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Dr. Alexander Rohrmann

foto arohrmann

Department of Earth Sciences

Institute of Geological Sciences

Tectonics and Sedimentary Systems

Researcher

Address
Malteserstr. 74-100
Room B 102
12249 Berlin

Employment

2019 - present

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Department of Geological Sciences

  • Interactions between climate, erosion, and sediment transport (terrestrial to marine)
  • Field study area is Sumatra, Indonesia

Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

2018 - 2019

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften,

  • Investigation of biosphere, climate, paleohydrology, and Asian Monsoons
  • Field studies near Xining, China

Universität Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany

2016 - 2018

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

  • Interactions between climate, erosion, hydrology, and fluvial processes
  • Field study area is Eastern Tibet, China

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

2015 - 2016

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften

  • Investigation of biosphere, climate, paleohydrology, and tectonics
  • Field studies near Salta, Argentina
Universität Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany

Education

 

2015

Dr. rerum naturalium, Geology

  • Dissertation title: The Role of Wind and Water in Shaping Earth’s Plateaus
  • Advisor: Professor Manfred Strecker
  • Area of Study: Biogeochemistry, hydrology stable isotope, tectonics

Universität Potsdam, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany

2009

M.Sc., Geology

  • Thesis title: Minimal Erosion in Central Tibet since the Eocene and Implications for Plateau Development
  • Advisor: Professor Paul Kapp
  • Area of Study: Surface processes, thermochronolgy, tectonics

University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Awards and fellowships

  • Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship – for highly qualified scientists and scholars from Germany, who just embark on their academic careers, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 

  • American Geophysical Union Outstanding Student Paper Award, Earth and Planetary Surface Processes, for Stream-water stable isotopes, moisture fluxes, complex topography and isotopic fractionation along the South Central Andes, Fall Meeting, 2012.

  • Bernd Rendel Price – highest German award for young professional geoscientists, German Science Foundation. 

  • Cover story of May’s GSA Today edition: Wind erosion in the Qaidam basin, central Asia: Implication for tectonic, paleoclimate, and the source of the Loess Plateau. 

  • Recipient of the first Farouk El-Baz Research Award – for outstanding research in arid environments and to encourage and promote desert research, Geological Society of America.

Lectures, Freie Universität Berlin

Summer term 2020 Instructor in “Introduction to spatial data analysis with Matlab and ArcGIS”                                                                          

Lectures and field trips, Universität Potsdam

Winter term 2018/2019 Instructor in “Geodynamics, Climate & Biodiversity”
Summer term 2012 Introduction to Structural Geology, Field Trip: Rhinegraben, Jura and Swiss Alps

Winter term 2011/2012

Instructor in “A systems approach to Earth Science” for Master students in Geogovernance, in collaboration with the Department of Political Sciences, Universität Potsdam

Summer term 2011 Introductory structural mapping in southern France

Introduction to Structural Geology, Field Trip: Rhinegraben, Jura and Swiss Alps

Winter term 2010/2011 Instructor in Geoscience Seminar II: “Climate, Tectonics and Sedimentology"
Summer term 2010  Introductory structural mapping in southern France
Winter term 2009/2010 Advanced structural mapping in the Pyrenees, Spain

Lectures, Oregon State University

Winter term 2016/2017

Guest lecturer in “Tectonic Geomorphology”                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Teaching assistant, University of Arizona

Fall 2008              Introduction to Stratigraphy and Sedimentology

Lipid Biomarkers | Tectonics | Geochronology | Stable Isotopes | Surface Processes | Terrestrial Sedimentology | Tectonic Geomorphology

Integrated evolution of surface processes, rivers and lakes, tectonic, and climate. Landscape, vegetation and hydrologic change in response to tectonic or climate induced processes. Biogeochemistry and stable isotopes. Satellite data.

My interest focuses on the complex feedbacks between tectonic, surface and climate processes. I take a field-based approach that entails geological mapping, structural and basin analysis, geochemistry combined with thermochronology, and cosmogenic nuclide dating to solve different aspects of spatiotemporal patterns of surface processes, vegetation and their tectonic and/or climatic forcing mechanisms.

