Prof. Dr. Ronny Schönberg

Function: Professor


Universität Tübingen
Wilhelmstraße 56
72076 Tübingen

Office: Room 207, Wilhelmstr. 56


Consulting hours:
Nach Vereinbarung

Fields of study

  • Paleoenvironmental reconstructions
  • Heavy stable isotope geochemistry


My current research interests focus on the geochemical interactions between atmospheric, terrestrial surface and marine processes and their influence on the evolution and development of life on our planet throughout Earth’s history. Current projects include:

  • The development of oxygenic continental weathering in the Neoproterozoic
  • Investigation of microbial activity during the formation of the massive Løkken jasper deposit in Norway
  • Transition metal cycling in cold off-spreading axis hydrothermal systems and associated microbial iron oxy-hydroxide deposits of the N-Atlan
  • The reaction kinetics of chromium species in aqueous media and chromium isotope cycling in the oceans
  • The development of new isotope geochemical tools

I use a variety of geochemical tools and isotope systems for my research. Major tools include:

  • Major and trace element systematics
  • Radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Nd, Pb)
  • Traditional (C, O, S) and non-traditional stable (Li, Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mo) isotope systems

Short CV

Since 2010

Professor for Isotope Geochemistry at the University of Tuebingen (Germany)


Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Geobiology, University of Bergen (Norway)


Habilitation at the Institute of Mineralogy, University of Hannover (Germany)


Research Scientist at the Institute of Mineralogy, University of Hannover (Germany)


Post Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Queensland (Australia)


Ph.D. at the Institute for Geosciences, University of Bern (Switzerland)


Diploma in Mineralogy at the Institute for Geosciences, University of Bern (Switzerland)



