Scholz-Böttcher, Barbara, Dr.

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin,
Senior Scientist

ICBM, Raum W15 0-014




Scholz-Böttcher, Barbara, Dr.


  • Birth: 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 and lecturer at Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Organic Geochemical research group and expert for organic analytical questions 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, microplastics and additives, structure elucidation of organic compounds, organic mass spectrometry and coupled techniques, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, isotope geochemistry

Ongoing research

  • Micro- and nanoplastics, tire wear particles and additives in marine compartments
  • JPI Oceans - FACTS (2020-2023): Fluxes and fate of MNP in Northern European waters
  • FONA III (Plastic in the environment, sources, sinks, solutions), PLAWES (2017-2021): Microplastics contamination in the Weser Estuary as a model system – Wadden Sea National Park: an ecosystem approach
  • JPI Oceans - BASEMAN (2016-2018): Defining the baselines and standards for microplastics analyses in European waters
  • MikroMIK - (2014-2017) WGL network
  • 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

  • Retrospective survey of mussels for microplastics in the North Sea between 1986 and 2015 (Tammen, 2020)
  • Retrospektive Mikroplastikanalyse in Miesmuscheln zweier Standorte in Nord- und Ostsee (Vogel, 2020)
  • Identification and quantification of perfluorinated acids (PFA) in leather and textiles by LC-MS/MS (Amegnran, 2020)
  • Validation of a method for the extraction and measurement of organic acids of the citrate cycle from bacterial cell pellets using solid phase extraction and gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (Prisching, 2020)
  • Isolation of microplastic from complex sediments - Method improvement and first validation (Dirksen, 2019)
  • Method developmentto detect microplastics in Chironomidae (Diptera) (Wendel, 2019, co-supervisior)
  • Qualification and Quantification of microplastics in marine surface water and selected marine salts (Goßmann, 2018)
  • Trace analysis of B-Vitamins in marine waters with special regard on vitamin. B12 – A method establishment (Lühring, 2017)
  • Size-dependent leaching behavior of organic additives from flexible PVC–Laboratory and field experiments by comparison (Diekstall, 2016)
  • Microplastics in the marine environment-microscopical analysis of microplastics in demersal fishes from selected locations in North and Baltic sea (Meyer, 2015)
  • 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

  • The Intake of Microplastic debris by Marine Organisms on the Great Barrier Reef (Schlawinsky, 2020, Co supervisor)
  • Characterization of tire and tire abrasion with Py-GC/MS and environmental application (Goßmann, 2020)
  • Field and laboratory studies conducted to analyze effects of microplastic ingestion by benthic filterfeeders (Feldermann, 2019, Co-supervisor)
  • Comparative study of microplastic uptake and downtake by Chironomidae (Diptera) (Erdbeer, 2018, co-supervisor)
  • High performance liquid chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometric detection (HPLC-TOF-MS) for the analysis of coenzyme A thioesters from bacteria (Diener, 2018)
  • Ingestion of microplastic by larvae of black flies (Simuliidae, Diptera) ( Fischer, 2018,Co-supervisor)
  • Quantifying Major Microplastics in Environmental Samples after Sequential Pressurized Fluid Extraction (Halbach, 2017)
  • Method development for simultaneous identification and quantification of microplastics and additives in environmental samples using Py-GCMS (Fischer, 2015)
  • Potential attractants of sea star Acanthaster planci (Müllenmeister, 2015, 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)

  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of microplastics in the marine environment using pyrolysis gaschromatography mass spectrometry (Fischer, 2020)
  • Analysis of selected organic pollutants and status indicators in surface sediments of the Jade Bay (Klugkist, 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)


Link to complete list of publications of the organic geochemistry group

Last update: 01/2021


Goßmann, I., Halbach M., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., 2021. Car and truck tire wear particles in complex environmental samples – a quantitative comparison with “traditional” microplastic polymer mass loads. Science of the Total Environment, in press

Dipke, C., Fischer M., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., 2021. Microplastics Mass Concentrations and Distribution in German Bight Waters by Py-GC/MS Reveal Potential Impact of Marine Coatings: Do Ships Leave Skid Marks? Environmental Science & Technology,

Heyen, S., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., Rabus, R., Wilkes, H.,2021. Release of carboxylic acids into the exometabolome during anaerobic growth of a denitrifying bacterium with single substrates or crude oil. Organic Geochemistry, in print,


Heyen, S., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., Rabus, R., Wilkes, H., 2020. Method development and validation for the quantification of organic acids in microbial samples using anionic exchange solid-phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 412, 7491–7503. doi:10.1007/s00216-020-02883-3

Primpke, S., Fischer, M., Lorenz, C., Gerdts, G., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., 2020. Comparison of pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and hyperspectral FTIR imaging spectroscopy for the analysis of microplastics. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 412, 8283-8298. doi:10.1007/s00216-020-02979-w

