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Durham University

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Dr Matthias Sinnesael, PhD

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Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42347
Room number: Rm 309

Contact Dr Matthias Sinnesael (email at

Cyclostratigraphy Intercomparison Project


PhD Project: Astronomical cycle identification methods and their application to high-resolution Ordovician stratigraphy

PhD on Ordovician cyclostratigraphy, contribution to cyclostratigraphic methodology, studied K-Pg boundary sections, Devonian cyclostratigraphy, carbonate geochemistry (isotope systems and XRF), general interest in integrated stratigraphy, paleoclimatology, cyclicity ...

Post-doc-Project: A fizzle or a bang how fast was the Cambrian 'explosion'? (Leverhulme Project, PI Martin Smith)

To reconstruct past interactions between life and the planet, it is necessary to construct a detailed timeline that links evolutionary events with environmental change. This requires the correlation of geochemical and sedimentary observations with an incomplete fossil record.

This project will construct Bayesian models of stratigraphy and morphological evolution, which will allow diverse sources of geological data to be integrated into a single timeline, allowing tests of causality and correlation.

These models will be applied to the Cambrian Explosion, establishing the character, causes and consequences of this profound evolutionary diversification—thus illuminating the origins of diverse animal-dominated ecosystems and their impact on Earth processes.

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Stratigraphy, Palaeoclimatology, Bayesian, Cyclostratigraphy, Paleozoic


Journal Article

  • Goderis, Steven, Sato, Honami, Ferrière, Ludovic, Schmitz, Birger, Burney, David, Kaskes, Pim, Vellekoop, Johan, Wittmann, Axel, Schulz, Toni, Chernonozhkin, Stepan M., Claeys, Philippe, de Graaff, Sietze J., Déhais, Thomas, de Winter, Niels J., Elfman, Mikael, Feignon, Jean-Guillaume, Ishikawa, Akira, Koeberl, Christian, Kristiansson, Per, Neal, Clive R., Owens, Jeremy D., Schmieder, Martin, Sinnesael, Matthias, Vanhaecke, Frank, Van Malderen, Stijn J. M., Bralower, Timothy J., Gulick, Sean P. S., Kring, David A., Lowery, Christopher M., Morgan, Joanna V., Smit, Jan & Whalen, Michael T. (2021). Globally distributed iridium layer preserved within the Chicxulub impact structure. Science Advances 7(9): eabe3647.
  • Da Silva, Anne-Christine, Sinnesael, Matthias, Claeys, Philippe, Davies, Joshua H. F. L., de Winter, Niels J., Percival, L. M. E., Schaltegger, Urs & De Vleeschouwer, David (2020). Anchoring the Late Devonian mass extinction in absolute time by integrating climatic controls and radio-isotopic dating. Scientific Reports 10(1): 12940.