Manuel Reinhardt

Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Department of Geobiology, Georg-August-University of Göttingen

University of Göttingen
Geoscience Centre
Department of Geobiology

Goldschmidtstr. 3
37077 Göttingen

See also:

Research Interests

I am interested in organic geochemical and geo(micro)biological topics, related to Earth and extraterrestrial systems. In my studies I am using various state-of-the-art techniques to characterize organic matter in fossil and recent materials, especially organic biomarkers (i.e. molecular fossils and their specific carbon isotope signatures). These techniques include gas chromatography coupled-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio-mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS), catalytic hydropyrolysis (HyPy) and Raman spectroscopy. In my current research I am particular focusing on

  • The influences of hydrothermal processes on organic matter on Earth and Mars
  • The preservation of biomarkers in bitumen and kerogen (i.e. the extractable and non-extractable portion of organic matter, respectively) over time, including degradation, maturation and isomerization
  • Organic biomarkers of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in ancient settings

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Short curriculum

Since 2019

Postdoc, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research


PhD student, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research / University of Göttingen


Student representative, International Max Planck Research School (MPS Göttingen)


Graduate student (MSc), Geosciences, University of Göttingen


Undergraduate student (BSc), Geosciences, University of Göttingen

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  • Scientific presenting in the Geosciences for B.Sc. students (seminar)
  • Organic geochemistry (lab course)
  • Biogenic sedimentary rocks, Northern Calcareous Alps (field class)
  • Geological mapping for M.Sc. students, Adorf (field class)

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Selected conference contributions

Reinhardt, M., Duda, J.-P., Blumenberg, M., Ostertag-Henning, C., Reitner, J., Heim, C., Thiel, V. (2018): Tracing photic zone euxinia through time—implications from organic biomarker taphonomy. GeoBonn2018, Bonn, Germany (talk)

Reinhardt, M., Duda, J.-P., Reitner, J., Thiel, V. (2017): Lipid biomarkers in Pleistocene cherts from Lake Magadi, Kenya – microbial signals and hydrothermal influence. GeoBremen2017, Bremen, Germany (talk)

Reinhardt, M., Thiel, V., Duda, J.-P., Goetz, W., Reitner, J. (2017): Lake Magadi cherts (southern Kenya Rift Valley) – a modern taphonomic analog for habitats on the early Earth. 4th International Conference of Geobiology, Wuhan, China (keynote talk)

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Reinhardt, M., Goetz, W., Duda, J.-P., Heim, C., Reitner, J., Thiel, V. (2019): Organic sigantures in Pleistocene cherts from Lake Magadi (Kenya) – implications for early Earth hydrothermal deposits. Biogeosciences, 16, 2443–2465.

Reinhardt, M., Duda, J.-P., Blumenberg, M., Ostertag-Henning, C., Reitner, J., Heim, C., Thiel, V. (2018): The taphonomic fate of isorenieratene in Lower Jurassic shales—controlled by iron?. Geobiology, 16, 237–251.

Duda, J.-P., Thiel, V., Bauersachs, T., Mißbach, H., Reinhardt, M., Schäfer, N., Van Kranendonk, M. J., Reitner, J. (2018): Ideas and perspectives: hydrothermally driven redistribution and sequestration of early Archean biomass – the “hydrothermal pump hypothesis“. Biogeosciences, 15, 1535–1548.

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Current project

“Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA)”