Heidelberg University
Institute of Earth Sciences
Im Neuenheimer Feld 236
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 54-8291
Fax: +49 6221 54-5503


Palynology & Paleoenvironmental Dynamics


Laurin Kolb, M.Sc.





Institute of Earth Sciences

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Im Neuenheimer Feld 234

D-69120 Heidelberg





+49 (0)6221-54 4830

+49 (0)6221-54 5503


Profile Pic Laurin Kolb




Research Profile:

My PhD project aims to unravel terrestrial ecosystem and climate dynamics in SE Africa during the ‘mid’-Pliocene to early Pleistocene (c. 4 to 2 Ma) through the establishment of a land-sea correlation using core material from IODP Expedition 361.

Methodologically, the project goal will be reached through the integration of palynological (pollen and spores), element-geochemical (XRF core scanning) and organic biomarker datasets from IODP Site U1478 (Mozambique Channel, off the Limpopo River mouth).

The generated dataset will allow detailed assessment of the character, timing, magnitude, and tempo of ecosystem and climate variability in the catchment area of the Limpopo River, which covers a major part of SE Africa. By extension, the project results will shed new light on the ongoing discussion on potential causal links between environmental forcing and the emergence and extinction of archaic hominids (notably Australopithecus africanus) in SE Africa. 


Short CV:

since 10/2020

PhD student within the Paleoenvironmental Dynamics Group at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Heidelberg University. Supervisors: Dr. Andreas Koutsodendris, Prof. Jörg Pross


M.Sc. in Geography (with a focus on Physical Geography) at the Geographical Institute, Heidelberg University.
Title of MSc Thesis: "Sediments from the Sanxingmei Pond (Taiwan) as an archive of Holocene climate dynamics [in German]" Supervisors: PD Dr. André Bahr, Dr. Bertil Mächtle


BSc in Geography at the Geographical Institute, Göttingen University.
Title of BSc Thesis: "Reconstruction of a Pleistocene glacier in Quebrada Cojup, Peru [in German]" Supervisors: apl. Prof. Lasafam Iturrizaga, Dr. Michael Klinge


Field Work / Scientific Expeditions:


2021 RV AEGAEO, EUROFLEETS+ cruise, SW Aegean Sea

Six-week research visit at the National Taiwan University, including participation in a coring campaign at Sanxingmei (Taiwan)




Best Poster Award, IODP/ICDP Colloquium 2022 Potsdam


ECORD Research Grant 2021 for a short term research visit at Notre Dame University, USA



Conference Contributions:

[3] Kolb, L., Koutsodendris, A., Berke, M., Taylor, A., Pross, J. (2023): Terrestrial ecosystem change during critical periods of early hominin evolution in SE Africa over the past 4 Ma. INQUA Conference 2023, Roma.

[2] Kolb, L., Koutsodendris, A., Berke, M., Taylor, A., Pross, J. (2022): Ecosystem change in SE Africa during critical periods of early hominin evolution between 4 and 1.8 Ma. IODP/ICDP Colloquium 2022, Potsdam.

[1] Macho, G., Neubauer, S., Kuykendall, K., Berke, M., Hopley, P., Koutsodendris, K., Kolb, L., Caley, T. (2022): The Taung Child revisited. East Africa Association for Paleoanthropologists & Paleontologists (EAAPP) Conference, Arusha.


(as of 03/2023)


[2] Koutsodendris, A., Dakos, V., Fletcher, W.J., Knipping, M., Kotthoff, U., Milner, A.M., Müller, U.C., Kaboth-Bahr, S., Kern, O.A., Kolb, L., Vakhrameeva, P., Wulf, S., Christanis, K., Schmiedl, G., Pross, J., 2023. Atmospheric CO2 forcing on Mediterranean biomes during the past 500 kyrs. Nature Communications 14, 1664.


[1]  Koutsodendris, A.Auer, G., Beny, F., Iatrou, M., Kern, O., Kolb, L., Livanos, I., Mantopoulos, P., Martinot, C., Meier, K., Morfis, I., Panagiotopoulos, I., Paraschos, F., Sakellariou, D., Tsampouraki-Kraounaki, K., 2021. Climate dynamics and environmental change in the Aegean Sea during the Holocene. EUROFLEETS+ Cruise Report ‘MYRTOON’, September 30th – October 9th, Piraeus (Greece) – Piraeus (Greece), 1-19. 


Editor: Email
Latest Revision: 2023-07-27
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