skip to content

Dr. rer. nat. Stephan Opitz


Dr. rer. nat. Stephan Opitz
Laborleitung (Physisch Geogr. Labor)

Rundbau, Raum 1.01

Zülpicher Straße 45
50674 Köln

Telephone +49-(0)221-470-7212
Fax +49-(0)221-470-5124
E-mail stephan.opitz(at)


nach Vereinbarung

Reseach interests:

Palaeoclimatology, Palaeolimnology, Sedimentology, Mineralogy, Geochemistry


Publications (peer-reviewed):

(further information under: Research Gate)

Wennrich, V., Böhm, C., Brill, D., Carballeira, R., Hoffmeister, D., Jaeschke, A., ; Kerber, F., Maldonado, A., May, Simon M., Olivares, L., Opitz, S., Rethemeyer, J., Reyers, M., Ritter, B., Schween, J.H.,  Sevinç, F., Steiner, J., Walber-Hellmann, K., Melles, M., 2024. Late Pleistocene to modern precipitation changes at the Paranal clay pan, central Atacama Desert, Global and Planetary Change, Volume 233.

MM Lenz, R Scheuer, X Zhang, A Jaeschke, S Opitz, N Leicher, M Pöllen, X Xu, J Rethemeyer, E Rahmedinov, K Abdrakhmatov, V Wennrich, B Wagner, 2023 Modern Sedimentation Patterns in Lake Issyk Kul (Kyrgyzstan), Derived From Surface Sediment and Inlet Stream Samples. Earth and Space Science,

Foerster, V., Asrat, A., Bronk Ramsey, C., Brown, E.T., Chapot, M.S., Deino, A., Duesing, W., Grove, M., Hahn, A., Junginger, A., Kaboth-Bahr, S., Lane, C.S., Opitz, S., Noren, A., Roberts, H.M., Stockhecke, M., Tiedemann, R., Vidal, C.M., Vogelsang, R., Cohen, A.S., Lamb, H.F., Schaebitz, F., Trauth, M., 2022. Pleistocene climate variability in eastern Africa influenced hominin evolution. Nature Geoscience.

Schaebitz, F., Asrat, A., Lamb, H.F., Cohen, A.S., Foerster, V., Duesing, W., Kaboth-Bahr, S., Opitz, S., Viehberg, F.A., Vogelsang, R., Dean, J., Leng, M.J., Junginger, A., Bronk Ramsey, C., Chapot, M.S., Deino, A., Lane, C.S., Roberts, H.., Vidal, C., Tiedemann, R., Trauth, M.H., 2021, Hydroclimate changes in eastern Africa over the past 200,000 years may have influenced early human dispersal. Nature Communications Earth and Environment,

Gebregiorgis, G., Deocampo, D., Foerster, V., Longstaffe F., Delaney, J., Schaebitz, F., Junginger, A., Markowska, M., Opitz, S., Trauth, M., Lamb, H., Asrat, A., 2021. Modern Sedimentation and Authigenic Mineral Formation in the Chew Bahir Basin, Southern Ethiopia: Implications for Interpretation of Late Quaternary Paleoclimate Records. Frontiers in Earth Science,

Stock, F., Laermanns, H., Pint, A., Knipping, M., Wulf, S., Hassel, A., Heiss, A., Ladstaetter, S, Opitz, S., Schwaiger, H., Brückner, H., 2020. Human-environment interaction in the hinterland of Ephesos – as deduced from an in-depth study of Lake Belevi, West Anatolia, Quaternary Science Reviews, 244.

Medialdea, A., May, S.-M., Brill, D., King, G., Ritter, B., Wennrich, V., Bartz, M., Zander, A., Kuiper, K., Hurtado, S., Hoffmeister, D., Schulte, P., Gröbner, M., Opitz, S., Brückner, H., Bubenzer, O., 2019. Identification of humid periods in the Atacama Desert through hillslope activity established by infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) dating, Global and Planetary Change, 185.

Brill, D., Seeger, K., Pint, A., Reize, F., Kay Thwe Hlaing, Seeliger, M., Opitz, S., Khin Mi Mi Win, Win Thuuar Nyunt, Nilar Aye, Aung Aung, Kyaw Kyaw, Krass, F., Brückner, H., 2019. Modern and historical tropical cyclone and tsunami deposits at the coast of Myanmar – Implications for their identification and preservation in the geological record. Sedimentology, 67, 1431-1459.

Engel, M., Rückmann, S., Drechsler, P., Brill, D., Opitz, S., Fassbinder, J.W., Pint, A., Peis, K.,  Dennis Wolf, Gerber, C.,  Pfeiffer, K., Eichmann, R., Brückner, H., 2019. Sediment-filled karst depressions and riyad – key archaeological environments of south Qatar, E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 69, 1–22.

