Dr. Laura Wehrmann


I am a marine biogeochemist and study several aspects of geochemical element cycling in marine systems, ranging from subseafloor sediments to glacially influenced fjords. I am specifically interested in the drivers of early diagenetic processes, the connection between different element cycles, e.g., the carbon, sulfur and iron cycles, and the application of diagenetic signals imprinted in the sedimentary record to deconstruct the paleoenvironmental context of marine systems.

In the past years, my research has also focused on geochemical processes in high-latitude, glacially influenced fjords of Western Spitsbergen, Norway. A current project in my lab focuses on deciphering the cycling of glacially derived trace metals in fjord sediments.

I received my Diploma in Marine Environmental Studies from the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment in Oldenburg, Germany, and my PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. I then spent two years at the University of Riverside, CA, supported by a post-doctoral research fellowship granted by the German Research Foundation and started at SoMAS as an Assistant Professor in August 2014.

For my PhD work, I investigated early diagenetic processes in cold-water coral reef and mound-associated sediments using sediment cores I collected onboard R/V Polarstern along the Norwegian shelf and onboard R/V Marion Dufresne in the Gulf of Cadiz. In 2010, I participated as shipboard microbial geochemist  in an Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition to the Bering Sea (Exp. 323) on board R/V Joides Resolution which allowed me to expand my field of research into the Deep Biosphere. This intriguing habitat now represents one of my main areas of interest.