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Tobias Lauer

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Evolution
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 344
fax: 0049 (0) 341 3550 399
e-mail: tobias_lauer@~@eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Tobias Lauer is the head of the luminescence- and infrared-radiofluorescence laboratory within the Department of Human Evolution and focuses on quaternary and palaeoenvironmental research.

Tobias has a strong background in field work and already worked in various sedimentary environments (e.g. loess, fluvial regimes, coastal dunes, periglacial slope deposits)

During his PhD-thesis at the Leibniz-Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG) in Hannover he specialized in luminescence dating, doing both, applied studies in quaternary research and geomorphology and also methodological work in optical dating. During a postdoctoral position at the Geographical Institute in Leipzig Tobias cooperated with dating laboratories in Freiberg and Hannover and used the luminescence dating technique for palaeoenvironmental investigations in Central Germany. After his stay at Leipzig University, Tobias went back to LIAG and worked on loess-palaeosol sequences in Northern Iran focusing on litho- and chronostratigraphical investigations of these sediment archives in Northern Iran.

In November 2015 Tobias started his position at the Department of Human Evolution where he focuses on optical dating of Paleolithic sites mainly located in Europe but also in Africa. One of his main reserach-areas is to unravel terrestrial sediment archives to obtain information on Quaternary palaeoenvironmental shifts. Furthermore, Tobias investigates Middle Pleistocene fluvial archives in Germany and intends to better unravel the timing of the Saalian- and Elsterian glacial cycles in Europe.

Curriculum Vitae


10/2001-04/2007 Studies of Geography (main subject), Geology and
Political Sciences

at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen (Germany);
Title of Diploma-thesis: “Reliefgenese, Böden und periglaziale Deckschichten an der Bauland-Odenwald Grenze” (engl. Morphogeneses, soils and periglacial slope deposits at the Bauland-Odenwald boundary);
Diploma with distinction
09/2003-06/2004 Erasmus
at the Université Aix-Marseille I,
Aix-en-Provence, France
01/2008-12/2010 PhD thesis
at the Leibniz-Institute of Applied Geophysics (LIAG)
in Hannover in the working group of Prof. Manfred Frechen
Title of the thesis: Luminescence and infrared-radiofluorescence dating of fluvialdeposits from the Rhine system – methodological aspects and new insights into quaternary geochronology
May 2011 PhD thesis defense
at the Geographical Institute (FU) Berlin;
10/2010-02/2013 Researcher (and Postdoctoral Researcher after finishing the PhD)
at the Geographical Institute Leipzig,
member of the working group of Prof. Christoph Zielhofer:
  • Lectures in physical geography,
  • supervising of students,
  • research in the field of quaternary sciences,
  • geochronology,
  • palaeoenvironmental studies/geomorphology and sedimentology
03/2013-10/2015 Postdoctoral Researcher
at the Leibniz-Institute of Applied Geophysics
(working group of Prof. Manfred Frechen);
Involved in the research project “Northern Iranian loess and its palaeoclimatic implication”;
  • stratigraphical and sedimentological studies,
  • application of various luminescence dating techniques,
  • coordinator of a field campaign to the northern Iranian loess-plateau
  • guidance of an excursion to the Iranian loess plateau
Since 11/2015 Postdoctoral Researcher
at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
Department of Human Evolution;
Chronological and palaeoenvironmental studies on archaeological sites with focus on central- and eastern Europe; Research on the timing of Middle-Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles; chronology and stratigraphy of sediment archives within the typo region for the Elsterian-and Saalian glacial cycles; Research in luminescence methodology; Supervising of students; Since 2016: Head of the luminescence- and IR-RF laboratory.