Laermanns, H., May, M.S., Kelterbaum, D., Kirkitadze, G., Opitz, S., Navrozashvili, L., Elashvili, M., Brückner, H., 2019. Coastal lowland and floodplain evolution along the lower reaches of the Supsa River (western Georgia). E&G Quaternary Science Journal 68 (2), 119-139.

Hasberg, A.K.M., Bijaksana, S., Held, P., Just, J., Melles, M., Morlock, M., Opitz, S., Russell, J., Vogel, H., Wennrich, V., 2018.  Modern sedimentation processes in Lake Towuti, Indonesia, revealed by the composition of surface sediments, Sedimentology,

Mingram, J., Stebich, M., Schettler, G., Hu, Y.,  Rioual, P., Nowaczyk, N., Dulski, P.,  You, H., Opitz, S., Liu, Q., Liu, J., 2018. Millennial-scale East Asian monsoon variability of the last glacial deduced from annually laminated sediments from Lake Sihailongwan, NE China. Quaternary Science Reviews 201, 57-76.

Laermanns, H., Kirkitadze, G., May, S., Kelterbaum, D.,  Opitz, S.,  Heisterkamp, A., Basilaia, G., Elashvill, M.,  Brückner, H., 2018. Bronze Age settlement mounds on the Colchian plain at the Black Sea coast of Georgia: A geoarchaeological perspective. Geoachology  33, 453-469

Stock, F., Halder, S., Opitz, S., Pint, A., Seren S., Ladstätter, S., Brückner, H., 2017. Late Holocene coastline and landscape changes to the west of Ephesus, Turke. Quaternary International,

Ginat, H., Opitz, S., Ababneh, L.,Faersthein, G., Lazar, M., Porat, N., Mischke, S., 2017. Pliocene-Pleistocene waterbodies and associated deposits in southern Israel and southern Jordan. Journal of Arid Environments 148, 14-33.

May, S.M., Brill, D., Leopold, M., Callow, N., Engel, M., Scheffers, A., Opitz, S., Norpoth, M., Brückner, H., 2017.  Chronostratigraphy and geomorphology of washover fans in the Exmouth Gulf (NW Australia) - A record of tropical cyclone activity during the late Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 169, 65-84.

May, S.M., Gelhausen, H., Brill, D., Callow, N., Engel, M., Opitz, S., Scheffers, A., Boyau, R. J., Leopold, M., Brückner, H., 2017. Chenier-type ridges in Giralia Bay (Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia)-Processes, chronostratigraphy, and significance for recording past tropical cyclones. Marine Geology 396, 186-204

Laermanns, H.,  Kelterbaum, D., May, S.M., Elashvili, M., Opitz, S., Hülle, D., Rölkens, J., Verheul, J., Riedesel, S., Brueckner, H., 2017. Mid- to Late Holocene landscape changes in the Rioni Delta area (Kolkheti lowlands, W Georgia). Quaternary International, 465, Part A, 85-98

van ´t Hoff, J., Schröder, T., Held, P., Opitz, S., Wagner, B., Reicherter, K., Melles, M., 2017. Modern sedimentation processes in Laguna de Medina, southern Spain, derived from lake surface sediment and catchment soil samples. Journal of Limnology, 76(1), 103-115.

Brill, D., May, S.M., Engel, M., Reyes, M., Pint, A., Opitz, S., Dierick, M., Gonzalo, L.A., Brückner, H., 2016. Typhoon Haiyan’s sedimentary record in coastal environments of the Philippines and its palaeotempestological implications. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 16, 2799–2822.

Opitz, S., Ramisch, A., IJmker, J., Lehmkuhl, F., Mischke, S., Stauch, G., Wünnemann, B., Zhang, Y., Diekmann, B., 2016. Spatio-temporal pattern of detrital clay-mineral supply to a lake system on the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, and its relationship to late Quaternary paleoenvironmental changes. Catena 137, 203-218.

Opitz, S., Zhang, C., Herzschuh, U., Mischke, S., 2015. Climate variability on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau since the Lateglacial based on a palaeolimnological multiproxy approach from Lake Naleng- comparing pollen and non-pollen signals. Quaternary Science Reviews 115, 112-122.

May, S.M., Brill, D., Engel, M., Scheffers, A., Pint, A., Opitz, S., Wennrich, V., Squire, P., Kelletat, D., Brückner, H., 2015. Traces of historical tropical cyclones and tsunamis in the Ashburton Delta (NW Australia). Sedimentology 62, 1546–157.

Mischke, S., Opitz, S., Kalbe, J., Ginat, H., Saqarat, B., Ababneh, L., 2015. Palaeoenvironmental inferences for the Pleistocene sediments of the Al Jafr Basin. Quaternary International 382, 154-167.

