Ingmar Unkel

Geographisches Institut
Im Neuenheimer Feld 348
Raum 137
69120 Heidelberg

Tel: +49-6221-54-4370

Sprechstunden nach Vereinbarung


Prof. Dr. Ingmar Unkel

Research interests

Research interests
  • The interaction between humans and climate with a temporal focus on the development during the last 10,000 years and a regional focus on the eastern Mediterranean area, the Alps and Southeast Asia
  • Paleoenvironmental reconstructions as a database for modeling future scenarios in climate development
  • Environmental reconstructions using sediment analysis (lithology, susceptibility, XRF, CNS, LOI) and radiocarbon dating (14C)
  • Carbon and water cycle (groundwater recharge)

Professional experience

Professional experience
  • since 09/2015
    Associate Professor for Environmental History, Director of the Institute for Ecosystem Research, Kiel University
  • 09/2009 – 08/2015
    Junior Professor (Assistant Professor) for Environmental History – Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes”, Kiel University.
  • 05/2008 – 08/2009
    Postdoc – Department of Physics, Divison of Nuclear Physics, Lund University Research topic: AMS-14C analysis of occupational contamination in modern human tissues from people working at nuclear facilities, industries and laboratories.
  • 06/2006 – 08/2009
    Postdoc – GeoBioSphere Centre, Quaternary Geology, Lund University, Sweden Research topic: AMS-14C dating and age-depth-modelling, geochemical (XRF, CNS, LOI) analyses of lake sediments and peat bogs from Isla de los Estados (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina) to reconstruct the deglacial and Holocene climate record of the region in the context of interhemispheric climate relations.
  • 03/2006 – 05/2006
    Postdoc – Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, research centre for radiometric dating, 14C-laboratory

Educational data

Educational data
  • PhD Studies
    Title of the PhD thesis: AMS-14C analyses for the reconstruction of the geomorphological and cultural development of the Palpa region (S-Peru).
  • 02/2003 – 02/2006
    Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, research centre for radiometric dating, 14C-laboratory. Studies of Geology Title of diploma thesis: European seismic zone Gulf of Corinth: Geological-hydrogeological investigations of the Aigion area, in connection with the international continental deep drilling project (ICDP) AIG 10 (NW-Peloponnes, Greece).
  • 10/1999 – 12/2002
    University of Karlsruhe (KIT), Germany Main subjects: hydrogeology, engineering/applied geology, tectonics, water chemistry zum Anfang


