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Dr. Moritz Liesegang


Arbeitsbereich Mineralogie-Petrologie

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Malteserstr. 74-100, Haus N/T
Raum T033 (EPMA lab) and T031 (XRD lab)
12249 Berlin

Professional Experience

since 03/2020

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Freie Universität Berlin.

responsible for Electron Microprobe and XRD Lab

05/2018 - 02/2020

Postdoctoral research fellow in DFG Research unit FOR 2685 “The Limits of the Fossil Record: Analytical and Experimental Approaches to Fossilization” at Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany, Institute of Geosciences



Dr. rer. nat. at Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Thesis: Abiogenic amorphous silica: Ordering form the atomic to centimeter scale

Professional affiliation

  • Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft (DMG)
  • Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)


since 04/2020

  • Erde I - Mineral and rock identification (B.Sc.)
  • Optical mineralogy (B.Sc.)
  • Fluid-Solid Interactions (M.Sc.)
  • Electron probe microanalysis (B.Sc./M.Sc)



Optical Mineralogy, Uni Bonn (B.Sc.)


Igneous and metamorphic petrology - Laboratory Course, Uni Bonn (B.Sc.)


Optical mineralogy, FU Berlin (B.Sc.)


Erde I - Mineral and rock identification, FU Berlin (B.Sc.)

Current research interests

My research centers on nanoscale processes, especially mineral nucleation and growth, and how they contribute to earth materials’ properties at a larger scale. Clarification of mineral formation and ordering processes requires high-resolution morphological, chemical, and structural analyses. I address this by combining microanalytical in situ techniques such as EPMA, SEM, TEM, FIB-SEM nanotomography, and Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. My particular interest lies in interface-coupled dissolution-precipitation processes and the experimental nucleation and crystallization of amorphous materials.

Current Grants

“Investigation of reaction steps and transport processes during experimental bone fossilisation“. Micro-XAS at Swiss Light Source (PSI, Switzerland); 2020, Co-PI.

Peer-reviewed publications

Liesegang, M., Tomaschek, F., & Götze, J., 2021: The structure and chemistry of silica in mineralized wood: Techniques and analysis. In: Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. Gee, C.T., Sander, M., and McCoy, V.E. (eds), Johns Hopkins University Press.

Gee, C.T., & Liesegang, M., 2021: Experimental silicification of wood in the lab and field: Pivotal studies and open questions. In: Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. Gee, C.T., Sander, M., and McCoy, V.E. (eds), Johns Hopkins University Press.

Liesegang, M., & Gee, C.T., 2020: Silica entry and accumulation in standing trees in a hot‑spring environment: Cellular pathway, rapid pace, and fossilization potential. Palaeontology. 63, 651-660. https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12480

Liesegang, M., & Tomaschek, F., 2020: Tracing the continental diagenetic loop of the opal‑A to opal-CT transformation with X-ray diffraction. Sedimentary Geology. 398, 105603. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2020.105603

Liesegang, M., Milke, R., & Berthold, C., 2018: Amorphous silica maturation in chemically weathered clastic sediments. Sedimentary Geology. 365, 54-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2018.01.001

Lowenstern, J.B., van Hinsberg, V., Berlo, K., Liesegang, M., Iacovino, K., Bindeman, I., & Wright, H.M., 2018: Opal-A in Glassy Pumice, Acid Alteration, and the 1817 Phreatomagmatic Eruption at Kawah Ijen (Java), Indonesia. Frontiers in Earth Science. 6, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2018.00011

Liesegang, M., & Milke, R., 2018: Silica colloid ordering in a dynamic sedimentary environment. Minerals, 8, 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010012

Liesegang, M., Milke, R., Kranz, C., & Neusser, G., 2017: Silica nanoparticle aggregation in calcite replacement reactions. Scientific Reports. 7, 14550. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598‑017‑06458-8

Liesegang, M., & Milke, R. 2014: Australian sedimentary opal-A and its associated minerals: Implications for natural silica sphere formation. American Mineralogist. 99, 1488-1499. https://doi.org/10.2138/am.2014.4791