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Daylength on Earth has increased very gradually from something like 4-12 hours 4.5 billion year ago to 24 hours at present. In this video, JUDITH KLATT explores whether the emergence of oxygen on our planet, vital to the evolution of life, can be linked to changes in the Earth’s rotation rate (daylength). Klatt’s study focuses on the release of oxygen from microbial mats. Modeling and testing in the Middle Island Sinkhole under Lake Huron reveals a positive relationship between daylength and oxygen release. Further research will seek to more specifically identify how microbial mats imprint in the geological record.


Judith Klatt is a Research Scientist in the Microsensor Group at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen where she completed her PhD. Klatt has also been a postdoctoral researcher in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. Her main research interests include the origins of photosynthesis, the physiology of versatile phototrophs and microbial mats as windows into the ancient oceans. Her work is field-oriented and she explores extreme microbial ecosystems all over the world, such as in the high altitude Andes.


Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology

At the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPIMM), we are investigating microorganisms in the sea and other waters. What role do they play, what are their characteristics and how great is their biodiversity? What is the contribution of microorganisms to the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and iron? What does this mean for our environment and our climate? These and many other questions will be answered by researchers from around the world, engineers, technicians and numerous others at the MPIMM. Their fields of expertise range from microbiology to microsensors, geochemistry to genome analysis and molecular ecology to modelling. The MPIMM was founded in 1992 and is part of the Max Planck Society (MPG). Since 2002, the MPIMM has been running the International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology ( MarMic ), a program for highly qualified master students and graduates of our institute and the Bremen Research Alliance partner Bremen University, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research ( AWI ) and Jacobs University.
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Original publication

Possible Link Between Earth’s Rotation Rate and Oxygenation.

et al., Klatt J.M., Chennu A. and Arbic B.K.
Nature Geoscience
Published in 2021

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