Aims of my research efforts to date include: (1) quantifying the dynamic relationships between tectonics and climate with respect to the development of mountain belts, plateaus and biodiversity, (2) deciphering process rates at a variety of time scales to better understand the discrepancies between long-term (i.e., geological) and short-term process rates of deformation, erosion and hydrology (3) studying active and inactive thrust belts to better understand changes of tectonic style, timing of deformation, uplift and erosion of foreland systems, (4) understanding the role of climate and vegetation in shaping mountain belts, (5) determine the rates of wind erosion processes, (6) the tectonic and climate evolution of Asia and South America.

Most recently, I investigate the onset of early monsoonal conditions in East Asia and related eco-hydrological changes during the Eocene-Oligocene transition in central Asia. At the moment I investigate the response of the Tropics (Sumatra) over the Holocene to surface process changes and transport of organic material to the deep sea. In the future I hope to investigate more deeply terrestrial archives that hold valuable information of past tectonic activity, and its forcing of climatic and paleohydrologic conditions.

 

Analytical skills

Check out my newly established biomarker lab at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Compound-specific stable Leaf wax n-alkanes ∂D and ∂13C isotope analysis isotope analysis
Water stable isotope analysis ∂D and ∂18O of meteoric water
(U-Th)/He low temperature Apatite and Zircon (U-Th)/He dating thermochronology
Tectonics Tectonic and structural analysis
Quantification of erosion In-situ and meteoric cosmogenic nuclides (10Be)
Geospatial and satellite data Geographic information systems (GIS) and Mathlab
Geomorphologic analysis Quantification of river networks (Topotoolbox)
Computing MATLAB; ARC and GRASSGIS; TOPOTOOLBOX. Model coupling, including GIS interfaces.  Familiarity with a wide swath of surface-process modeling software and general-purpose open-source software.
Fieldgeology Topographic mapping:streamcross-sections, profiles, and terraces. Structural and stratigraphic geologic mapping and hand sample identification. Familiarity with geomorphic, stratigraphic, and structural field methods in a variety of environments.
Chemistry Isotope-ratio mass spectrometry, gas chromatography and wet chemistry analytics.

Peer-reviewed papers:

2020

Barbolini, N., Woutersen, A., Silvestro, D., Tardif, D., Coster, P.M.., Meijer, N., Chang, C., Zhang, H.-X., Licht, A., Rydin, C., Koutsodendris, A., Han, F., Rohrmann, A., Liu, X.-J., Zhang, Y., Donnadieu, Y., Fluteau, F., Ladant, J.-B., Le Hir, G., Hoorn, C., (2020): Cenozoic evolution of the steppe-desert biome in Central Asia, Science Advances, 6, 1–17. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb8227 

Pingel, H., Strecker, M.R., Mulch, A., Alonso, R.N., Cottle, J., Rohrmann, A., (2020): Late Cenozoic topographic evolution of the Eastern Cordillera and Puna Plateau margin in the southern Central Andes (NW Argentina), Earth and Planetary Science Letter, 535. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116112

2016

Rohrmann, A.,Sachse, D., Mulch, A., Pingel, H., Tofelde, S., Alonso, R.N., Strecker, M.R., (2016): Miocene rapid hydrological response to orographic barrier and central Andean Plateau uplift, Nature Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep35678

Nieto-Moreno, V., Rohrmann, A.,Van der Meer, M.T.J., Simninghe Damste, J.S., Sachse, D., Tofelde, S., Niedermeyer, E., Strecker, M.R., Mulch, A. (2016): Elevation-dependent changes in n-alkanes δD and soil GDGTs across the South Central Andes, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 453, 234-242. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.07.049

Pingel, H., Mulch, A., Alonso, R., Cottle, J., Hynek, S., Poletti, J., Rohrmann, A.,Schmitt, A.K., Stockli, D., Strecker, M.R. (2016): Surface uplift and convective rainfall along the southern Central Andes (Angastaco Basin, NW Argentina), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 440, 33-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.02.009