  • Ojala, A. E. K., Nguyễn-Văn, H., Unkel, I., Nguyễn-Thùy, D., Nguyễn-Đình, T., Đỗ-Trọng, Q., Sun, C., Sauer, P. E., & Schimmelmann, A. (2023). High-resolution ∼55 ka paleomagnetic record of Biển Hồ maar lake sediment from Vietnam in relation to detailed 14C and 137Cs geochronologies. Quaternary Geochronology, 76(June), 101443. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2023.101443
  • Nguyễn-Văn, H., Unkel, I., Nguyễn-Thùy, D., Nguyễn-Đình, T., Trọng Quốc, Đ., Xuân Tùng, Đ., Thị Hồng, N., Xuân Thành, Đ., Thị Ánh Nguyệt, N., Hồng Quân, N., Trung Hoàn, Đ., Thị Huyền Trang, N., Lê Tuyết Nhung, P., Nguyệt Anh, L., Văn Hà, V., Ojala, A. E. K., Schimmelmann, A., & Sauer, P. (2023). Paleoenvironmental potential of lacustrine sediments in the Central Highlands of Vietnam: a review on the state of research. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.15625/2615-9783/18281
  • von Scheffer, C., De Vleeschouwer, F., Le Roux, G., & Unkel, I. (2023). Mineral dust and lead deposition from land use and metallurgy in a 4800-year-old peat record from the Central Alps (Tyrol, Austria). Quaternary International, March. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2023.03.018
  • Nguyễn-Đình, T., Nguyễn-Thùy, D., Nguyễn-Văn, H., Ojala, A.E., Đỗ-Trọng, Q., Phan-Thanh, T., Nguyễn Thị, H., Thị Ánh Nguyễn, N., Xuân Đinh, T., Thị Huyền Nguyễn, T., Sauer, P.E., Schimmelmann, A., Unkel, I.*, (2022) A high-resolution, 1250-year long drought record from Ea Tyn Lake, Central Highlands of Việt Nam. The Holocene, 32(10), 1026-1040. https://doi.org/10.1177/09596836221106967
  • Nguyễn-Văn, H., Schimmelmann, J. P., Nguyễn-Thùy, D., Ojala, A. E. K., Unkel, I., Nguyễn-Đình, T., … Schimmelmann, A. (2022). Environmental history recorded over the last 70 years in Biển Hồ maar sediment, Central Highlands of Vietnam. Quaternary International 621, 84–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2020.05.013
  • Seguin, J., Avramidis, P., Dörfler, W., Emmanouilidis, A., & Unkel, I.** (2020). A 2600-year high-resolution climate record from Lake Trichonida (SW Greece). E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 69(2), 139–160. https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-69-139-2020
  • Seguin, J., Avramidis, P., Haug, A., Kessler, T., Schimmelmann, A., & Unkel, I.** (2020). Reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental variability based on an inter-comparison of four lacustrine archives on the Peloponnese (Greece) for the last 5000 years. E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 69(2), 165–186. https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-69-165-2020
  • Dietre, B., Reitmaier, T., Walser, C., Warnk, T., Unkel, I., Hajdas, I., … Haas, J. N. (2020). Steady transformation of primeval forest into subalpine pasture during the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age (2300−1700 BC) in the Silvretta Alps, Switzerland. The Holocene, 30(3), 355–368. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619887419
  • Emmanouilidis, A., Unkel, I., Seguin, J., Keklikoglou, K., Gianni, E., & Avramidis, P. (2020). Application of Non-Destructive Techniques on a Varve Sediment Record from Vouliagmeni Coastal Lake, Eastern Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Applied Sciences, 10(22), 8273. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228273
  • Emmanouilidis, A., Unkel, I., Triantaphyllou, M., & Avramidis, P. (2020). Late-Holocene coastal depositional environments and climate changes in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. The Holocene, 30(1), 77–89. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619875793
  • Knitter, D., Günther, G., Hamer, W. B., Keßler, T., Seguin, J., Unkel, I.**, … Nakoinz, O. (2019). Land use patterns and climate change—a modeled scenario of the Late Bronze Age in Southern Greece. Environmental Research Letters, 14(12), 125003. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab5126
  • Zanon, M., Unkel, I., Andersen, N., & Kirleis, W. (2019). Palaeoenvironmental dynamics at the southern Alpine foothills between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age onset. A multi-proxy study from Bande di Cavriana (Mantua, Italy). Quaternary Science Reviews, 221, 105891. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.105891
