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For whom

Are you a student, a scientist or simply interested in ongoing research on serpentinites? Our webinars are for everyone interested in learning more about the amazing world of serpentinization and associated fluid-rock interaction processes. We will cover topics from geochemistry, geophysics to biology and astrobiology.

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online presentation

How it works

If you are an interested student or researcher, the monthly online seminar on serpentinites will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about ongoing science in this field. Every first Tuesday of the month two speakers will present their latest work in a 30-minute online presentation, making it a total of one hour of serpentinite science. Whoever wants to stay around after the presentations as the opportunity to discuss science in a relaxed online atmosphere.

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Meet the speakers

The speakers in our 2022/2023 webinar line up share one simple conviction: insights on fluid-rock alteration processes on Earth and other planets drive geology forward. 

Nicholas Tosca
Dr. Nicholas Tosca is head of the Tosca Lab at the University of Cambridge. His research group focuses on the co-evolution and interaction of life and environments throughout the history. Nicholas Tosca performs laboratory experiments and theoretical modelling. Comparing the results with natural rocks on Earth and other planets, such as Mars, helps to understand which environments are supportive for microbial life.

In-situ evidence for serpentinization of the Maaz Formation, Jezero Crater, Mars

Personal email
Personal webpage

Manuel Menzel
Dr. Manuel Menzel is a post-doctoral researcher at the Andalusian Earth Science Institute of the Spanish Research Council in Granada, Spain. His main area of research is the study of interactions between water, CO2 and mantle rocks from shallow to high-pressure conditions. Manuel Menzel uses field observations, microstructural analysis and thermodynamic modelling to understand the parameters and mechanisms that control carbonation and decarbonation in active tectonic settings.

Texture preservation during carbonation and what it tells us about the reactive porosity of serpentinites

Personal email
Personal webpage

Coralie Vesin
Coralie Vesin is a PhD candidate at the University of Bern. She is interested in serpentinization processes at the ocean floor. With oxygen isotope analyses and fluid-mobile elements she deciphers multiple stages of fluid uptake. In her presentation she will show part of her PhD work.

Tracing fluid uptake of abyssal serpentinisation: an in situ oxygen isotope and trace elements approach on serpentine phase

Personal email
Personal webpage

Frieder Klein
Frieder Klein is interested in the chemical interactions between aqueous fluids and rocks in a broad array of geodynamic settings on Earth as well as on other planets. In his research he integrates field geology, geochemistry and spectroscopy with laboratory experiments and thermodynamics modelling to address the fundamental problem of how fluid-rock reactions work. In his presentation, Frieder Klein will talk about serpentinization as a fundamental key in planetary processes.

From Icy Moons to Earth’s Abyss: Serpentinization as a Key Planetary Process

Personal email
Personal webpage

Susan Lang
Dr. Susan Lang is working at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on the interaction between geological environments and microbial communities habituating them. She analyses samples from the serpentinising environments at the Lost city and Von Damm hydrothermal vent fields for abiotic carbon synthesis as well as organic acids. With her research she also aims to better understand where and how life on Earth started.

Carbon cycling is fundamentally different between mafic and ultramafic hydrothermal systems

Personal email 
Personal webpage

Mathilde Cannat
Dr. Mathilde Cannat works at Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in the marine geoscience. Her work concentrates on the structure of the oceanic lithosphere as well as tectonic, magmatic and hydrothermal processes at the mid-ocean ridges. Especially her work on slow-spreading ridges has a major impact on our understanding of exhumation and serpentinization of mantle rocks in extensional regimes. In this presentation she will present her research on the Southwest Indian Ridge showing the tectonic context of serpentization and new results on geological settings of the Old City vent field.

Serpentinization in mid-ocean ridge detachment fault systems 

Personal email
Personal webpage

Benjamin Tutolo
Dr. Benjamin Tutolo from the University of Calgary is working on a wide range of systems. With his group he is developing experiments and numerical models on reactive transport systems. The release of hydrogen during serpentinization on the Earth as well as on Mars is one of his research interests. With the analyses of natural hisingerite samples he gives new constraints in chemical processes on Mars.

Observational constraints on the process and products of Martian serpentinization

Personal email
Personal webpage

Esther Schwarzenbach
Dr. Esther Schwarzenbach, Freie Universität Berlin, is interested in the alteration of the oceanic lithosphere. She focuses on the process of serpentinization and its link to biogenic activity. During such fluid-rock interactions the chemical composition and mineralogy of the bulk rock is changed, which has consequences for the large scale geochemical cycles.

Serpentinization and its role in the global C and S cycle

Personal email
Personal webpage

Thomas Ferrand
Dr. Thomas P. Ferrand is currently working at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, as a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His research notably focuses on serpentinized faults and transformation-driven stress transfers, and are led in a transdisciplinary environment. Thomas has been traveling between the laboratory and the field. He uses an eclectic set of experimental devices to tackle research questions and compares his findings with field observations.

Serpentine, serpentinized faults and related seismicity: a transdisciplinary journey

Personal email
Personal webpage

Martina Preiner
Dr. Martina Preiner is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utrecht and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. She is currently focusing on the catalytic role of nanoparticles in deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields. Here, serpentinization not only releases significant amounts of Hbut also high concentrations of iron nanoparticles that potentially play a crucial role in carbon fixation and are thus important for life on today’s as well as early Earth.

How nanoparticles might connect serpentinization, origin of life and carbon fixation

Personal email
Personal webpage / Project webpage

Let’s talk serpentine

Scientists gather data about serpentinization and fluid-rock alteration processes every day. We share their superb work in a series of free webinars. Interested in the latest insights? Register! Other questions? Contact us here.

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