2014

Rohrmann, A.,Strecker, M.R., Bookhagen, B., Mulch, A.; Sachse, D.; Pingel, H., Alonso, R.N., Schildgen, T.F., Montero, C. (2014): Can stable isotopes ride out the storms? The role of convection for water isotope in models, records, and paleoaltimetry studies in the central Andes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 407, 187-195. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.09.021

Pingel, H., Alonso, R.N., Mulch, A., Rohrmann, A.,Sudo, M., Strecker, M.R. (2014): Pliocene orographic barrier uplift in the southern Central Andes. Geology, 42(8), 691-694. DOI: 10.1130/G35538.1

2013

Rohrmann, A.,Heermance, R., Kapp, P., McCalister,  A., Fulong, C. (2013): Wind as the primary driver of erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 374, 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.03.011

2012

Rohrmann, A.,Kapp, P., Carrapa, B., Reiners, P., Gyunn, J., Ding, L., Heizler, M. (2012): Thermochronologic evidence for Plateau formation in central Tibet by ~45 Ma, Geology, 40, 187-190. DOI: 10.1130/G32530.1

2011

Kapp, P., Pelletier, J., Rohrmann, A.,Heermance, R., Russel, J. (2011): Speculations about the history of wind erosion in the Qaidam Basin and its implications for tectonics, paleoclimate, and the source of the Loess Plateau. GSA Today, 21, no. 4/5. DOI: 10.1130/GSATG99A.1

 

Submitted

Rohrmann, A., Kirby, E., Schwanghart, W.: Accelerated Miocene incision along the Yangtze during drainage basin expansion (in review Science Advances).

Meijer, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Barbolini, N., Woutersen, A., Rohrmann, A., Zhang, Y., Liu, X.J., Licht, A., Abels, H. A., Hoorn, C., Tjallingii, R., Andermann, C., Dietze, M., Nowaczyk, N., Sakuma, A., Tada, R.: Asian dust appearance at 40 Ma linked to sea retreat-induced Siberian (submitted to Nature Scientific Reports).

Barbolini, N., Woutersen, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Silvestro, D., Tardif, D., Coster, P.M.C., Meijer, N., Chang C., Zhang, H.X.9, Licht, A.,Rydin, C., Koutsodendris, A.12, Han, F., Rohrmann, A., Liu, X-J.14, Zhang, Y., Donnadieu, Y., Fluteau, F., Ladant, J-B., Le Hir, G.and Hoorn, C.: Cenozoic evolution of the steppe-desert biome in Central Asia (submitted to Science Advances)

 

Invited talks

2018

Rohrmann, A. (2018), Ecohydrology and climate along plateau margins, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

2017

Rohrmann, A. (2017), Biomarker-based stable isotope paleoaltimetry elucidates topographic and hydrologic evolution of the Andean Puna Plateau, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan,China.

Rohrmann, A. (2017), Biomarker-based stable isotope paleoaltimetry elucidates topographic and hydrologic evolution of the Andean Puna Plateau, Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes, Xining,China.

Rohrmann, A. (2017), Climate and Tectonics of the southern Central Andes, University of Washington, Seattle, WA,USA.

Rohrmann, A. (2017), Climate and Tectonics of the southern Central Andes, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA.

2016

Rohrmann, A. (2016), Climate and Tectonics of the southern Central Andes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston,MA,USA.

Rohrmann, A.(2016), Tectonic, Climate and Landscape Evolution in the Southern Central Andes, University of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT, USA.

2015

Rohrmann, A. (2015), Can stable isotopes ride out the storms? Water isotope in models, records, and paleoaltimetry studies in the central Andes, German Research Center for Geoscience, Potsdam, Germany. 

2014

Rohrmann, A. (2014),Wind as the primary driver of erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China,German Research Center for Geoscience, Potsdam, Germany.

2013

Rohrmann, A. (2013), Water stable-isotopes and paleohydrology of the south-central Andes- Argentina, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.

Rohrmann, A.(2013), Wind as the primary driver of erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.