  • Kleinhanns IC, Whitehouse MJ, Nolte N, Baero W, Wilsky F, Hansen BT, Schoenberg R (2015): Mode and timing of granitoid magmatism in the Västervik area (SE Sweden, Baltic Shield): Sr-Nd isotope and SIMS U-Pb age constraints. Lithos 212-215: 321-337. DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2014.10.013.
  • Perez-Fodich A, Reich M, Alvarez F, Snyder GT, Schoenberg R, Vargas G, Muramatsu Y, Fehn U (2014): Climate change and tectonic uplift triggered the formation of the Atacama Desert's giant nitrate deposits. Geology 42 (3): 251-254. DOI: 10.1130/G34969.1
  • Moeller K, Schoenberg R, Grenne T, Thorseth IH, Drost K, Pedersen RB (2014): Comparison of Iron Isotope Variations in Modern and Ordovician Siliceous Fe Oxyhydroxide Deposits. Geochimica et Cosmochimia Acta 126: 422-440.
  • Staubwasser M, Schoenberg R, von Blanckenburg F, Krueger S, Pohl C (2013): Isotope fractionation between dissolved and suspended particulate Fe in the oxic and anoxic water column of the Baltic Sea. Biogeosciences 10: 233-245.
  • Wieser M E, Holden N, Coplen T B, Boehlke J K, Berglund M, Brand W A, De Bievre P, Groening M, Loss R D, Meija J, Hirata T, Prohaska T, Schoenberg R, O'Connor G, Walczyk T, Yoneda S, Zhu X-K, (2013): Atomic weights of the elements 2011 (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry 85: 1047-1078.
  • Wille M, Nebel O, Van Kranendonk MJ, Schoenberg R, Kleinhanns IC, Ellwood MJ (2013): Mo-Cr isotope evidence for a reducing Archean atmosphere in 3.46-2.76 Ga black shales from the Pilbara, Western Australia. Chemical Geology 340: 68-76.
  • van Zuilen M, Schoenberg R (2013): Cr isotopes in near surface chemical sediments. In: Melezhik VA, Kump LR, Fallick AE, Strauss H, Hanski EJ, Prave AR, Lepland A (Eds.): Reading the Archive of Earth's Oxygenation. Springer.
  • Moeller K, Schoenberg R, Pedersen RB, Weiss D, Dong S (2012): Calibration of the New Certified Reference Materials ERM-AE633 and ERM-AE647 for Copper and IRMM-3702 for Zinc Isotope Amount Ratio Determinations. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 36: 177-199. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2011.00153.x.
  • Faria N, Winship PD, Weiss DJ, Coles BJ, Schoenberg R, Hutchison C, Pereira DIA, Powell JJ (2011): Development of DRC-ICP-MS methodology for the rapid determination of Fe-58 erythrocyte incorporation in human iron absorption studies. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 26 (8): 1648-1652. DOI: 10.1039/c1ja10103j.
  • Guelke, M., von Blanckenburg, F., Schoenberg, R., Staubwasser, M., Stuetzel, H. (2010): Determining the stable Fe isotope signature of plant-available iron in soils. Chemical Geology 277(3-4), 269-280.
  • Zink, S., Schoenberg, R., and Staubwasser, M. (2010): Isotopic fractionation and reaction kinetics between Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in aqueous media. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74(20), 5729-5745.
  • Mulch, A., Uba, C.E., Strecker, M.R., Schoenberg, R., and Chamberlain, P.C. (2010): Late Miocene climate variability and surface elevation in the central Andes. Earth Planet. Sci. Letters 290(1-2), 173-182.
  • Koepke, J., Schoenborn, S., Oelze, M., Wittmann, H., Feig, S.T., Hellebrand, E., Boudier, F., and Schoenberg, R. (2009): Petrogenesis of crustal wehrlites in the Oman ophiolite: Experiments and natural rocks. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q10002. doi:10.1029/2009GC002488.
  • Schoenberg, R., Marks, M., Schuessler, J.A., von Blanckenburg, F., and Markl, G. (2009): Fe isotope systematics of coexisting amphibole and pyroxene in the alkaline igneous rock suite of the Ilímaussaq Complex, South Greenland. Chem. Geol. 258(1-2), 65-77.
  • Schuessler, J.A., Schoenberg, R., and Sigmarsson, O. (2009): Iron and lithium isotopes in volcanic rocks from Hekla, Iceland – Implications for isotopic fractionation during magma differentiation. Chemical Geology 258(1-2), 78-91.
  • Schoenberg, R., Zink, S., Staubwasser, M., and von Blanckenburg, F. (2008): The stable Cr isotope inventory of solid Earth reservoirs determined by double-spike MC-ICP-MS. Chemical Geology 249(3-4), 294-306.
  • Von Blanckenburg F., Mamberti M., Schoenberg R., Webb G., and Kamber B.S. (2008): The iron isotope composition of microbial carbonate. Chem. Geol. 249(1-2), 113-128.
  • Weiss, D.J., Rehkämper, M., Schoenberg, R., McLaughlin, M., Kirby, J., Campbell, P., Arnold, T., Chapman, J., Peel, K., and Gioia, S. (2008): Application of nontraditional stable isotope systems to the study of sources and fate of metals in the environment. Environmental Science and Technology 42(3), 655-664.
  • Schuessler, J.A., Schoenberg, R. , Behrens, H., and von Blanckenburg F. (2007): The experimental calibration of the iron isotope fractionation factor between pyrrhotite and peralkaline rhyolitic melt. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 71(2), 417-433.
