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Laura Wehrmann

Associate Professor



- Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen

Research Topics:

Marine Biogeochemistry, Geochemical element cycles, Deep Biosphere


  • Bio/Research


    Dr. Wehrmann’s research focuses on several aspects of (bio)geochemical element cycling in marine systems, ranging from subseafloor sediments to glacially influenced fjords. She is specifically interested in the drivers of early diagenetic processes and the connections between different element cycles, e.g., the carbon, sulfur and iron cycles. She also investigates the response of microbially mediated processes in the deep sub-seafloor biosphere to changing (paleo)environmental conditions over different temporal and spatial scales. Her work combines classical inorganic geochemical techniques with stable isotope analyses and the application of radiotracer methods.

  • Publications


    Wehrmann, L.M., Riedinger, N., Brunner, B., Kamyshny Jr., A., Hubert, C.R.J., Herbert, L.C., Brüchert, V., Jørgensen, B.B., Ferdelman, T.G., Formolo M.J., 2017.   Iron-controlled oxidative sulfur cycling recorded in the distribution and isotopic composition of sulfur species in glacially influenced fjord sediments of west Svalbard . Chemical Geology 466, 678-695.

    Riedinger, N. R., Brunner, B., Krastel, S., Arnold, G. L.,   Wehrmann, L. M., Formolo, M. J., … & Kasten, S. (2017).   Sulfur cycling in an iron oxide-dominated, dynamic marine depositional system: The Argentine continental margin .   Frontiers in Earth Science,   5, 33.

    Kasina, M., Bock, S., Würdemann, H., Pudlo, D., Picard, A., Lichtschlag, A., März, C., Wagenknecht, L.,  Wehrmann, L.M. , Vogt, C., Meister, P. (2017)   Mineralogical and geochemical analysis of Fe-phases in drill-cores from the Triassic Stuttgart Formation at Ketzin CO 2  storage site before CO 2  arrival.   Environ Earth Sci 76: 161. doi:10.1007/s12665-017-6460-9

    Wehrmann, L.M., Ockert, C., Mix, A., Gussone, N., Teichert, B.M.A., and Meister, P., 2016. Repeated occurrences of methanogenic zones, diagenetic dolomite formation and linked silicate alteration in southern Bering Sea sediments (Bowers Ridge, IODP Exp. 323 Site U1341). Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 125-126, 117-132.

    Wehrmann, L.M., Titschack, J., Böttcher, M.E., and Ferdelman, T.G., 2015. Linking sedimentary sulfur and iron biogeochemistry to growth patterns of a cold-water coral mound in the Porcupine Basin, S.W. Ireland (IODP Expedition 307). Geobiology 13, 424-442.

    Wehrmann, L.M.  and Ferdelman, T.G., 2014. Biogeochemical consequences of the sedimentary subseafloor biosphere. In: Stein, R., Blackman, D., Inagaki, F., and Larsen, H.C. (Eds.), Earth and Life Processes Discovered from Subseafloor Environment – A Decade of Science Achieved by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Developments in Marine Geology, 1st edition, Elservier, pp. 822.

    Wehrmann, L.M., Formolo, M.J., Owens, J., Raiswell, R., Ferdelman, T.G., Riedinger, N. and Lyons, T.W., 2014. Iron and manganese speciation and cycling in glacially influenced high-latitude fjord sediments (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard): Evidence for a benthic recycling-transport mechanism. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 141, 628-655.

    Ockert, C.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Kaufhold, S., Ferdelman, T.G., Teichert, B.M.A., and Gussone N., 2014. Calcium-ammonium exchange experiments on clay minerals using a   45Ca tracer technique in marine pore water. Isotopes in Environmental & Health Studies 50(1), 1-17.

    Allers, E., Abed, M.M.R,   Wehrmann, L.M., Wang, T., Larsson, A.I., Purser, A., de Beer, D., 2013. Resistance of   Lophelia pertusa  to coverage by sediments and drill cuttings. Marine Pollution Bulletin 74(1), 132-140.

