Prof. Dr. Kathryn Fitzsimmons

Professor of Terrestrial Sedimentology

Anschrift: Büro:

Geo- und Umweltforschungszentrum (GUZ)

Universität Tübingen

Schnarrenbergstr. 94-96
72076 Tübingen


Room 2O40, GUZ


Sprechzeiten: Nach Vereinbarung

Research Interests:

Reconstructing records and rates of Quaternary palaeoenvironmental change and human-environmental interaction using luminescence dating, geomorphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology, with a focus on arid, semi-arid and loess steppe environments.

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Habilitation, Physical Geography, University of Leipzig

Addressing the challenge of reconstructing palaeoenvironments in studies of human-environmental interactions.

PhD, Quaternary geology, Australian National University

The late Quaternary history of aridity in the Strzelecki and Tirari Desert dunefields, South Australia.

BSc (Honours), Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne

Diploma of Modern Languages, German, University of Melbourne


Since 2021
Professor (W3) of Terrestrial Sedimentology, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Tübingen

Max Planck Research Group Leader (W2), Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz

Privatdozentin (Associate Professor), Institute for Geography, University of Leipzig

Junior researcher (postdoc), Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Postdoc, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

Research Grants and Funding:


2017-2021 Max Planck Research Group, Max Planck Society. Fitzsimmons. (EUR 2 000 000)
2019-2021 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Fitzsimmons, Fujioka, Fink, Scardia. (AUD 100 000)
2017-2020 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Sachbeihilfe. Fischer, Fitzsimmons, Vött. (EUR 258 000)
2016-2018 National Science Foundation USA. Zwyns et al. (Fitzsimmons Senior Scientist). (USD 228)
2012-2014 National Science Foundation USA. Braun, Levin (Fitzsimmons Senior Scientist). (USD 169 000)
2012-2013 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Fitzsimmons, Solongo. (EUR 8 300)

Australian Research Council Discovery Project. Shulmeister et al. (AUD 360 000)


Australian Research Council Discovery Project (ARC Postdoc declined). Stern, Fitzsimmons, Murray-Wallace. (AUD 406 462)


Max Planck Society. Iovita, Fitzsimmons, Dobos. (EUR 24 500)


Australian National University College of Science. Fitzsimmons. (AUD 8 300)


Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration. Fitzsimmons. (AUD 34 000)



2016 Hans-Bobek-Preis für Geographie. Österreichische Geographische Gesellschaft. (EUR 2 000)
2014 Albert-Maucher-Preis für Geowissenschaften. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. (EUR 10 000)
2007 Director’s Prize for Scientific Communication. Australian National University

Student Travel Prize, Australasian Quaternary Association

Graduate Student supervision:



BSc Pascal Lang (University of Leipzig): Land use change and ENSO cycles at Lake George, SE Australia

2021 BSc Paola Kirchhof (University of Leipzig/Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)): Können Ökosystemleistungen zur Resilienz von Städten gegenüber Hitze beitragen?
2018- PhD Alexandra Engström Johansson (MPI/ Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz): Palaeoclimate reconstruction in Central Asia using organic geochemistry



PhD Aditi Dave (MPI/Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz): Geochronology of Central Asian loess deposits (magna cum laude)

2021 BSc Felix Hettwer (MPI/ Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz): Palaeoclimate reconstruction based on stable isotope analyses of biogenic carbonates
2020 MSc Maike Nowatzki (MPI/ University of Tübingen): Automated cartography of aeolian landforms along the Tien Shan piedmont

PhD Nina Dörschner (MPI/University of Leiden): Chronology and environmental context of archaeological sites, Morocco

2012 PhD Anja Guhl (MPI/University of Leipzig – Cum Laude): Addressing the challenges of dating archaeological sites, Jonzac, France

Postdoc supervision:


2017-2021 Charlotte Prud’homme (now University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Laurent Marquer (now University of Innsbruck, Austria)

Practicum/intern supervision:


2020-2021 Andrea Aquino, PhD, Universitá di Pisa, Italy
2019 Yao Zhang, PhD, Lanzhou University, China

Christian Laag, MSc, University of Bayreuth, Germany


Kristina Reetz, MSc, University of Mainz, Germany


Maike Nowatzki, MSc, University of Tübingen


Yue Li, PhD, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Editorial and review responsibilities:


Guest Associate Editor, Research Topic Environmental change in drylands: Past, present, future, Frontiers in Earth Science, 2020-

Associate Editor, Geological Magazine, 2021-

Associate Editor, Journal of Palaeolithic Archaeology , 2017-

Preprint Moderator, EGUsphere, 2020-

Editor, Quaternary Australasia, 2007-2015

Reviewer (journals):

Nature; Scientific Reports, Geology; Quaternary Science Reviews; Quaternary Geochronology; Journal of Quaternary Science; Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology; Quaternary Research; Quaternary International; Journal of Palaeolimnology; Frontiers in Earth Science; Journal of Archaeological Science; Journal of Human Evolution; Geochronometria; Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.

Reviewer (funding):

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG); Humboldt Stiftung; National Science Foundation (NSF-USA); Australian Research Council (ARC); US-Israel Science Foundation; Czech Research Council; Kazakh Research Council; Serbian Research Council.

Leadership and administration:


2019-2021 Speaker for Max Planck Research Group Leaders, Chemistry-Physics-Technology Section, Max Planck Society

Conference Organiser, German/Central European Luminescence Meeting (DLED)

2014 Steering Committee Member, INTIMATE: Integrating Ice Core, Marine and Terrestrial Records

Scientific Committee, Aeolian Deposits in Earth History Conference, Beijing


Executive Committee, Australasian Quaternary Association

2009-2012 Regional Coordinator, OZ-INTIMATE: Australasian Integration of Ice Core, Marine and Terrestrial Records

Conference field trip organizer, International Association of Geomorphologists


Conference Organiser, Australian Luminescence Dating Workshop

2007 Conference field trip organizer, International Quaternary Association (INQUA) Conference
2005-2006 Facilitator, Canberra node meetings, Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration

Field trip organizer, ANU Graduate Program

Institutional Visits:



Affiliated Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany

2019 School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Institute for Geography, University of Cologne, Germany

2009 School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales (Australian Defence Force Academy Campus), Australia

Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Aberystwyth, UK


Scottish Universities’ Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), UK