Organic Geochemistry

Organic geochemists use a molecular approach to investigate the origin and fate of organic matter in the bio- and geosphere. In Utrecht, the focus is on land-ocean organic carbon transport, paleoclimate reconstructions, proxy development, and ecosystem processes. We study the relationships between the occurrence, distribution, and/or isotopic composition of specific molecules, so-called biomarkers, and environmental parameters in modern systems. These relationships are subsequently used as proxies to reconstruct environmental changes in the past.

Further information can be found on the Netherlands Earth System Science Centre website.


Members of the Organic Geochemistry group teach in several Bachelor and Master courses. We also supervise a number of BSc and MSc students on research projects at UU and the Royal NIOZ , and in collaboration with Geochemistry and Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography .

BSc courses 

MSc courses

Lab facilities

Our instrumentation is based in the GeoLab, the main laboratory facility of the Faculty of Geosciences. We have a preparation lab for the extraction and purification of environmental samples (soils, marine and lake sediments, plant material), as well as an instrument lab for the analysis and identification of lipid biomarkers, including GC, GC-MS, GC-IRMS, HPLC-MS, pyrolysis-GC-MS.