    Wehrmann, L.M., Arndt, S., März, C., Ferdelman, T.G., and Brunner B., 2013. The evolution of early diagenetic signals in Bering Sea subseafloor sediments in response to varying organic carbon deposition over the last 4.3 Ma. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 109, 175-196.

    Berndmeyer, C., Birgel, D., Brunner, B.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Jöns, N., Bach, W., Arning, E.T., Föllmi K.B., and Peckmann J., 2012. The influence of bacterial activity on phosphorite formation in the Miocene Monterey Formation, California. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 317-318, 171-181.

    Pirlet, H.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Foubert, A., Brunner, B., Blamart, D., de Mol, L., Van Rooij, D., Dewanckele, J., Cnudde, V., Swennen, R., Duyck, P. and Henriet, J.-P, 2012. Unique authigenic mineral assemblages reveal different diagenetic histories in two neighbouring cold-water coral mounds on Pen Duick Escarpment, Gulf of Cadiz. Sedimentology 59, 578-604.

    Wehrmann, L.M., Risgaard-Petersen, N., Schrum, H.N., Walsh, E., Huh, Y., Ikehara, M., Pierre, C., D’Hondt, S., Ferdelman, T.G., Ravelo, A.C., Takahashi, K., Alvarez Zarikian, C., and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 323 Scientific Party, 2011. Coupled organic and inorganic carbon cycling in the deep subseafloor sediment of the northeastern Bering Sea Slope (IODP Exp. 323). Chem. Geol. 284, 251-261.

    Templer, S.P.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Zhang, Y., Vasconcelos, C., and McKenzie, J., 2011. Microbial community composition and biogeochemical processes in cold-water-coral carbonate mounds in the Gulf of Cadiz, on the Moroccan margin. Mar. Geol. 282, 138-148.

    Wehrmann, L.M., Templer, S.P., Brunner, B., Bernasconi, S.M., Maignien, L. and Ferdelman, T.G., 2011. The imprint of methane seepage on the geochemical record and early diagenetic processes in cold-water coral mounds on Pen Duick Escarpment, Gulf of Cadiz. Mar. Geol. 282, 118-137.

    Van Rooij, D., Blamart, D., De Mol, L., Mienis, F., Pirlet, H.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Barbieri, R., Maignien, L., Templer, S.P., de Haas, H., Hebbeln, D., Frank, N., Larmagnat, S., Stadnitskaia, A., Stivaletta, N., van Weering, T., Zhang, Y., Hamoumi, N., Cnudde, V., Duyck, P., Henriet, J.-P. & the MiCROSYSTEMS MD 169 shipboard party, 2011. Cold-water coral mounds on the Pen Duick Escarpment, Gulf of Cadiz: the MiCROSYSTEMS approach. Mar. Geol. 282, 102-117.

    Pirlet, H.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Brunner, B., Frank, N., Dewanckele, J., Van Rooij, D., Foubert, A., Swennen, R., Naudts, L., Boone, M., Cnudde, V., and Henriet, J.P., 2010. Diagenetic formation of gypsum and dolomite in a cold-water coral mound in the Porcupine Seabight, off Ireland. Sedimentology 57, 786-805.

    Wehrmann, L.M., Knab, N.J., Pirlet, H., Unnithan, V., Wild, C., and Ferdelman, T.G., 2009. Carbon mineralization and carbonate preservation in modern cold-water coral reef sediments on the Norwegian shelf. Biogeosciences 6, 1-18.

    Wild, C.,   Wehrmann, L.M., Mayr, C., Schöttner, S., Allers, E., and Lundälv, T., 2009. Microbial degradation of cold water coral-derived organic matter – potential implication for organic C cycling in the water column above Tisler Reef. Aquat. Biol. 7, 71-80.

    Wild, C., Mayr, C.,   Wehrmann, L., Schöttner, S., Naumann, M., Hoffmann, F. and Rapp, H.T., 2008. Organic matter release by cold water corals and its implication for fauna–microbe interaction. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 372, 67-75.

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