Kharbush J.J., Van Mooy B.A., Close H.G., Arnosti C., Smittenberg R.H., Le Moigne F.A., Mollenhauer G., Scholz-Böttcher B., Obrecht I., Koch B.P., Becker K., Iversen M.H., Mohr, W., 2020. Particulate organic carbon deconstructed: Molecular and chemical composition of particulate organic carbon in the ocean.  Front. Mar. Sci. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00518

Primpke S, Christiansen SH, Cowger W, De Frond H, Deshpande A, Fischer M, Holland EB, Meyns M, O’Donnell, Oßmann BE, Pittroff M, Sarau G, Scholz-Böttcher BM, Wiggin K.J., 2020. Critical Assessment of Analytical Methods for the Harmonized and Cost Efficient Analysis of Microplastics. Applied Spectroscopy (accepted), DOI: 10.1177/0003702820921465


Fischer, M., Goßmann, I., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., 2019. Fleur de Sel – an interregional monitor for microplastics mass load and composition in European coastal waters? Journal of Applied Analytical Pyrolysis 144,104711. doi: org/10.1016/j.jaap.2019.104711

Schrank, I., Trotter, B., Dummert, J., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Löder, M.G.J., Laforsch C., 2019. Effects of microplastic particles and leaching additive on the life history and morphology of Daphnia magna. Environmental Pollution, 255, 113233.

Fischer, M., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., 2019. Microplastics analysis in environmental samples-recent pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method improvements to increase the reliability of mass-related data. Anal. Methods 11, 2489–2497. doi:10.1039/c9ay00600a


Vane, K., Larsen, T., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Kopke, B., Ekau W., (2018). Ontogenetic resource utilization and migration reconstruction with δ13C values of essential amino acids in the Cynoscion acoupa otolith. Ecology and Evolution, 8, 9859-9869. doi/10.1002/ece3.4471

Käppler, A., Fischer, M., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., Oberbeckmann, S., Labrenz, M.; Fischer, D., Eichhorn, K.-J., Voit, B., (2018). Comparison of μ-ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and py-GCMS as identification tools for microplastic particles and fibers isolated from river sediments. Anal Bioanal Chem 410, 5313-5327.


Wendt-Potthoff, K., Imhof, H., Wagner, M., Primpke, S., Fischer, D., Scholz-Böttcher, B., Laforsch, C., 2017. Mikroplastik in Binnengewässern, in: Handbuch Angewandte Limnologie: Grundlagen - Gewässerbelastung - Restaurierung - Aquatische Ökotoxikologie - Bewertung - Gewässerschutz. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, pp. 1–35. doi:10.1002/9783527678488.hbal2016003

Fischer, M., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., (2017). Simultaneous trace identification and quantification of common types of microplastics in environmental samples by pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Environ. Sci. Technol. 51, 5052-5060. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b06362

Fischer, M., Scholz-Böttcher, B., 2017. Simultaneous Trace Analysis of Nine Common Plastics in Environmental Samples via Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (Py-GCMS), in: Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems. Elsevier, p. 17. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-812271-6.00018-1

Gerdts, G., Thomas, K., Herzke, D., Haeckel, M., Scholz-Böttcher, B., Laforsch, C., Lagarde, F., Mahon, A.M., Pedrotti, M.L., de Lucia, G.A., Sobral, P., Gago, J., Lorenzo, S.M., Noren, F., Hassellöv, M., Kögel, T., Tirelli, V., Caetano, M., Collignon, A., Lips, I., Mallow, O., Seatala, O., Goede, K., Licandro, P., 2017. Defining the Baselines and Standards for Microplastics Analyses in European Waters (JPI-O BASEMAN), in: Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems. Elsevier, pp. 120–122. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-812271-6.00118-6

Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., Fischer, M., Meyer, M.S., Gercken, J., 2017. Qualitative and Quantitative Investigations of Microplastics in Pelagic and Demersal Fish Species of the North and Baltic Sea Using Pyrolysis-GCMS: A Pilot Study. Fate Impact Microplastics Mar. Ecosyst. 57–58. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-812271-6.00053-3


Baum, G., Kegler, P., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M., Alfiansah, Y.R., Abrar, M., Kunzmann, A., 2016. Metabolic performance of the coral reef fish Siganus guttatus exposed to combinations of water borne diesel, an anionic surfactant and elevated temperature in Indonesia. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 110, 735-746. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.02.078

Suhrhoff, T.J., Scholz-Böttcher, B.M ., 2016. Qualitative impact of salinity, UV radiation and turbulence on leaching of organic plastic additives from four common plastics — A lab experiment. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 102, 84–94. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.11.054


Kohls S., Scholz-Böttcher B.M., Teske J., Rullkötter J. 2015. Isolation and quantification of six cardiac glycosides from seeds of Thevetia peruvana provide a basis for toxological survey. Indian Journal of chemistry 54B, 1502-1510.


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.

(Stand: 09.06.2021)