Lectureships at Universities

March 2009 Lectureship
at the Geographical Institute of the FU Berlin;
Course on laboratory methods in Physical Geography
May 2010 Lectureship
at the Geographical Institute Leipzig;
and guidance of a 5-days field trip focusing on landscape evolution, periglacial processes, soil development and geoecology in south-west
July 2010 Lectureship
at the Geographical Institute Würzburg:
Organisation and guidance of a 4-days field trip focusing on
periglacial slope deposits and soil development in south-west
Sommersemester 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021 Lectureship
at the Geographical Institute Giessen:
Organisation and guidance of a 4-days field trip focusing on soils, periglacial slope deposits and Quaternary and Tertiary landscape development in southwest Germany
Wintersemester 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2020/2021 Lectureship
at the Geographical Institute Leipzig: Seminar including excursion on Pleistocene sediment archives

Affilations, Reviews & Grants

  • German Quaternary Association
  • Quaternary Subcommission of the German Stratigraphic Commission
  • German Society of Geosciences
  • Deutscher Arbeitskreis für Geomorphologie
  • Secretary: Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG)

Reviewer for the following journals:

  • Quaternary Science Reviews
  • PNAS
  • Quaternary Geochronology
  • Catena
  • Geomorphology
  • Geochronometria
  • Quaternary Science Journal
  • Austrian Journal of Earthsciences
  • Radiation Measurements
  • Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie
  • Journal of Human Evolution
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
  • Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology
  • Journal of Mountain Science
  • Reviewer for the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH)
2019 DFG reserach fellowship (about 14.000 EUR; 1.5.2019 – 31.07.2019) in cooperation with Michel Lamothe (Université du Québec, Montreal). Topic: Infrared-radiofluorescence dating of loess sediments from Alaska with independent age control.
2014 DAAD grant (about 2.400 Euro)
to join the „14th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating“
in Montreal, Canada

Conference sessions and head organization of conferences

2020: Head organizer of the German/Central European Luminescence and ESR meeting (Online conference, November 2020); Max Planck Institute Leipzig


2019: International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
Sediment archives to unravel environmental change influencing Human dispersal in the European Plain
Convenor: Tobias Lauer
Co-Convenors: Marcel Weiß, Roland Zech and Andrzej Wiśniewski

2018: Head organizer of an international workshop an IR-RF dating; Max Planck Institute Leipzig

2016, 2017, 2018: European Geoscience Union (EGU)
Aeolian dust: Initiator, Player, and Recorder of Environmental Change (co-organized)
Convener: Peter Knippertz 
Co-Conveners: Jan-Berend Stuut, Joanna Nield, Tobias Lauer




