Scholz-Böttcher, Barbara, Dr.

Organic Geochemistry Group

Senior Scientist,
Head of the Central Organic Analytical Facility

ICBM, room W15 0-014
tel: +49-(0)441-798-5362
fax: +49-(0)441-798-3404

Scholz-Böttcher, Barbara, Dr.

Dr. Barbara Scholz-Böttcher


  • Birth: 1962, Göttingen
  • Citizenship: German


1988-1991 — Doctoral studies at the Institute of Food Chemistry, Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina of Braunschweig, Germany

  • Title of doctoral thesis: Bildung von Säuren und Lactonen, insbesondere aus Chlorogensäure, beim Rösten von Kaffee; supervisor: Prof. Dr. H.-G. Maier

1987-1988 — Probationer at CHLUA, Münster, Germany,

  • 2nd state examination and probation as a Food Chemist

1981-1986 — Study of Food Chemistry, Westfälische-Wilhelms University Münster, German

  • 1st state examination

1972-1981 — Grammar school: Herderschule, Lüneburg

Work Experience

  • Since 1992 — Permanent scientist, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Organic Geochemical research group and head of the Central Organic Analysis at the ICBM
  • 1991-1992 — Research scientist, Institute of Ecological Chemistry and Waste Analysis, Technical University of Braunschweig, in the BMFT project 'Brandschutz in Tunnelanlagen' ('fire protection in traffic tunnels'), establishing the 'dioxin' analysis in the lab and analysing chlorinated and brominated dibenzo-p-dioxines und -furanes as well as polycyclic aromates generated during accidential combustion of road and rail vehicles inside of traffic tunnels; project leaders: Dr. W. Lorenz and Prof. Dr. mult. M. Bahadir
  • 1986-1987 — Assistant scientist at the Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Teaching Experience

Organic analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, coupled techniques, analytical methods in organic geochemistry, organic geochemistry, analytical methods in environmental chemistry, environmental chemistry, plastics in the marine environment


Areas of interest

Organic geochemistry, biomarkers, diagenesis of organic matter, paleoenviromental reconstruction, geochemical degradation, petroleum geochemistry, fossil fuel pollution, environmental chemistry, environmental pollution, structure elucidation of organic compounds, organic mass spectrometry and coupled techniques, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, isotope geochemistry

Ongoing research

  • Microplastics and additives in marine Sediments
  • JPI Oceans - BASEMAN: Defining the baselines and standards for microplastics analyses in European waters
  • MikroMIK
  • Microplastics and additives in fish
  • Organic contaminants in the German Bight
  • Chemical attractants in marine corals
  • Distribution of oil from natural and anthropogenic sources in the southern Gulf of Mexico
  • Chemical analysis of historical and recent remedies (mumyo, shillait, mumia vera), Article in UNI-INFO 2/2014

Research in former Projects

  • Distribution of oil from natural and anthropogenic sources in the southern Gulf of Mexico
  • Baseline Study Jade Bay, subproject 3, selected organic pollutants in sediments and water column
  • DFG SSP - Changes in the Bio- Geosphere of the last 15.000 a

Selected themes of supervised theses

BSc theses

  • Leaching of organic plastic additives under marine conditions (Suhrhoff, 2014)
  • Evaluation of a given GC-MS method for determination of endocrine disruptors and its application to sediment samples (Pohlabeln, 2011)
  • Investigation of the unusual appearance of short chain n-alkanes in sediments (Wessel, 2011)
  • Investigation of the spatial distribution of polyaromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments of the Jade Bay (Rösch, 2009)
  • Investigation of surface sediments from the Jade Bay concerning possible fossil fuel contamination and potential indicators of early diagenetic redox processes (Meyer-Stüve, 2009)

MSc theses

  • Method development for simultaneous identification and quantification of microplastics and additives in environmental samples using Py-GCMS (Fischer, ongoing)
  • Potential attractants of sea star Acanthaster planci (Müllenmeister, ongoing, co-supervision)
  • Anthropogenic overprint of sediments from Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula (Kappenberg, 2013, co supervision)
  • Analysis of organo tin compounds in highly diverse contaminated sediment with focus on the German Bight (Rösch, 2012)
  • Biogenic and fossil fuel biomarker in surface sediments of the western Gulf of Mexico (Kempken, 2010)
  • Determination of the terrestrial organic material input into surface sediments of the North Sea using Archaeal and bacterial lipids (Böll, 2010)
  • Polycyclic aromatic Hydrocarbons and heavy metals in urban dusts of Al-Hodaidah, Jemen (Mothna, 2010, co supervision)
  • Determination of endospores in a drilling profile of Janssand (Spiekeroog Island, tidal area) and deep sea sediments (Sieverding, 2010, Diploma thesis, co supervision)
  • Investigation of surface sediment contamination with fossil hydrocarbons in the Campeche Sound (Gulf of Mexico) (Ahlf, 2007)