  • Frost, C. D., von Blanckenburg, F., Schoenberg, R., Frost, B. R., and Swapp, S. M. (2006): Preservation of Fe isotope heterogeneities during diagenesis and metamorphism of banded iron formation. Contrib. Min. Petrol153(2), 211-235.
  • Schoenberg, R. and von Blanckenburg, F. (2006): Modes of planetary-scale Fe isotope fractionation. Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett. 252(3-4), 342-359.
  • Andersen, J.C.O., Thalhammer, O.A.R., and Schoenberg, R., (2006): Platinum-group element and Re-Os isotope variations of the high-grade Kilvenjärvi platinum-group element deposit, Portimo layered igneous complex, Finland. Econ. Geology 101(1), 159-177.
  • Staubwasser, M., von Blanckenburg, F., Schoenberg, R. (2006): Iron isotopes in the early marine diagenetic iron cycle. Geology 34(8), 629-632.
  • Horn, I., von Blanckenburg, F., Schoenberg, R., Steinhoefel, G., and Markl, G. (2006): In situ iron isotope ratio determination using UV-femtosecond laser ablation with application to hydrothermal ore formation processes. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70(14), 3677-3688.
  • Horn I., Schoenberg R., and von Blanckenburg F. (2006): Comment on "Analysis of Fe isotopes in sulfides and iron meteorites by laser ablation high-mass resolution multi-collector-ICP mass spectrometry" by J. Kosler, R.B. Pedersen, C. Kruber and P.J. Sylvester, J. Analytical Atomic Spectrom. 21(2), 211-213.
  • Mercolli I., Briner A.P., Frei R., Schoenberg R., Nagler T.F., Kramers J., and Peters T. (2006): Lithostratigraphy and geochronology of the Neoproterozoic crystalline basement of Salalah, Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman. Precambrian Research 145(3-4), 182-206.
  • Krayenbuehl P.A., Walczyk T., Schoenberg R., von Blanckenburg F., and Schulthess G. (2005): Hereditary hemochromatosis is reflected in the iron isotope composition of blood. Blood 105(10), 3812-3816.
  • Schoenberg, R., and von Blanckenburg, F., (2005): An assessment of the accuracy of stable Fe isotope ratio measurements on samples with organic and inorganic matrices by high-resolution multicollector ICP-MS. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 242, 257-272.
  • Kamber B.S., Greig A., Schoenberg R., and Collerson K.D. (2003): A refined solution to Earth's hidden niobium: implications for evolution of continental crust and mode of core formation. Precamb. Res. 126, 289-308.
  • Schoenberg R., Nagler T.F., Gnos E., Kramers J.D., and Kamber B.S. (2003): The source of the Great Dyke, Zimbabwe, and its tectonic significance: Evidence from Re-Os isotopes. J. Geol. 111, 565-578.
  • Schoenberg R., Kamber B.S., Collerson K.D., Eugster O. (2002): New W-isotope evidence for rapid terrestrial accretion and very early core formation. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66, 3151-3160.
  • Collerson K.D., Kamber B.S., Schoenberg R. (2002): Applications of accurate, high-precision Pb isotope ratio measurement by multi-collector ICP-MS. Chem. Geol. 188, 65-83.
  • Schoenberg R., Kamber B.S., Collerson K.D., Moorbath S. (2002): Tungsten isotope evidence from similar to 3.8-Gyr metamorphosed sediments for early meteorite bombardment of the Earth. Nature 418, 403-405.
  • Oberthur T., Weiser T.W., Gast L., Schoenberg R., Davis D.W. (2002): Platinum-group minerals and other detrital components in the Karoo-age Somabula gravels, Gweru, Zimbabwe. Can. Mineralog. 40, 435-456.
  • Meisel T., Moser J., Fellner N., Wegscheider W., Schoenberg R. (2001): Simplified method for the determination of Ru, Pd, Re, Os, Ir and Pt in chromitites and other geological materials by isotope dilution ICP-MS and acid digestion. Analyst 126, 322-328.
  • Schoenberg R., Nagler T.F., Kramers J.D. (2000): Precise Os isotope ratio and Re-Os isotope dilution measurements down to the picogram level using multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 197, 85-94.
  • Schoenberg R., Kruger F.J., Nagler T.F., Meisel T., Kramers J.D. (1999): PGE enrichment in chromitite layers and the Merensky Reef of the western Bushveld Complex; a Re-Os and Rb-Sr isotope study. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 172, 49-64.
  • Frei R., Blenkinsop T.G., Schonberg R. (1999): Geochronology of the late Archaean Razi and Chilimanzi suites of granites in Zimbabwe: implications for the late Archaean tectonics of the Limpopo Belt and Zimbabwe Craton. South African Journal of Geology 102, 55-63.
  • Frei R., Nagler T.F., Schonberg R., Kramers J.D. (1998): Re-Os, Sm-Nd, U-Pb, and stepwise lead leaching isotope systematics in shear-zone hosted gold mineralization: Genetic tracing and age constraints of crustal hydrothermal activity. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 62, 1925-1936.