Cordier, S., Kalicki, T., Lauer, T., Rixhon, G., & van Balen, R. (2021). Twenty-five years of FLAG activity: Concepts, foci, trends in research. Geomorphology, 373: 107443.
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Hein, M., Urban, B., Tanner, D. C., Buness, A. H., Tucci, M., Hoelzmann, P., Dietel, S., Kaniecki, M., Schultz, J., Kasper, T., Suchodoletz, H., Schwalb, A., Weiss, M., & Lauer, T. (2021). Eemian landscape response to climatic shifts and evidence for northerly Neanderthal occupation at a palaeolake margin in Northern Germany. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 46(14), 2884-2901.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Malinsky-Buller, A., Glauberman, P., Ollivier, V., Lauer, T., Timms, R., Frahm, E., Brittingham, A., Triller, B., Kindler, L., Knul, M. V., Krakovsky, M., Joannin, S., Hren, M. T., Bellier, O., Clark, A. A., Blockley, S. P. E., Arakelyan, D., Marreiros, J., Paixaco, E., Calandra, I., Ghukasyan, R., Nora, D., Nir, N., Adigyozalyan, A., Haydosyan, H., & Gasparyan, B. (2021). Short-term occupations at high elevation during the Middle Paleolithic at Kalavan 2 (Republic of Armenia). PLoS One, 16: e0245700.
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Murari, M. K., Kreutzer, S., Frouin, M., Friedrich, J., Lauer, T., Klasen, N., Schmidt, C., Tsukamoto, S., Richter, D., Mercier, N., & Fuchs, M. (2021). Infrared Radiofluorescence (IR-RF) of K-Feldspar: An Interlaboratory Comparison. GEOCHRONOMETRIA, 48(1), 105-120.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Murari, M. K., Kreutzer, S., King, G., Frouin, M., Tsukamoto, S., Schmidt, C., Lauer, T., Klasen, N., Richter, D., Friedrich, J., Mercier, N., & Fuchs, M. (2021). Infrared radiofluorescence (IR-RF) dating: A review. Quaternary Geochronology, 64: 101155.
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Pederzani, S. C., Britton, K., Aldeias, V., Bourgon, N., Fewlass, H., Lauer, T., McPherron, S. P., Rezek, Z., Sirakov, N., Smith, G. M., Spasov, R., Tran, N.-H., Tsanova, T., & Hublin, J.-J. (2021). Subarctic climate for the earliest Homo sapiens in Europe. Science Advances, 7(39): abi4642.
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Faust, D., Kreutzer, S., Trigui, Y., Pachtmann, M., Mettig, G., Bouaziz, M., Recio Espejo, J. M., Diaz del Olmo, F., Schmidt, C., Lauer, T., Rezek, Z., Fülling, A., & Meszner, S. (2020). New findings of Middle Stone Age lithic artifacts from the Matmata loess region in southern Tunisia. E&G Quaternary Science Journal, 69(1), 55-58.
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Flašarová, K., Strouhalová, B., Šefrna, L., Verrecchia, E., Lauer, T., Juřičková, L., Kolařík, P., & Ložek, V. (2020). Multiproxy evidence of middle and Late Pleistocene environmental changes in the loess-paleosol sequence of Bůhzdař (Czech Republic). Quaternary International, 552, 4-14.
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Hein, M., Weiss, M., Otcherednoy, A., & Lauer, T. (2020). Luminescence chronology of the key-Middle Paleolithic site Khotylevo I (Western Russia) - Implications for the timing of occupation, site formation and landscape evolution. Quaternary Science Advances, 2: 100008.
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Lauer, T., Weiss, M., Bernhardt, W., Heinrich, S., Rappsilber, I., Stahlschmidt, M. C., von Suchodoletz, H., & Wansa, S. (2020). The Middle Pleistocene fluvial sequence at Uichteritz, central Germany: Chronological framework, paleoenvironmental history and early human presence during MIS 11. Geomorphology, 354: 107016.
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Moroni, A., Boschian, G., Crezzini, J., Montanari-Canini, G., Marciani, G., Capecchi, G., Arrighi, S., Aureli, D., Berto, C., Freguglia, M., Araujo, A., Scaramucci, S., Hublin, J.-J., Lauer, T., Benazzi, S., Parenti, F., Bonato, M., Ricci, S., Talamo, S., Segre, A. G., Boschin, F., & Spagnolo, V. (2019). Late Neandertals in central Italy. High-resolution chronicles from Grotta dei Santi (Monte Argentario - Tuscany). Quaternary Science Reviews, 217, 130-151.
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von Suchodoletz, H., Tinapp, C., Lauer, T., Glaser, B., Stäuble, H., Kühn, P., & Zielhofer, C. (2019). Distribution of Chernozems and Phaeozems in Central Germany during the Neolithic period. Quaternary International, 511, 166-184.
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Wiśniewski, A., Lauer, T., Chłoń, M., Pyżewicz, K., Weiss, M., Badura, J., Kalicki, T., & Zarzecka-Szubińska, K. (2019). Looking for provisioning places of shaped tools of the late Neanderthals: Astudy of a Micoquian open-air site, Pietraszyn 49a (southwestern Poland) = À la recherche des lieux d’approvisionnement en outils des derniers néandertaliens: étude d’un site micoquien de plein air, Pietraszyn 49a (Sud-Ouest de la Pologne). Comptes Rendus Palevol, 18(3), 367-389.
