KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Sebastian Viehmann
KLI Colloquia
The Potential of Geochemistry to Reconstruct the Habitats of the Origin of Life
Sebastian VIEHMANN (University of Vienna)
2017-02-21 16:30 - 2017-02-21 16:30
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Stromatolites are layered marine carbonates that were directly precipitated from ancient seawater in the presence of microorganisms and are the oldest so far known geological remnants of microbial life on Earth. During the course of the KLI colloquium talk, I will highlight the application and the potential of geochemical proxies, in particular the Rare Earth Elements (REE) and radiogenic Sm-Nd isotope systems, in marine chemical sediments to evaluate the physico-chemical conditions of ancient environments, i.e. potential habitat in which the earliest life on Earth may have thrived and established. Setting the reconstructed habitat in relationship to suggested biochemical models of the origin of life is essential to evaluate, if the stromatolite environment or similar habitats may be suitable for the origin establishment of life on our Earth.


Biographical note:
Sebastian Viehmann studied geology/palaeontology at the Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn and focused on the geochemical characterisation of 3.8 and 2.7 billion year old marine chemical sediments during his diploma thesis. He built up on this topic during his PhD at the Jacobs University Bremen and reconstructed the physico-chemical conditions of the atmosphere and hydrosphere on Earth in the time frame between 3.8 billion years ago until 534 million years ago. In summer 2017, he moved to the University of Vienna to merge the topics of biochemistry and geochemistry. He will apply geochemical analyses of stromatolites, i.e. marine layered carbonates that were precipitated in the presence of the microorganisms, to further understand the environmental conditions and habitats of the earliest life that is preserved in the geological rock record.