Köhler, Inga, Dr.

Geomicrobiology - Geochemistry

Dr. Dipl.-Geol. Inga Köhler

Inga Köhler
Postal Address: Friedrich Schiller University of Jena
Institute of Earth Sciences
Burgweg 11
07749 Jena
Office: H 309B
Phone: +49 3641 948 636
Fax: +49 3641 948 622

Since 04/2014

Research Associate at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Jena


PhD in Geomicrobiology at the Centre of Applied Geosciences, Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen

PhD Thesis: Simulating diagenesis in Precambrian Banded Iron Formations


Diploma in Geology and Paleontology at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen/Nürnberg

Diploma thesis: Growth banding in Silurian Stromatoporoids on Gotland

Diploma mapping: Facies mapping of the western Rhatsberg near Erlangen

Lectures and exercises

Eberhard Karls UniversityTübingen (2008-2011):

·         Laboratory course Geomicrobiology (Shortcourse)

·         Geomicrobiology for Geologists (Exercise)

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (since 2014):

·         Sedimentology (Exercise): 1SWS, Summersemester 2014 and 2015

·         Introduction into Geosciences: 2SWS, Wintersemester 2014

·          Historical Geology: 3SWS, Wintersemester 2014 with C. Heubeck and P. Frenzel

Field training & Fieldtrips

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (since 2014):

        ·         Fieldseminar Sedimentology (2014): 5 days



Moodies Group, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

The Moodies Group (ca. 3.2 Ga) of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa host nearshore depositional environments with structures that resemble microbial mats. The biogenicity of these structures has yet to be confirmed, however, isotopically light kerogen and remains of cellular structures strongly suggest a biological origin.

One goal of my work is therefore to verify the biogenicity of these presumed microbial mats by additional analysis of:

-          Fossil structures by microscopy, SEM, CLSM and nano-SIMS, etc.

-          Kerogen by C-Isotope, Raman spectroscopy and biomarker, etc.

In case biogenicity can be verified, the internal complexity as well as the metabolism and ecology of these microbial mats will further be studied in order to constrain early metabolic pathways and better understand early strategies of life.

Their age, abundance, diverse morphology, good preservation and well-defined paleoenvironments make these mats an ideal object to expand our knowledge of early life and to contribute to our knowledge of biologic diversification, and the rise of oxygen on early earth.


Biogenicity of Precambrian Banded Iron Formations

Furthermore, I am interested in the biological mediated formation of Precambrian Banded Iron Formation (BIFs).

My PhD work involved the simulation of diagenesis in BIFs through temperature and pressure induced iron mineral transformation in high pressure- high temperature autoclaves. I development a suitable experimental system for the laboratory study of biogenic mineral diagenesis and a protocol to identify and quantify gaseous, dissolved and mineral products formed during diagenesis and metamorphism.

In the future I will focus on biological structures and signatures in BIFs of the Moodies and Fig Tree Group of the Barberton Greenstone Belt.



Publications and Conference contributions


Koehler, I., Konhauser, K.O., Kappler, A. (2010). Role of microorganisms in Banded Iron Formations. Geomicrobiology: Molecular and Environmental Perspective. Larry Barton, Martin Mandl and Alexander Loy (Editors). 485p

Koehler, I., Konhauser, K.O., Papineau, D., Kappler, A., (2013). Biological carbon precursor to diagenetic siderite spherulites in banded iron formations, showing the role of biological processes in BIF deposition. Nature Communications, 4, 1741.

Posth, N.R., Köhler, I., Swanner, E., Schröder, C., Wellmann, E., Binder, B., Konhauser, K.O., Neumann, U., Berthold, C., Nowak, M., Kappler, A. (2013). Simulating Precambrian banded iron formation diagenesis. Chemical Geology, 362, 131-142.


Conference contributions

2008 Kalkowsky Symposium in Göttingen, Talk:

Long term diagenetic fate of Fe mineral/cell organic matter aggregates formed

during the deposition of Precambrian Banded Iron Formations


2009 Goldschmidt Conference in Davos, Talk:

Lab simulations of long term diagenetic fate of biomass in Banded Iron



2011 Quenstedt- Feier, Tübingen, Poster:

Effects of pressure and temperature on biogenic iron minerals and organic

compounds- Did Fe(II)- oxidizing bacteria deposit Banded Iron Formations?


2011 Invited talk at the AlbertLudwigs Universität Freiburg

Simulating diagenesis in Precambrian Banded iron formations



Research interests

-       Archean Geomicrobiology

-       Fossil microbial mats of the Moodies Group, South Africa

-       Formation of Banded Iron Formations in the Precambrian

-       Astrobiology

Further information can be fond via my Research Gate, XING and LinkedIn Profils:




Private interests and experience

-      Sweden and the swedish language

-      Star Trek and Firefly, Gyllene Tider and Roxette

-      Professional experience in Photoshop

-      P
opular scientific presentations on Origin of Life on Earth, Life on other Planets and

       the Archean Ecosystem