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Lang, J., Lauer, T., & Winsemann, J. (2018). New age constraints for the Saalian glaciation in northern central Europe: Implications for the extent of ice sheets and related proglacial lake systems. Quaternary Science Reviews, 180, 240-259.
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Lauer, T., & Weiss, M. (2018). Timing of the Saalian- and Elsterian glacial cycles and the implications for Middle – Pleistocene hominin presence in central Europe. Scientific Reports, 8: 5111.
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Vlaminck, S., Kehl, M., Rolf, C., Franz, S. O., Lauer, T., Lehndorff, E., Frechen, M., & Khormali, F. (2018). Late Pleistocene dust dynamics and pedogenesis in Southern Eurasia – Detailed insights from the loess profile Toshan (NE Iran). Quaternary Science Reviews, 180, 75-95.
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Weiss, M., Lauer, T., Wimmer, R., & Pop, C. (2018). The variability of the Keilmesser-Concept: A case study from central Germany. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, 1(3), 202-246.
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Zielhofer, C., Wellbrock, K., al-Souliman, A. S., von Grafenstein, M., Schneider, B., Fitzsimmons, K., Stele, A., Lauer, T., von Suchodoletz, H., Grottker, M., & Gebel, H. G. K. (2018). Climate forcing and shifts in water management on the Northwest Arabian Peninsula (mid-Holocene Rasif wetlands, Saudi Arabia). Quaternary International, 473, Part A, 120-140.
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Dogandzic, T., Talamo, S., Dimitrijević, V., Lauer, T., Aldeias, V., Ruebens, K., Latas, A., Daković, G., Flas, D., Dragosavac, S., Plavšić, S., McPherron, S. P., & Mihailović, D. (2017). Middle and Upper Paleolithic in the Balkans: New data from two recently discovered sites in Serbia. In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (PESHE) (6, pp. 54).
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Lauer, T., Frechen, M., & Fischer, P. (2017). Luminescence dating of the Lower Middle Terrace site at Brühl, southern Lower Rhine Embayment – a first dating approach. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 168(1), 105-114.
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Lauer, T., Frechen, M., Vlaminck, S., Kehl, M., Lehndorff, E., Shahriari, A., & Khormali, F. (2017). Luminescence-chronology of the loess palaeosol sequence Toshan, Northern Iran: A highly resolved climate archive for the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Quaternary International, 429(Part B), 3-12.
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Lauer, T., Vlaminck, S., Frechen, M., Rolf, C., Kehl, M., Sharifi, J., Lehndorff, E., & Khormali, F. (2017). The Agh Band loess-palaeosol sequence – A terrestrial archive for climatic shifts during the last and penultimate glacial–interglacial cycles in a semiarid region in northern Iran. Quaternary International, 429(Part B), 13-30.
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Lauer, T., Weiss, M., Degering, D., Krbetschek, M., Tinapp, C., & Wansa, S. (2017). Optical dating of the Saalian glacial cycle and the onset of the Middle Paleolithic in central Germany. In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (PESHE) (6, pp. 111).
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Tsukamoto, S., Kondo, R., Lauer, T., & Jain, M. (2017). Pulsed IRSL: A stable and fast bleaching luminescence signal from feldspar for dating Quaternary sediments. Quaternary Geochronology, 41, 26-36.
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Vliet-Lanoë, B. V., Lauer, T., Meurisse-Fort, M., Gosselin, G., & Frechen, M. (2017). Late Holocene coastal dune activity along the Dover Strait, Northern France: Insights into Middle Ages and Little Ice Age coastal dynamics constrained by optically stimulated luminescence dating. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften = German Journal of Geology, 168(1), 53-66.
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Wang, X., Wei, H., Khormali, F., Taheri, M., Kehl, M., Frechen, M., Lauer, T., & Chen, F. (2017). Grain-size distribution of Pleistocene loess deposits in northern Iran and its palaeoclimatic implications. Quaternary International, 429(Part B), 41-51.
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Wiśniewski, A., Lauer, T., Kalicki, T., & Chłoń, M. (2017). New radiometric dating of Micoquian site Pietraszyn 49a (SW Poland) and its consequences. In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (PESHE) (6, pp. 216).
