My name is Lennart van Maldegem, I am geochemist born in the Netherlands who is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher / lecturer at The Australian National University. My primarily research focuses on the evolution and expansion of complex eukaryotic life surrounding the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth events (717-635 Ma). To achieve this I use organic geochemistry, in combination with carbon isotopes (carbonate, kerogen and compound specific), nitrogen isotopes, iron speciation, mineralogy and elemental analysis.

Latest News

November 23, 2020

Geological alteration of Precambrian steroids mimics early animal signatures 

Today we published our latest study in Nature Ecology and Evolution, In this study we  describe how common precambrian algal sterols are the host organisms of sterols which previously have been indicated to be the oldest evidence for sponges on Earth.  Bu overturning the origin of these molecules, the oldest definitive evidence for animals on Earth is being placed almost 100 million years closer to the present day.  

January 1, 2020 

Congratulations Professor Brocks!

Congratulation to Jochen for his promotion to Full Professor at the Australian National University

December 4, 2019

Bear McPhail Excellence in Teaching Award

The Geobiology and Evolution of Life course (EMSC3020) was just awarded the inaugural Bear McPhail Excellence in Teaching Award for being the best course offered by RSES in the first semester of 2019. 

 July 22, 2019 

Eurotrip 2019

This summer I will be attending the Goldschmidt (July 22 - 27) and IMOG (September 1 - 6) Conferences in Spain and Sweden. Hope to see you all there. 

February 18, 2019 


This semester I will be lecturing on the Geobiology and Evolution of Life course (EMSC3020) alongside Jochen. 

January 29, 2019 

Predatory plankton thrived after Snowball Earth

Our new study towards the lipids biomarkers preserved in post-Marinoan rocks has just been published in Nature Communications. In this study we observe a novel lipid hydrocarbon (Bisnorgammacerane) and are able to link the presence to severe heterotropic reworking. For the full article please click on the link to see the full article or press release.

December 30, 2018

Top 10 Science breakthrough of the year 

Congratulations to Ilya for the selection of his study regarding the lipid hydrocarbon composition of Dickinsonia-showing them among the earliest animals to have lived of Earth-to be selected in the top 10 Scientific breakthroughs year 2018 by Science. 

December 11, 2019 

AOGC 2018

This week we will be hosting the Australian Organic Geochemistry Meeting in Canberra, Australia. Hope to see you all there.

May 28, 2019 

Sampling and Geotourism to South and Central Australia

Earlier this week  flew from Canberra to Adelaide to visit the Flinders Ranges for a few days after which I continued to go to Alice Springs to collect for my postdoc project.

January 13, 2018

Hello Canberra, Australia 

After completing my PhD, I have moved to Australia, to start my Postdoc at the Research School in Earth Sciences, Australian National Aniversity in Canberra. I will be joining the Geobiology lab of Jochen Brocks to continue my work on investigating biomarker distribution throughout the late Neoproterozoic.

December 28, 2017 

Goodbye Bremen, Germany

With my PhD completed it is time to say goodbye to everyone in Bremen. Soon the adventure will be continue..... 

December 8, 2017 

PhD Defence

The moment is finally here. I have successfully defended my PhD thesis "Signatures of life surrounding the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth events". It was a very special day and I'm very grateful for all the people who were able to attend. Special thanks goes out to my supervisor (Christian Hallmann), promotors (Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and Rich Pancost), thesis Committee (Pierre Sansjofre, Marcel Kuypers, and Enno Schefuss), the lab group (Arne Leider, Paul Pringle, Benjamin Nettersheim, Mareike Neumann, Rafael Tarozo, and Raul Martinez), my friends, and last but not least my family.  

September 20, 2017 

On the Origin of Chlorophyte Sterols.

Yeah! Our latest manuscript "Cryogenian evolution of stigmasteroid biosynthesis"  has been published in Science Advances. Please have a look at the full article. 

September 8, 2017 

Best student Presentation award

My presentation "Proterozoic carbon isotope systematics are influenced by redox and community composition" was selected and awarded, by the scientific committee at IMOG 2017, as the best oral presentation.