January 2024

Happy new year! We start the year with a couple of exciting things:

Our erstwhile postdoc, Dr. Aditi K. Dave (now Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania), has just been awarded the ECR Outstanding Paper Award for 2023 from Journal of Quaternary Science. Aditi’s paper, “The patchwork loess of Central Asia: Implications for interpreting aeolian dynamics and past climate circulation in piedmont regions” was completed while she was in our group in Tübingen. Congratulations Aditi!

Our big synthesis of loess ages and environmental proxy data for Asia was published in npj Climate and Atmospheric Science. This was a huge undertaking involving many research groups, and coordinated by our colleague Prof. Guoqiang Li of Lanzhou University (China). The paper is open access and can be accessed  on the stable link here:

October 2023

Our lab-leader Tobias Lauer was elected to be a member of the "Subkommission Quartär der Deutschen Stratigraphischen Kommission"

September 2023

Group members Victoria Schwarz (MSc student) and Kathryn Fitzsimmons have just returned from successful fieldwork in southeastern Australia, investigating records of hydroclimate in drought-prone areas from both the land surface and subsurface. This fieldwork was funded by our DAAD-Universities Australia grant and was undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Monika Markowska (postdoc, MPIC) and Felix Lauer (PhD student, University of Melbourne). Watch this space for the YouTube video in the coming months!

August 2023

Our recently completed BSc student, Lorenz Fischer, just published his work in the international peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Earth Sciences. In this article, he introduces his new toolkit for characterizing desert dunefield morphology over large scales – using entirely open-source software, datasets and code. The paper is completely open access too. Congratulations, Lorenz!

July 2023

We are happy to announce that our postdoc, Dr. Kanchan Mishra, has been awarded funding in the form of the University of Tübingen Program for the promotion of junior researchers (32700 EUR). Kanchan will be using remote sensing and hydrological techniques to investigate degradation thresholds in dryland rivers in Central Asia. Congratulations Kanchan!

March 2023

Our working group is on YouTube! Follow our exploits in the field. Our YouTube Channel is now active and our 2022 film from fieldwork in Kazakhstan – edited by MSc student Kai Szichta and with soundtrack by Andreas Wilhelm – is now online. More to come as our intrepid AG goes on more adventures!

February 2023

We are excited to announce that we have been awarded the Thesiger-Oman International Fellowship from the Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers. This fellowship is awarded to our collaboration with Prof. Nosir Safaraliev (Tajik National University) and will support an expedition to Tajikistan in the summer to investigate the risk of sediment mobilization in Central Asian drylands in the context of climate change. This research project forms the focus of Qutbudin Ishanch’s PhD.

November 2022

21 November 2022

Today we published our work on the reconstruction of quantitative climate parameters within terrestrial loess deposits in Nature Communications Earth and Environment. This study, which focused on earthworm calcite granules as an exciting new proxy for past climate, was led by our previous postdoc, Dr. Charlotte Prud’homme. The work forms part of a DFG-funded grant in collaboration with researchers from JGU Mainz, Dr. Peter Fischer and Prof. Andreas Vött.

You can read our press release here.

We are happy to announce that we have been funded by the DAAD-Universities Australia for a Project-related Personal Exchange (PPP) to work on the theme of hydroclimatic change on desert margins in Australia. This will be a cooperation with Dr. Monika Markowska (MPIC), Prof. Russell Drysdale (Uni Melbourne) and Prof. Kira Rehfeld (Uni Tübingen). Looking forward to it!

October 2022

We welcome two new colleagues to our group:

Dr. Kanchan Mishra is joining us as a postdoc, working on remote sensing and GIS of linked hydrological and aeolian systems.

Mr. Qutbudin Ishanch is joining us as our first PhD student, on a DAAD-University of Central Asia scholarship. He will be working on the risk and characteristics of sediment mobilization in dryland Central Asia.

Welcome, Kanchan and Ishanch!

August 2022

This month we successfully completed fieldwork in southeastern Kazakhstan. We tackled two separate scientific problems:

  1. Sampling of loess records relating to the dynamics of northerly wind systems associated with the polar jet migration and Siberian High. Team members included Kathryn Fitzsimmons, Andrea Aquino and Kai Szichta from our group.
  2. Sampling of Anthropocene lake sediments in high altitude environments of the Tien Shan. This work was a collaboration between Kathryn Fitzsimmons, Annett Junginger (Uni Tübingen), Bernd Wagner (Uni Cologne), Pavani Misra (EAWAG) and Saida Nigmatova (Institute for Geological Sciences K. Satpaeva)

Here are some happy snaps from the field:

July 2022

This month we farewell two members of our group:

Dr. Aditi Dave is starting a new postdoc at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, with Prof. Alida Timar-Gabor.

Dr. Sonal Khanolkar is starting a new postdoc in the ocean circulation and climate dynamics group at GEOMAR, Kiel.

We wish both of you all the best in your new posts!

March 2022 

We welcome two new colleagues to our group:


Dr. Sonal Khanolkar is joining us as a postdoc, working on quantifying the risk and vulnerability of Central Asian rangelands to climate change and land use.

Dr. Tobias Lauer is joining us as lab leader for our laboratories.

Welcome, Sonal and Tobias!


Andrea successfully defended his PhD thesis at the University of Pisa (Italy) this month. Congratulations, Dr. Aquino!

Also: those interested in sediments and Central Asia may be interested in watching the following talks held this month:

November 2021

Andrea Aquino officially joined our group as a postdoc, having submitted his PhD thesis to the University of Pisa (Italy) in October. Welcome Andrea!

October 2021

Prof. Fitzsimmons’ experience of motherhood in science was reported online here.

September 2021

Exciting times ahead! The Terrestrial Sedimentology Group got started this month at the University of Tübingen. The Group currently comprises:


  • Kathryn Fitzsimmons, Professor of Terrestrial Sedimentology
  • Aditi Dave, postdoc in geochronology

In addition, Dr. Dave was awarded the Martin Aitken Prize for Fundamental Research at the 16th International Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating Conference. Congratulations Aditi!