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Dr. Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink

Senior Scientist

Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry

Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-2518
Building: Clark 408A

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #25
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

My research probes the cycling of elements and their isotopes between major geochemical reservoirs (continental crust, oceanic crust, seawater, the Earth's mantle) in order to understand the chemical evolution of Earth.  Specifically, I am interested in how geochemical cycles have affected the (radiogenic) isotopic composition of seawater through time, and how to interpret marine isotope records.  My group has studied the effects of continental weathering, hydrothermal alteration of oceanic crust, accretion of extraterrestrial matter and anthropogenic and volcanogenic inputs to the geochemical cycling of radiogenic isotope systems (Re-Os, Rb-Sr, U-Th-Pb).  My group is also using digital maps of bedrock geology to reconstruct geochemical cycles in the geologic past.  In addition, we are studying variations in the isotope composition of novel stable isotope systems, specifically Re and Sr.  Since 2008 I have been collaborating with colleagues at WHOI, the Woods Hole Research Center, and many institutions around the world to build a network of Global Rivers Observatories ( and observe, how environmental change and societal pressures affect the biogeochemistries of river basins over the coming decades.

Lab Code of Conduct

  • Treat others as you expect to be treated yourself – anywhere, anytime.
  • Leave your surroundings (field site, lab, instrumentation) at least as well as you found them.
  • Wear appropriately safe clothing and always put safety first.
  • Know and abide by WHOI policies relevant to you (
  • Help reduce the lab’s carbon footprint: please turn off unused lights and equipment. 

If things do not go as you expect, please do not hesitate to talk with me.  If you prefer to talk to someone else, Jennifer Carter (Department Administrator), Ben Van Mooy (Department Chair), or someone in the Academic Programs Office or Human Resources can help.  MIT also offers excellent resources (



Ph.D. Max Planck Institute for Chemistry/Geochemistry & University of Mainz, 1994, Geology

M.S. University of Goettingen, 1989, Geology

B.S. University of Clausthal, 1985, Geology



Back in Germany, I have studied Geology and Mineralogy, first at the Technical University of Clausthal, then at the University of Göttingen where I completed my Geology Diploma in 1989.  After 15 months of Civil Service at the University Medical Center in Göttingen, I joined Al Hofmann's Geochemistry Division at the Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz.  During my PhD thesis, I spent three months as a guest student with Greg Ravizza in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at WHOI.  Following the completion of my thesis in 1994, I returned to WHOI as a postdoctoral scholar.  I am still at WHOI, since 2010 as a Senior Scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry.