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dr. M.C. (Carina) Hoorn

Associate Professor
Faculty of Science
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Visiting address
  • Science Park 904
  • Room number:
Postal address
  • Postbus 94240
    1090 GE Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Research interest
    PIFI award at Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography (Urumqi, China)

    My long-term research interest is the natural history of the Amazon region and its seaward extension, the Amazon Fan. In my research I have mostly focused on western Amazonia (Colombia, Peru, Brazil) and my most substantial scientific contributions were to identify the crucial role of Andean uplift on the evolution of Amazonia during the Cenozoic and to recognize the Neogene marine incursions into this region. 

    In recent years my work has concentrated on interdisciplinary cooperation and data integration. This is best exemplified in a Science paper (Hoorn et al., 2010), where the links between biodiversity patterns and mountain uplift are explained in the context of the Andes-Amazonian system. More recently my work focussed on the interaction between mountain building, climate and biodiversity at large (Antonelli et al., 2018). Other examples of multidisciplinary, collaborative work are Amazonia, Landscape and Species Evolution (2010) and Mountains, Climate and Biodiversity (2018), both books are published by Wiley-Blackwell.

    Between 2011 and 2015 I coordinated a research project in the framework of Climamazon, a European - Brazilian collaboration that investigated Amazon drainage basin. In this project we studied the onset and development of the Amazon River (see Hoorn et al., 2017) and the effects on primary productivity at sea (Lammertsma et al., 2018). Other research that I am involved in is centered on the integration of palynological and geological data with molecular phylogenies (e.g. Woutersen et al., 2018). 

    Currently I participate as senior scientist in the ERC funded project entitled MAGIC with focus on the origin of the Asian monsoons. The collaboration with Asian colleagues took further shape during my Presidents International Fellowship Initiative with the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography in Urumqi.

    The Tianshan Mountains (photo C.Hoorn)
  • Biography

    I am geologist/paleoecologist and associate professor at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) of the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). In 1988 and 1994 respectively I obtained my MSc and PhD at this university, and in 2003 obtained an MSc degree in Science Communication at Imperial College London (UK). 

    Currently I am Associate Editor for the Journal of Biogeography and coordinator for the special issue on Alexander von Humboldt. Furthermore, I am board member of the Treub Foundationand also of the Palynological Society of the Netherlands.

    In 2018 I was visiting scientist at Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography (Urumqi, China) through a fellowship of the the Chinese Academy of Sciences - International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI), and working on the topic “Changes in arid Central Asian flora across time and possible origins of typical taxa along the Paratethys Sea (including Nitraria, Caragana, Atraphaxis, Gymnocarpos, selected Chenopodiaceae). 

    I am also collaborating scientist in the ERC funded research project entitled Monsoons of Asia caused Greenhouse to Icehouse Cooling (MAGIC) and participate in the Transamazon drilling project. The latter was awarded 1.5 million euros by the International Continental Drilling Project and drilling is projected to start in 2019. 

    Guacamaya - Artist: Rodrigo Monroy
  • Media
  • Publications


    • Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Win, Z., Swe, H. H., Kaythi, M., Roperch, P., ... Sein, K. (2019). Paleogene evolution of the Burmese forearc basin and implications for the history of India-Asia convergence. Geological Society of America bulletin, 131(5-6), 730-748. [details]
    • Page, M., Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Meijer, N., Barbolini, N., Hoorn, M. C., ... Guo, Z. (2019). Synchronous cooling and decline in monsoonal rainfall in northeastern Tibet during the fall into the Oligocene icehouse. Geology, 47(3), 203-206.



    • Bermúdez, M. A., Hoorn, C., Bernet, M., Carillo, E., van der Beek, P. A., Garver, J. I., ... Mehrkian, K. (2017). The detrital record of late-Miocene to Pliocene surface uplift and exhumation of the Venezuelan Andes in the Maracaibo and Barinas foreland basins. Basin Research, 29(S1), 370-395. [details]
    • Hoorn, C., Bogotá-A, G. R., Romero-Baez, M., Lammertsma, E. I., Flantua, S. G. A., Dantas, E. L., ... Chemale Jr, F. (2017). The Amazon at sea: Onset and stages of the Amazon River from a marine record, with special reference to Neogene plant turnover in the drainage basin. Global and Planetary Change, 153, 51-65. [details]


    • Bolinder, K., Norbäck Ivarsson, L., Humphreys, A. M., Ickert-Bond, S. M., Han, F., Hoorn, C., & Rydin, C. (2016). Pollen morphology of Ephedra (Gnetales) and its evolutionary implications. Grana, 55(1), 24-51. [details]
    • Coutand, I., Barrier, L., Govin, G., Grujic, D., Hoorn, C., Dupont-Nivet, G., & Najman, Y. (2016). Late Miocene-Pleistocene evolution of India-Eurasia convergence partitioning between the Bhutan Himalaya and the Shillong Plateau: New evidences from foreland basin deposits along the Dungsam Chu section, eastern Bhutan. Tectonics, 35(12), 2963-2994. [details]
    • Han, F., Rydin, C., Bolinder, K., Dupont-Nivet, G., Abels, H. A., Koutsodendris, A., ... Hoorn, C. (2016). Steppe development on the Northern Tibetan Plateau inferred from Paleogene ephedroid pollen. Grana, 55(1), 71-100. [details]
    • Rydin, C., & Hoorn, C. (2016). The Gnetales: past and present. Grana, 55(1), 1-4. [details]
    • Villegas, S. S., van Soelen, E. E., Teunissen van Manen, M. L., Flantua, S. G. A., Santos, R. V., Roddaz, M., ... Hoorn, C. (2016). Amazon forest dynamics under changing abiotic conditions in the early Miocene (Colombian Amazonia). Journal of Biogeography, 43(12), 2424-2437. [details]


    • Baker, P. A., Fritz, S. C., Silva, C. G., Rigsby, C. A., Absy, M. L., Almeida, R. P., ... Willard, D. A. (2015). Trans-Amazon Drilling Project (TADP): origins and evolution of the forests, climate, and hydrology of the South American tropics. Scientific Drilling, 20, 41-49. [details]
    • Bogotá-A, R. G., Hoorn, C., Star, W., Langelaan, R., Banks, H., Galeano, G., & Bernal, R. (2015). Pollen morphology of Sabinaria magnifica (Cryosophileae, Coryphoideae, Arecaceae). Phytotaxa, 207(1), 135-140. [details]
    • Boonstra, M., Ramos, M. I. F., Lammertsma, E. I., Antoine, P. -O., & Hoorn, C. (2015). Marine connections of Amazonia: Evidence from foraminifera and dinoflagellate cysts (early to middle Miocene, Colombia/Peru). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 417, 176-194. [details]


    • Bosboom, R. E., Abels, H. A., Hoorn, C., van den Berg, B. C. J., Guo, Z., & Dupont-Nivet, G. (2014). Aridification in continental Asia after the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 389, 34-42. [details]
    • Hoorn, C., Bernardes-de-Oliveira, M. E. C., Dino, R., Garcia, M. J., Antonioli, L., da Costa Casado, F., & Hooghiemstra, H. (2014). Neogene climate evolution in Amazonia and the Brazilian Northeast. In I. de Souza Carvalho, M. J. Garcia, O. Strohschoen, & C. Cunha Lana (Eds.), Paleontologia: Cenários de vida. - Volume 5: Paleoclimas (pp. 277-310). Rio de Janeiro: Editora Interciência. [details]



    • Hoorn, C., Straathof, J., Abels, H. A., Xu, Y., Utescher, T., & Dupont-Nivet, G. (2012). A late Eocene palynological record of climate change and Tibetan Plateau uplift (Xining Basin, China). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 344-345, 16-38. [details]
    • Ochoa, D., Hoorn, C., Jaramillo, C., Bayona, G., Parra, M., & de la Parra, F. (2012). The final phase of tropical lowland conditions in the axial zone of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia: evidence from three palynological records. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 39, 157-169. [details]
    • Xu, Y., Zhang, K., Wang, G., Jiang, S., Chen, F., Xiang, S., ... Hoorn, C. (2012). Extended stratigraphy, palynology and depositional environments record the initiation of the Himalayan Gyirong Basin (Neogene China). Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 44, 77-93. [details]