PHD (conducting-supervision)

  • Analysis of selected organic pollutants and status indicators in surface sediments of the Jade Bay (Klugkist, to be finished in 2014)
  • Thevetia cardiac glycosides : structure elucidation and methods for toxicological application (Kohls, 2012)
  • Bacterial production of tailored wax ester – usage of plant oil and single compounds as C-sources and wax ester precursors (Jenschke, 2010)
  • Paleochemotaxonomy of peats in Northwest Germany (Köller, 2002)

Publications (05/ 2014)

Link to complete list of publications of the organic geochemistry group


Scholz-Böttcher B. M., Nissenbaum A., Rullkötter J., 2013. An 18th century medication ‘‘Mumia vera aegyptica’’– Fake or authentic? Org. Geochem. 65, 1-18.

Barakat A.O., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter, J., 2013. Lipids in a sulfur-rich lacustrine sediment from the Nördlinger Ries(southern Germany) with a focus on free and bound sterols. Geochemical Journal 47, 397-407.

Barakat A.O., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter, J., 2013. Structural investigations of Monterey kerogen by sequential chemical degradation. Fuel 104, 788-797.


Barakat A.O., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter, J., 2012. Ruthenium tetroxide oxidation of immature sulphur-rich kerogens from the Nördlinger Ries (southern Germany). Fuel 96, 176-184.

Barakat A.O., Baumgart S., Brocks P., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 2012. Alkylated phenol series in lacustrine black shales from the Nördlinger Ries, southern Germany. J. Mass Spectrom. 47, 987-994.

Kohls S., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Teske J., Zark P., Rullkötter J., 2012. Cardiac glycosides from Yellow Oleander (Thevetia peruviana) seeds. Phytochemistry 75, 114-127

Kohls S., Scholz-Böttcher B., Rullkötter J., Teske J., 2012. Method validation of a survey of thevetia cardiac glycosides in serum samples. Forensic Science International 215, 146-151.

Rocker D., Kisand V., Scholz-Böttcher B., Kneib T., Lemke A., Rullkötter J., Simon M., 2012. Differential decomposition of humic acids by marine and estuarine bacterial communities at varying salinities. Biogeochemistry 111, 331-346.


Koch, B.P., Souza Filho, P.W.M., Behling, H., Cohen, M.C.L., Kattner, G., Rullkötter J., Scholz-Böttcher, B., Lara, R.J., 2011.Triterpenols in mangrove sediments as a proxy for organic matter derived from the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Org. Geochem. 42, 62–73


Scholz-Böttcher, B. M., Ahlf, S., Vázquez-Gutiérrez, F., Rullkötter, J., 2009. Natural vs. anthropogenic sources of hydrocarbons as revealed through biomarker analysis: A case study in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Boletin de la Sociedad Geoligica Mexicana 61 (1), 47-56.


Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Ahlf S., Vazquez-Gutierrez F., Rullkötter J., 2008. Sources of hydrocarbon pollution in surface sediments of the Campeche Sound, Gulf of Mexico, revealed by biomarker analysis. Org. Geochem. 39, 1104-1108


Fichtel J., Köster J., Scholz-Böttcher, B., Sass H. Rullkötter J., 2007. A highly sensitive HPLC method for determination of nanomolecular concentrations of dipicolinic acid, a characteristic constituent of bacterial endospores. Journal of Microbiological Methods 70, 319-327.


Gerdes G. , Petzelberger B.E.M., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Streif H., 2003. The record of climatic change in the geological archives of shallow marine, coastal, and adjacent lowland areas of Northern Germany. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 101-124.


J.K. Volkman, D. Rohjans, J. Rullkötter, B.M. Scholz-Böttcher, G. Liebezeit, 2000. Sources and diagenesis of organic matter in tidal flat sediments from the German Wadden Sea. Continental Shelf Research 20, 1139-1158


Köster J., Volkman J.K., Rullkötter J., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rethmeier J. und Fischer U., 1999. Mono-, di- and trimethyl-branched alkanes in cultures of the filamentous cyanobacterium calothrix scopulorum. Org. Geochem. 30, 1367-1379

Brocks P., Rohjans D., Scholz-Böttcher B.M. und Rullkötter J., 1999. Molecular composition of organic matter in the sediment of a mussel bed as an indicator of ecological variations. Senkenbergiana marit. 29 (Suppl.), 45-50.

