dr. ir. Francien Peterse
Assistant Professor
Earth Sciences - Organic geochemistry
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Francien Peterse is assistant professor in the Organic Geochemistry group. Her research interests vary from land-sea soil organic carbon transport dynamics, to the reconstruction of past climate change, as well as to method development and validation. The occurrence, distribution, and isotopic composition of specific molecules derived from plants and/or (micro)organisms, or so-called lipid biomarkers, are the most important tools for this work.

Francien is a member of the Utrecht Young Academy since november 2016.

Scientific expertise

Godavari River, India (August 2015, fieldwork VENI research)

ICDP DEEPChalla expedition, Kenya (November 2016)
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Curriculum vitae


2014 - present: Assistant Professor, Universiteit Utrecht, Geochemistry, the Netherlands 

2011 - 2013: Postdoctoral Fellow, ETH-Zürich, Biogeosciences, Switzerland

2007 - 2011: PhD student, Royal NIOZ/UU, the Netherlands

2006: Research Assistant, Wageningen University and Research Center, the Netherlands

1999 - 2006: Study Soil, Water, Atmosphere (specialization Soil Science), Wageningen University and Research Center, the Netherlands



2016: KNAW China Exchange Program

2013: NWO-VENI Postdoctoral Fellowship (€250.000)

2012: ESF-MOLTER Exchange Visit Grant

2011: ETH Postdoctoral Fellowship (CHF197.000)