    • Hoorn, C. (2011). Rocky ground. New Scientist, 211(2822), 26. [details]
    • Hoorn, C., Wesselingh, F. P., ter Steege, H., Bermudez, M. A., Mora, A., Sevink, J., ... Antonelli, A. (2011). Origins of biodiversity: response. Science, 331(6016), 399-400. [details]
    • Wesselingh, F. P., & Hoorn, C. (2011). Geological development of Amazon and Orinoco basins. In J. S. Albert, & R. E. Reis (Eds.), Historical biogeography of neotropical freshwater fishes (pp. 59-67). Berkely: University of California Press. [details]


    • Hoorn, C., Roddaz, M., Dino, R., Soares, E., Uba, C., Ochoa-Lozano, D., & Mapes, R. (2010). The Amazonian Craton and its influence on past fluvial systems (Mesozoic-Cenozoic, Amazonia). In C. Hoorn, & F. P. Wesselingh (Eds.), Amazonia: landscape and species evolution: a look into the past (pp. 103-122). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]
    • Hoorn, C., Wesselingh, F. P., Hovikoski, J., & Guerrero, J. (2010). The development of the Amazonian mega-wetland (Miocene; Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia). In C. Hoorn, & F. P. Wesselingh (Eds.), Amazonia: landscape and species evolution: a look into the past (pp. 123-142). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]
    • Hoorn, C., Wesselingh, F. P., ter Steege, H., Bermudez, M. A., Mora, A., Sevink, J., ... Antonelli, A. (2010). Amazonia through time: Andean uplift, climate change, landscape evolution, and biodiversity. Science, 330(6006), 927-931. [details]
    • Jaramillo, C., Hoorn, C., Silva, S. A. F., Leite, F., Herrera, F., Quiroz, L., ... Antonioli, L. (2010). The origin of the modern Amazon rainforest: implications of the palynological and palaeobotanical record. In C. Hoorn, & F. P. Wesselingh (Eds.), Amazonia: landscape and species evolution: a look into the past (pp. 317-334). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]
    • Wesselingh, F. P., Hoorn, C., Kroonenberg, S. B., Antonelli, A., Lundberg, J. G., Vonhof, H. B., & Hooghiemstra, H. (2010). On the origin of Amazonian landscapes and biodiversity: a synthesis. In M. Hoorn, & F. P. Wesselingh (Eds.), Amazonia: landscape and species evolution: a look into the past (pp. 421-431). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]


    • Figueiredo, J., Hoorn, C., van der Ven, P., & Soares, E. (2009). Late Miocene onset of the Amazon River and the Amazon deep-sea fan: Evidence from the Foz do Amazonas Basin. Geology, 37(7), 619-622. [details]


    • De Franceschi, D., Hoorn, C., Antoine, P-O., Cheema, I. U., Flynn, L. J., Lindsay, E. H., ... Welcomme, J-L. (2008). Floral data from the mid-Cenozoic of central Pakistan. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 150(1-4), 115-129. [details]
    • Dupont-Nivet, G., Hoorn, C., & Konert, M. (2008). Tibetan uplift prior to the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition: Evidence from pollen analysis of the Xining Basin. Geology, 36(12), 987-990. [details]



    • Irion, G., Räsänen, M., de Mello, N., Hoorn, C., Junk, W., Wesselingh, F. P., ... Góes, A. M. (2005). D. Rossetti, P. Mann de Toledo, A.-M. Góes, New geological framework for Western Amazonia (Brazil) and implications for biogeography and evolution, Quaternary Research 63 (2005) 78-89 (multiple letters). Quaternary Research, 64(2), 279-282.


    • Hoorn, C. (2002). Going Dutch. New Scientist, 175(2359), 44-47.


    • Hoorn, C., Ohja, T., & Quade, J. (2000). Palynological evidence for vegetation development and climatic change in the Sub-Himalayan Zone (Neogene, Central Nepal). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 163(3-4), 133-161.


    • Hoorn, M. C. (1997). Palynology of the Pleistocene glacial/interglacial cycles of the Amazon fan (holes 940A, 944A, and 946a). In D. J. W. Piper, R. D. Flood, A. Klaus, & L. C. Peterson (Eds.), Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results (pp. 397-409). (vol. 155). College Station, TX: Ocean Drilling Program. [details]







    • Hoorn, C., Aalto, R., Kaandorp, R. J. G., & Lovejoy, N. R. (2006). Miocene semidiurnal tidal rhythmites in Madre de Dios, Peru: Comment. Geology, 34(1).


