower Rhine: Methodological aspects and chronological framework. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 162(1), 47-61.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1127/1860-1804/2011/0162-0047

Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Frechen, M., Tsukamoto, S., Hoselmann, C., & Weidenfeller, M. (2011). Geoarchaeological studies on Roman time harbour sediments in Cologne: comparison of different OSL dating techniques. Geochronometria, 38(4), 341-349.
DOI: https://www.sciendo.com/article/10.2478/s13386-011-0020-y

Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Frechen, M., Tsukamoto, S., Hoselmann, C., & Weidenfeller, M. (2011). Infrared radiofluorescence (IR-RF) dating of middle pleistocene fluvial archives of the Heidelberg Basin (Southwest Germany). Geochronometria, 38(1), 23-33.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/s13386-011-0006-9

Lüthgens, C., Böse, M., Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Strahl, J., & Wenske, D. (2011). Timing of the last interglacial in Northern Europe derived from Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of a terrestrial Saalian–Eemian–Weichselian sedimentary sequence in NE-Germany. Quaternary International, 241(1–2), 79-96.


Lauer, T., Frechen, M., Hoselmann, C., & Tsukamoto, S. (2010). Fluvial aggradation phases in the Upper Rhine Graben: New insights by quartz OSL dating. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association,121(2), 154-161.