  • Avramidis, P., Barouchas, P., Dünwald, T., Unkel, I., & Panagiotaras, D. (2019). The Influence of Olive Orchards Copper-Based Fungicide Use, in Soils and Sediments -The Case of Aetoliko (Etoliko) Lagoon Western Greece. Geosciences, 9(6), 267. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060267
  • Schrautzer, J., Bork, H.-R., Christ, L., El-Balti, N., Martens, T., Kempke, M., … Unkel, I. (2019). Classification, ecological characterization and development of montane mires (Kleinwalsertal, Austria). Phytocoenologia, 49(3), 263–285. https://doi.org/10.1127/phyto/2019/0307
  • von Scheffer, C., Lange, A., De Vleeschouwer, F., Schrautzer, J., & Unkel, I.** (2019). 6200 years of human activities and environmental change in the northern central Alps. E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 68(1), 13–28. https://doi.org/10.5194/egqsj-68-13-2019
  • Seguin, J., Bintliff, J. L., Grootes, P. M., Bauersachs, T., Dörfler, W., Heymann, C., … Unkel, I.** (2019). 2500 years of anthropogenic and climatic landscape transformation in the Stymphalia polje, Greece. Quaternary Science Reviews, 213, 133–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.04.028
  • Fritz, M., Unkel, I., Lenz, J., Gajewski, K., Frenzel, P., Paquette, N., … Wetterich, S. (2018). Regional environmental change versus local signal preservation in Holocene thermokarst lake sediments: A case study from Herschel Island, Yukon (Canada). Journal of Paleolimnology, 60(1), 77–96. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10933-018-0025-0
  • Weiberg, E., Unkel, I., Kouli, K., Holmgren, K., Avramidis, P., Bonnier, A., … Heymann, C. (2016). The socio-environmental history of the Peloponnese during the Holocene: Towards an integrated understanding of the past. Quaternary Science Reviews, 136, 40-65, . http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.10.042
  • Block, S., Saltré, F., Rodríguez-Rey, M., Fordham, D. A., Unkel, I., & Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2016). Where to Dig for Fossils: Combining Climate-Envelope, Taphonomy and Discovery Models. PLOS ONE, 11(3), e0151090. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151090
  • Xue, J., Zhong, W., Xie, L., Huang, X., and Unkel, I. (2015). Millennial-scale variability in fire activity during the last glacial period in the tropical Leizhou Peninsula (south China). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 438, 344–351. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.08.037
  • Xue, J., Zhong, W., Xie, L., & Unkel, I. (2015). Vegetation responses to the last glacial and early Holocene environmental changes in the northern Leizhou Peninsula, south China. Quaternary Research, 84(2), 223–231. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2015.08.001
  • Unkel, I.*, Schimmelmann, A., Shriner, C., Forsén, J., Heymann, C., and Brückner, H. (2014). The environmental history of the last 6500 years in the Asea Valley (Peloponnese, Greece) and its linkage to the local archaeological record. Zeitschrift Für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues, 58(2), 89–107. http://doi.org/10.1127/0372-8854/2014/S-00160
  • Haenssler, E., Unkel, I.**, Dörfler, W., and Nadeau, M. (2014). Driving mechanisms of Holocene lagoon development and barrier accretion in Northern Elis, Peloponnese, inferred from the sedimentary record of the Kotychi Lagoon. Quaternary Science Journal, 63(1), 60–77. http://doi.org/10.3285/eg.63.1.04
  • Fernández, M., Björck, S., Wohlfarth, B., Maidana, N. I., Unkel, I., and van der Putten, N. (2013). Diatom assemblage changes in lacustrine sediments from Isla de los Estados, southernmost South America, in response to shifts in the southwesterly wind belt during the last deglaciation. Journal of Paleolimnology 50 (4), 433-446. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10933-013-9736-4
  • Unkel, I.*, Ehret, D., and Rohn, J., (2013). Recurrence analysis of the mass movement activity at Stambach (Austria) based on radiocarbon dating. Geomorphology 190, 103-111, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.02.020
  • Heymann, C., Nelle, O., Dörfler, W., Zagana, H., Nowaczyk, N., Xue, J., and Unkel, I.**, (2013). Late Glacial to mid-Holocene palaeoclimate development of Southern Greece inferred from the sediment sequence of Lake Stymphalia (NE-Peloponnese). Quaternary International 302, 42-60, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2013.02.014