Dietze, E., Maussion, F., Ahlborn, M., Diekmann, B., Hartmann, K., Henkel, K., Kasper, T., Lockot, G., Opitz, S., Haberzettl, T., 2014. Sediment transport processes across the Tibetan Plateau inferred from robust grain size end-members in lake sediments. Climate of the Past 10, 91-106.

Opitz, S., Ramisch, A., Mischke, S., Diekmann, B., 2013. Holocene lake stages and thermokarst dynamics in a discontinuous permafrost affected region, north-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 76, 85-94.

Opitz, S., Wünnemann, B., Aichner, B., Dietze, E., Hartmann, K., Herzschuh, U., IJmker, J., Lehmkuhl, F., Li, S., Mischke, S., Plotzki, A., Stauch, G., Diekmann, B., 2012. Late glacial and Holocene development of Lake Donggi Cona, north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, inferred from sedimentological analysis. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, 337-338, 159–176.

Dietze, E., Diekmann, B., Wünnemann, B., Aichner, B., Hartmann, K., Herzschuh, U., IJmker, J., Jin, H., Kopsch, C., Lehmkuhl, F., Li, S., Mischke, S., Niessen, F., Opitz, S., Stauch, G., 2012. An end-member algorithm for deciphering modern detrital processes from lake sediments of Lake Donggi Cona, NE Tibetan Plateau, China. Sedimentary Geology, 243–244, 169-180.

IJmker, J., Stauch, G., Dietze, E., Hartmann, K., Diekmann, B., Lockot, G., Opitz, S., Wünnemann, W., Lehmkuhl, F., 2012. Characterisation of transport processes and sedimentary deposits by statistical end-member mixing analysis of terrestrial sediments in the Donggi Cona lake catchment, NE Tibetan Plateau. Sedimentary Geology, 281, 166-179.

Stauch, G., IJmker, J., Poetsch, S., Zhao, H., Hilgers, A., Diekmann, B., Dietze,E., Hartmann, K., Opitz, S., Wünnemann, B., Lehmkuhl, F., 2012. Aeolian sediments on the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Science Reviews, 57, 71-84.

Wulf, S., Keller, J., Paterne, M., Mingram, J., Lauterbach, S., Opitz, S., Sottili, G., Albert, P., Satow, C., Viccaro,M., Brauer, A., 2012. The 100–133 ka record of Italian explosive volcanism and revised tephrochronology of Lago Grande di Monticchio. Quaternary Science Reviews, 58, 104-123.

IJmker, J., Stauch, G., Hartmann, K., Diekmann, B., Dietze, E., Opitz S., Wünnemann, B., Lehmkuhl, F., 2011. Environmental conditions in the Donggi Cona lake catchment, NE Tibetan Plateau, based on factor analysis of geochemical data. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 44, 176–188.

Dietze, E., Diekmann, B., Wünnemann, B., Aichner, B., Hartmann, K., Herzschuh, U., IJmker, J., Jin, H., Kopsch, C., Lehmkuhl, F., Li, S., Mischke, S., Niessen, F., Opitz, S., Stauch, G., 2010. Basin morphology and seismic stratigraphy of Lake Donggi Cona, north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, China. Quaternary International 218, 131–142.


Reviews for international peer reviewed journals:

  • Journal of Paleolimnology
  • Quaternary Research
  • Sedimentology
  • Quaternary International
  • Hydrological Processes
  • Atmosphere-Ocean
  • Earth Surface Processes and Landforms


  • since 2014 - Laboratory Manager (University of Cologne)
  • 2012-2014 - Postdoc position (University Potsdam)
  • 2008-2012 - Ph.D. (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar und Marine Research, Potsdam)
  • 2008 - Diploma in Geology (University Postdam)


  • Laborpraktikum mit sedimentologischem Schwerpunkt (Msc)
  • Gelände- und Laborpraktikum zur Landschaftsgeschichte der Nordseeküste (Bsc, mit Dr. Max Engel)
  • Proseminar "Relief und Boden" (Bsc)
  • Absolventen und Forschungsseminar (mit Prof. Brückner, Dr. Engel und PD Dr. Kehl)
  • Holozäne Mensch-Umweltdynamik  - Wie verändert der Mensch das Klima und welchen Einfluss hatten natürliche Klimavariabilitäten auf die Menschheitsgeschichte? (Lektüreseminar, Msc)
  • Umweltanalyse und Gutachten auf Basis von bodenkundlichen und hydrologischen Untersuchungsmethoden - Gefährdungsbeurteilung eines anthropogen metallbelasteten Auenbodens am Flehbach in Köln (Bsc, zusammen mit Dr. Kristof Dorau)