2011: ESF-MOLTER Young Scientist Travel Award

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All publications
Freymond, Chantal V., Peterse, Francien, Fischer, Lorena V., Filip, Florin, Giosan, Liviu & Eglinton, Timothy I. (2017). Branched GDGT signals in fluvial sediments of the Danube River basin - Method comparison and longitudinal evolution. Organic Geochemistry, 103, (pp. 88-96) (9 p.).
Miller, Charlotte S, Peterse, Francien, da Silva, Anne-Christine, Baranyi, Viktória, Reichart, Gert J. & Kürschner, Wolfram M. (01.06.2017). Astronomical age constraints and extinction mechanisms of the Late Triassic Carnian crisis. Scientific Reports, 7 (1), (pp. 2557).
Peterse, F. & Eglinton, Timothy I. (13.06.2017). Grain Size Associations of Branched Tetraether Lipids in Soils and Riverbank Sediments: Influence of Hydrodynamic Sorting Processes. Frontiers in Earth Science - Biogeoscience
Randlett, Marie Eve, Bechtel, Achim, van der Meer, Marcel T J, Peterse, Francien, Litt, Thomas, Pickarski, Nadine, Kwiecien, Ola, Stockhecke, Mona, Wehrli, Bernhard & Schubert, Carsten J. (2017). Biomarkers in Lake Van sediments reveal dry conditions in eastern Anatolia during 110.000-10.000 years B.P. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18 (2), (pp. 571-583).
Woelders, L., Vellekoop, J., Kroon, D., Smit, J., Casadío, S., Prámparo, M. B., Dinarès-Turell, J., Peterse, F., Sluijs, A., Lenaerts, J.T.M. & Speijer, R. P. (2017). Latest Cretaceous climatic and environmental change in the South Atlantic region. Paleoceanography, 32 (5), (pp. 466-483) (18 p.).
Schreuder, Laura T., Beets, Christiaan J., Prins, Maarten A., Hatté, Christine & Peterse, Francien (01.05.2016). Late Pleistocene climate evolution in Southeastern Europe recorded by soil bacterial membrane lipids in Serbian loess. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 449, (pp. 141-148) (8 p.).
Zhou, Bin, Wali, Guzalnur, Peterse, Francien & Bird, Michael I. (2016). Organic carbon isotope and molecular fossil records of vegetation evolution in central Loess Plateau since 450 kyr. Science China Earth Sciences, 59 (6), (pp. 1206-1215) (10 p.). Research Paper Special Topic: Advances in organic proxies for research in climate and environmental changes.
Li, Zhongqiao, Peterse, Francien, Wu, Ying, Bao, Hongyan, Eglinton, Timothy I. & Zhang, Jing (2015). Sources of organic matter in Changjiang (Yangtze River) bed sediments - Preliminary insights from organic geochemical proxies. Organic Geochemistry, 85, (pp. 11-21) (11 p.).
Peterse, F., Moy, C. M. & Eglinton, T. I. (16.02.2015). A laboratory experiment on the behaviour of soil-derived core and intact polar GDGTs in aquatic environments. Biogeosciences, 12 (4), (pp. 933-943) (11 p.).
Naeher, S., Niemann, H., Peterse, F., Smittenberg, R.H., Zigah, P.K. & Schubert, C.J. (2014). Tracing the methane cycle with lipid biomarkers in Lake Rotsee (Switzerland). Organic Geochemistry, 66, (pp. 174-181) (8 p.). Source: Scopus.
Naeher, S., Peterse, F., Smittenberg, R.H., Niemann, H., Zigah, P.K. & Schubert, C.J. (2014). Sources of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in catchment soils, water column and sediments of Lake Rotsee (Switzerland) - Implications for the application of GDGT-based proxies for lakes. Organic Geochemistry, 66, (pp. 164-173) (10 p.). Source: Scopus.
Peterse, F., Martínez-García, A., Zhou, B., Beets, C.J., Prins, M.A., Zheng, H. & Eglinton, T.I. (2014). Molecular records of continental air temperature and monsoon precipitation variability in East Asia spanning the past 130,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 83, (pp. 76-82) (7 p.).
Peterse, Francien, Vonk, Jorien E., Holmes, R. Max, Giosan, Liviu, Zimov, Nikita & Eglinton, Timothy I. (2014). Branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in Arctic lake sediments: Sources and implications for paleothermometry at high latitudes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 119 (8), (pp. 1738-1754) (17 p.).
Zhou, B., Shen, C., Sun, W., Bird, M., Ma, W., Taylor, D., Liu, W., Peterse, F., Yi, W. & Zheng, H. (2014). Late pliocene-pleistocene expansion of C4 vegetation in semiarid East Asia linked to increased burning - Geology. Geology, 42 (12), (pp. 1067-1070) (4 p.).
Ernst, N., Peterse, F., Breitenbach, S.F.M., Syiemlieh, H.J. & Eglinton, T.I. (2013). Biomarkers record environmental changes along an altitudinal transect in the wettest place on Earth. Organic Geochemistry, 60, (pp. 93-99).
Schouten, S., Hopmans, E.C., Rosell-Melé, A., Pearson, A., Adam, P., Bauersachs, T., Bard, E., Bernasconi, S.M., Bianchi, T.S., Brocks, J.J., Carlson, L.T., Castañeda, I.S., Derenne, S., Selver, A.D., Dutta, K., Eglinton, T., Fosse, C., Galy, V., Grice, K., Hinrichs, K.U., Huang, Y., Huguet, A., Huguet, C., Hurley, S., Ingalls, A., Jia, G., Keely, B., Knappy, C., Kondo, M., Krishnan, S., Lincoln, S., Lipp, J., Mangelsdorf, K., Martínez-García, A., Ménot, G., Mets, A., Mollenhauer, G., Ohkouchi, N., Ossebaar, J., Pagani, M., Pancost, R.D., Pearson, E.J., Peterse, F., Reichart, G.-J., Schaeffer, P., Schmitt, G., Schwark, L., Shah, S.R., Smith, R.W., Smittenberg, R.H., Summons, R.E., Takano, Y., Talbot, H.M., Taylor, K.W.R., Tarozo, R., Uchida, M., van Dongen, B.E., Van Mooy, B.A.S., Wang, J., Warren, C., Weijers, J.W.H., Werne, J.P., Woltering, M., Xie, S., Yamamoto, M., Zhang, C.L., Zhang, Y., Zhao, M. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2013). An interlaboratory study of TEX86 and BIT analysis of sediments, extracts, and standard mixtures. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14 (12), (pp. 5263-5285) (23 p.).