  • Haenssler, E., Nadeau, M.J., Vött, A., and Unkel, I.**, (2013). Natural and human induced environmental changes preserved in a Holocene sediment sequence from the Etoliko Lagoon, Greece: New evidence from geochemical proxies. Quaternary International 308, 89-104, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2012.06.031
  • Unkel, I.*, Reindel, M., Gorbahn, H., Isla Cuadrado, J., Kromer, B., and Sossna, V., (2012). A comprehensive numerical chronology for the pre-Columbian cultures of the Palpa valleys, south coast of Peru. Journal of Archaeological Science 39, 2294-2303, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.02.021
  • Björck, S., Rundgren, M., Ljung, K., Unkel, I., and Wallin, Å., (2012). Multi-proxy analyses of a peat bog on Isla de los Estados, easternmost Tierra del Fuego: a unique record of the variable Southern Hemisphere Westerlies since the last deglaciation. Quaternary Science Reviews 42, 1-14, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.03.015
  • Unkel, I.*, Fernandez, M., Björck, S., Ljung, K., and Wohlfarth, B. (2010). Records of environmental changes during the Holocene from Isla de los Estados (54.4ºS), southeastern Tierra del Fuego. Global and Planetary Change 74, 99-113, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.07.003
  • Stenström, K., Unkel, I., Nilsson, C., Rääf, C., and Mattsson, S. (2010). The use of hair as an indicator of occupational 14C contamination. Radiation and Environmental Biophysics 49, 97-107, http://doi.org/10.1007/s00411-009-0245-9
  • Mächtle, B., Unkel, I., Eitel, B., Kromer, B., and Schiegl, S. (2010). Molluscs as evidence for a Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene humid period in the northern Atacama desert, southern Peru (14.5°S). Quaternary Research 73, 39-47 http://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2009.05.007
  • Unkel, I.*, Björck, S., and Wohlfahrt, B. (2008). Deglacial environmental changes on Isla de los Estados (54.4ºS), southeastern Tierra del Fuego. Quaternary Science Review 27, 1541-1554, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.05.004
  • Unkel, I.*, Kadereit, A., Mächtle, B., Eitel, B., Kromer, B., Wagner, G. A., and Wacker, L. (2007). Geomorphic evidence of palaeo-environmental changes at the eastern margin of the South Peruvian coastal desert (14°30' S) before and during the Little Ice Age. Quaternary International 175, 3-28, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2007.1003.1006
  • Unkel, I.*, Kromer, B., Reindel, M., Wacker, L., and Wagner, G. A. (2007). A chronology of the pre-Columbian Paracas- and Nasca-culture in South Peru based on AMS-14C-dating. Radiocarbon, 49(2), 551-564. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0033822200042466
  • Mächtle, B., Eitel, B., Kadereit, A., and Unkel, I. (2006). Holocene environmental changes in the northern Atacama desert, southern Peru (14°30’S) and their impact on the rise and fall of Precolumbian cultures. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie Suppl. Vol. 142, 47-62.
  • Eitel, B., Hecht, S., Mächtle, B., Schukraft, G., Kadereit, A., Wagner, G., Kromer, B., Unkel, I., and Reindel, M. (2005). Geoarchaeological evidence from desert Loess in the Nasca-Palpa Region, Southern Peru: Palaeoenvironmental changes and their impact on pre-Columbian cultures. Archaeometry 47, 137-158, http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4754.2005.00193.x
  • Giurgea, V., Rettenmaier, D., Pizzino, L., Unkel, I., Hötzl, H., Förster, A., and Quattrocchi, F. (2004). Preliminary hydrogeological interpretation of the Aigion area from the AIG10 borehole data. CR Geoscience 336, 467-475, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.crte.2003.12.012
  • Lemeille, F., Chatoupis, F., Foumelis, M., Rettenmaier, D., Unkel, I., Micarelli, L., Moretti, I., Bourdillon, C., Guernet, C., and Müller, C. (2004). Recent syn-rift deposits in the hangingwall of the Aigion Fault (Gulf of Corinth, Greece). CR Geoscience 336, 425-434, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crte.2003.11.009
  • Löscher, M., and Unkel, I. (1997). Zur Kleinsäugerfauna der Mauerer Sande. Jh. geol. Landesamt Baden-Württemberg 36, 199-204.

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