Rohjans D., Brocks P., Scholz-Böttcher B.M. und Rullkötter J., 1999. Effect of ice rafting on surface sediments in the Wadden Sea traced by organic geochemical methods. Senkenbergiana marit. 29 (Suppl.), 135-139.


Rohjans D., Brocks P., Scholz-Böttcher B.M. und Rullkötter J., 1998. Liquid geochemistry of surface sediments in the Lower Saxonian Wadden Sea, NorthwestGermany, and the effect of the strong winter 1995-1996. Org. Geochem. 29, 1507-1516.

Dellwig O., Gramberg D., Vetter D., Watermann F., Brumsack H.-J., Gerdes G., Liebezeit G., Rullkötter J., Scholz-Böttcher B.M. und H.Streif, 1998. Geochemical and microfacies characterization of a Holocene depositional sequence in northwest Germany. Org. Geochem. 29, 1687-1699.

Rullkötter J., Rinna J., Bouloubassi I., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Meyers P.A., Johns L. und S.J. Rowland, 1998. Biological marker significance of organic matter origin and transformation in sapropels from the Pisano Plateau, Site 964. In Robertson, A.H.F., Emeis, K.-C., Richter, C. and Camerlenghi, A.(Eds.), Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, Vol. 160, 271-283.


Putschew A., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 1996. Early diagenesis of organic matter and related sulfur incorporation in surface sediments of meromictic Lake Cadagno in the Swiss Alps. Org. Geochem. 25, 379-390.

Barakat A.O., Omar M.F., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 1996. A biomarker study of crude oils from the Gulf of Suez, Egypt. Prepr. Amer. Chem. Soc., Dir. Petr. Chem., 41,637-641.


Gramberg D., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 1995. Column chromatographic Separation and characterization of a complex mixture of heterocompounds in the extractable lipids of a phragmites peat. In: Organic Geochemistry: Developments and applications to energy, climate, environment and human history (Grimalt J.O. & Dononsorra C.eds.), A.I.G.O.A., San Sebastian, Spain, 174-176

Putschew A., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 1995. Early diagenesis of organic matter and related sulfur incorporation in surface sediments of meromictic Lake Cadagno in the Swiss Alps. In: Organic Geochemistry: Developments and applications to energy, climate, environment and human history (Grimalt J.O. & Dononsorra C. eds.), 1029-1032

Putschew A., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 1995. Organic geochemistry of sulfur-rich surface sediments of meromictic Lake Cadagno, Swiss Alps. In: Geochemical Transformations of Sedimentary Sulfur (Vairavamurthy M.A. und Schoonen M.A.A.,eds.), ACS Symposium Series 612, 59-79. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.

Kvenvolden K.A., Hostettler F.D., Rapp J.B., Littke R., Disko U., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Rullkötter J., 1995. High-molecular-weight hydrocarbons of thermogenetic origin in a south latitude setting offshore from Chile (ODP Site 859, leg 141); Proc. ODP, Sci. Res. 141 (Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, scientific results), 287-297.


Wichmann H., Zelinski V., Scholz-Böttcher B., Lorenz W., Bahadir M.,1993. Sampling strategy to investigate the distribution behavior of low volatile pollutants like “dioxins” during vehicle fires in traffic tunnels; Chemosphere 26, 1159-1166.


Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Bahadir M., Hopf H., 1992. The Beilstein Test: An Unintentional Dioxin Source in Analytical and Research Laboratories; Angew. Chem (Internat. Edition in English) 31, 443-444
Die Beilstein-Probe: Eine unbeabsichtigte Dioxin-Quelle in Routine- und Forschungslaboratorien? Angew. Chem. 104, 477-479

Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Bahadir M., Hopf H., 1992. Does the Beilstein test generate dioxins? Yes!; Fresenius Envir. Bull. 1, 221-225

Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Maier H.G., 1992; Isomers of quinic acid and quinides in roasted coffee: Indicators for the dgree of roast?!; in: Association Scientifique Internationale du Café (ASIC), 14. Internationales Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium über Kaffee, San Francisco 14.-19.07.1991, S. 220-229, Imprimerie Jouve, Paris; ISBN 2-900212-13-8


Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Ernst L., Maier H.G., 1991. New Stereoisomers of Quinic Acid and their Lactones; Liebigs Ann. Chem. 10, 1029-1036.

Scholz-Böttcher B.M., 1991. Bildung von Säuren und Lactonen, insbesondere aus Chlorogensäure, beim Rösten von Kaffee; Dissertation, TU Braunschweig.


Scholz B.M., Maier H.G., 1990. Isomers of quinic acid and quinide in roasted coffee; Z. Lebensm.Unters. Forsch. 190, 132-134.

(Changed: 2021-04-30)