Peterse, F., Schouten, S., van der Meer, J., van der Meer, M.T.J. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2012). Corrigendum to "Distribution of branched tetraether lipids in geothermally heated soils: Implications for the MBT/CBT temperature proxy" [Organic Geochem. 40, 201-205 (2009)]. Organic Geochemistry, 51, (pp. 11-12) (2 p.). Source: Scopus.
Peterse, F., van der Meer, J., Schouten, S., Weijers, J.W.H., Fierer, N., Jackson, R.B., Kim, J.-H. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2012). Revised calibration of the MBT-CBT paleotemperature proxy based on branched tetraether mebrane lipids in surface soils. Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta, 96, (pp. 215-229) (15 p.).
Sauder, L.A., Peterse, F., Schouten, S. & Neufeld, J.D. (2012). Low-ammonia niche of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in rotating biological contactors of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Environmental Microbiology, 14 (9), (pp. 2589-2600) (12 p.). Source: Scopus.
Kim, J.-H., Peterse, F., Willmott, V., Klitgaard Kristensen, D., Baas, M., Schouten, S. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2011). Large ancient organic matter contributions to Arctic marine sediments (Svalbard). Limnology and Oceanography, 56 (4), (pp. 1463-1474) (12 p.). Source: Scopus Climate and Biota of the Early Paleogene 2011.
Peterse, F., Hopmans, E.C., Schouten, S., Mets, A., Rijpstra, W.I.C. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2011). Identification and distribution of intact polar branched tetraether lipids in peat and soil. Organic Geochemistry, 42 (9), (pp. 1007-1015) (9 p.). Source: Scopus European Geoscience Union.
Peterse, F., Prins, M.A., Beets, C.J., Troelstra, S.R., Zheng, H., Gu, Z., Schouten, S. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2011). Decoupled warming and monsoon precipitation in East Asia over the last deglaciation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 301 (1-2), (pp. 256-264) (9 p.). Source: Scopus International Conference on the status and future of the World’s Large Rivers.
Weijers, J.W.H., Bernhardt, B., Peterse, F., Werne, J.P., Dungait, J.A.J., Schouten, S. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2011). Absence of seasonal patterns in MBT-CBT indices in mid-latitude soils. Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75 (11), (pp. 3179-3190) (12 p.).
Kim, J.-H., Zarzycka, B., Buscail, R., Peterse, F., Bonnin, J., Ludwig, W., Schouten, S. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2010). Contribution of river-borne soil organic carbon to the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean). Limnology and Oceanography, 55 (2), (pp. 507-518) (12 p.). Source: Scopus.
Peterse, F., Nicol, G.W., Schouten, S. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2010). Influence of soil pH on the abundance and distribution of core and intact polar lipid-derived branched GDGTs in soil. Organic Geochemistry, 41 (10), (pp. 1171-1175) (5 p.). Source: Scopus.
Peterse, F., Kim, J.-H., Schouten, S., Kristensen, D.K., Koç, N. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2009). Constraints on the application of the MBT/CBT palaeothermometer at high latitude environments (Svalbard, Norway). Organic Geochemistry, 40 (6), (pp. 692-699) (8 p.). Source: Scopus.
Peterse, F., Schouten, S., van der Meer, J., van der Meer, M.T.J. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2009). Distribution of branched tetraether lipids in geothermally heated soils: Implications for the MBT/CBT temperature proxy. Organic Geochemistry, 40 (2), (pp. 201-205) (5 p.). Source: Scopus.
Peterse, F., van der Meer, M.T.J., Schouten, S., Jia, G., Ossebaar, J., Blokker, J. & Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2009). Assessment of soil n-alkane δD and branched tetraether membrane lipid distributions as tools for paleoelevation reconstruction. Biogeosciences, 6, (pp. 2799-2807) (9 p.).
Buurman, P., Peterse, F. & Almendros Martin, G. (2007). Soil organic matter chemistry in allophanic soils: A pyrolysis-GC/MS study of a Costa Rican Andosol catena. European Journal of Soil Science, 58 (6), (pp. 1330-1347) (18 p.).
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GEO3-1308: Geochemical Processes at the Earth's Surface

GEO4-1420: Organic Geochemistry

GEO4-1440: Microbes and Biogeochemistry

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Additional functions and activities

2016 - present: Special Issue Editor Biogeosciences

2014 - present: Associate Editor Frontiers in Biogeoscience


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Full name
dr. ir. F. Peterse Contact details
Willem C. van Unnikgebouw

Heidelberglaan 2
Room 504
The Netherlands

Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 5068

Budapestlaan 4
Room W 214
The Netherlands

Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 5068
Phone number (department) +31 30 353 5005
Postal address
Postbus 80.021
3508 TA    UTRECHT
The Netherlands
Mo Tue Wed Thu Fr

Monday mornings and Thursday mornings present in the OG labs @GML

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Last updated 04.07.2017