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Zielhofer, C., Fletcher, W. J., Mischke, S., De Batist, M., Campbell, J. F. E., Joannin, S., Tjallingii, R., El Hamouti, N., Junginger, A., Stele, A., Bussmann, J., Schneider, B., Lauer, T., Spitzer, K., Strupler, M., Brachert, T., & Mikdad, A. (2017). Atlantic forcing of Western Mediterranean winter rain minima during the last 12,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews, 157, 29-51.
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Vlaminck, S., Kehl, M., Lauer, T., Shahriari, A., Sharifi, J., Eckmeier, E., Lehndorff, E., Khormali, F., & Frechen, M. (2016). Loess-soil sequence at Toshan (Northern Iran): Insights into late Pleistocene climate change. Quaternary International, 399, 122-135.
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Lauer, T. (2015). Radioluminescence (RL). In W. J. Rink, & J. W. Thompson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods (pp. 685-685). New York [u.a.]: Springer.
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Kreutzer, S., Lauer, T., Meszner, S., Krbetschek, M., Faust, D., & Fuchs, M. (2014). Chronology of the Quaternary profile Zeuchfeld in Saxony-Anhalt / Germany: A preliminary luminescence dating study. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues, 58(1), 5-26.
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Lauer, T., Von Suchodoletz, H., Vollmann, H., Meszner, S., Frechen, M., Tinapp, C., Goldmann, L., Müller, S., & Zielhofer, C. (2014). Landscape aridification in Central Germany during the late Weichselian Pleniglacial – results from the Zauschwitz loess site in western Saxony. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues, 58(1), 27-50.
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Cordier, S., Harmand, D., Lauer, T., Voinchet, P., Bahain, J.-J., & Frechen, M. (2012). Geochronological reconstruction of the Pleistocene evolution of the Sarre valley (France and Germany) using OSL and ESR dating techniques. Geomorphology, 165–166, 91-106.
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Cordier, S., Lauer, T., Harmand, D., Frechen, M., & Brkojewitch, G. (2012). Fluvial response to climatic and anthropogenic forcing in the Moselle drainage basin (NE France) during historical periods: evidence from OSL dating. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 37(11), 1167-1175.
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Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Mauz, B., & Frechen, M. (2012). Yellow stimulated luminescence from potassium feldspar: Observations on its suitability for dating. Radiation Measurements, 47(10), 974-980.
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Lauer, T., Frechen, M., Klostermann, J., Krbetschek, M., Schollmayer, G., & Tsukamoto, S. (2011). Luminescence dating of Last Glacial and Early Holocene fluvial deposits from the Lower Rhine: Methodological aspects and chronological framework. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 162(1), 47-61.
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Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Frechen, M., Tsukamoto, S., Hoselmann, C., & Weidenfeller, M. (2011). Geoarchaeological studies on Roman time harbour sediments in Cologne: comparison of different OSL dating techniques. Geochronometria, 38(4), 341-349.
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Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Frechen, M., Tsukamoto, S., Hoselmann, C., & Weidenfeller, M. (2011). Infrared radiofluorescence (IR-RF) dating of middle pleistocene fluvial archives of the Heidelberg Basin (Southwest Germany). Geochronometria, 38(1), 23-33.
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Lüthgens, C., Böse, M., Lauer, T., Krbetschek, M., Strahl, J., & Wenske, D. (2011). Timing of the last interglacial in Northern Europe derived from Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of a terrestrial Saalian–Eemian–Weichselian sedimentary sequence in NE-Germany. Quaternary International, 241(1–2), 79-96.
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Lauer, T., Frechen, M., Hoselmann, C., & Tsukamoto, S. (2010). Fluvial aggradation phases in the Upper Rhine Graben: New insights by quartz OSL dating. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 121(2), 154-161.
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Schmidt, E. D., Lauer, T., & Bibus, E. (2007). Die Bedeutung des oberflächennahen Untergrundes für Boden und Relief an der Bauland-Odenwald-Grenze. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft, 110, 535-536.
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  Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issue: “Climatic signals in geomorphological systems. Approaches from aeolian, fluvial, colluvial, periglacial, coastal, and man-made geomorphological systems” Editorial.: Zielhofer, C., Suchodoletz, H. v., Lauer, T., Heinrich, J.