    • Hooghiemstra, H., Ran, E. TH. H., Mommersteeg, H. J. P. M., van 't Veer, R., Wijninga, V. M., & Hoorn, M. C. (1996). History of vegetation and climate of the Sabana de Bogota during the Quaternary: the Funza cores. In Libro de Resumenes, VII Congreso Colombiano de Geologia / II Seminario sobre el Cuaternario en Colombia (pp. 112-115). Bogota: Congreso Colombiano de Geologia. [details]


    • Hooghiemstra, H., Hoorn, M. C., Helmens, K. F., Wyninga, V. M., Ran, E. TH. H., Cleef, A. M., ... van der Hammen, T. (1994). Miocene to Pleistocene geo-ecological development of Amazonian and Andean Colombia: tectonics, basin development, migration, evolution and climatic change. In J. F. W. Herngreen (Ed.), Volume of Abstracts 4th European Palaeobotanical and Palynological Conference (pp. 39-43). Heerlen: Stichting Geologie en Paleontologie. [details]
    • Hoorn, M. C. (1994). An environmental reconstruction of the palaeo-Amazon river system (Middle to late Miocene, N.W. Amazonia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 112, 187-238. [details]
    • Hoorn, M. C. (1994). Fluvial palaeoenvironments in the intracratonic Amazonas Basin (Early Miocene-early Middle Miocene, Colombia). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 109, 1-54. [details]


    • Hooghiemstra, H., & Hoorn, C. (2010). Dedication to Thomas van der Hammen. In C. Hoorn, & F. P. Wesselingh (Eds.), Amazonia: landscape and species evolution: a look into the past (pp. vii-viii). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]


    • Page, M., Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Meijer, N., Barbolini, N., Woutersen, A., ... Guo, Z. (Accepted/In press). Cooling, vegetation shift and decline in monsoonal rainfall in NE Tibet through the greenhouse to icehouse transition. Abstract from EGU (European Geosciences Union) General Assembly 2019, Austria.


    • Barbolini, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Ao, H., Meijer, N., Licht, A., & Hoorn, M. C. (2018). Acute Asian cooling across the Eocene–Oligocene transition evidenced by ecosystem restructuring on the Tibetan Plateau. Abstract from EGU (European Geosciences Union) General Assembly 2018, Austria.
    • Barbolini, N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Meijer, N., Jardine, P. E., Rohrmann, A., & Hoorn, M. C. (2018). Multiple palaeoecological proxies constrain the interplay between Tibetan Plateau growth, the proto-monsoons and floral dispersal during the early India-Asia collision. Abstract from 10th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference, Ireland.
    • Dupont-Nivet, G., Meijer, N., Kaya, M., Westerweel, J., Tardif, D., Licht, A., ... Aung, D. W. (2018). Paleogeographic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the India-Asia collision. 40-41. Abstract from 33rd Himalaya-Karakorum-Tibet Workshop , Switzerland.


    • Bogota Angel, R. G., Pinto, R., Do Carmo, D., Chemale, F., Neto, O., Soares, E., & Hoorn, M. C. (2013). Neogene plant biome evolution in the Amazon drainage basin: Evidence from marine well-2, Foz do Amazonas (Brazil). Abstract from Simposio de Geologia da Amazonia, .
    • Lammertsma, E. I., Bogota Angel, R. G., Sangiorgi, F., Chemale, F., Do Carmo, D., Pinto, R., ... Hoorn, M. C. (2013). Insights on Neogene evolution of the Amazon drainage basin and algal blooms at the Brazilian Atlantic Coast. Abstract from Congresso de Paleontologia, .
    • Lammertsma, E. I., Sangiorgi, F., Chemale, F., Do Carmo, D., Pinto, R., Neto, O., ... Hoorn, M. C. (2013). The Amazon Fan as key to understand the evolution of marine life in the western Equatorial Atlantic: Preliminary results of a dinoflagellate study (Neogene, Foz do Amazonas, Brazil). Abstract from Simposio de Geologia da Amazonia, .
    • van Soelen, E., Hoorn, M. C., Santos, R. V., Roddaz, M., Sinninge Damste, J., & Kim, J. H. (2013). Miocene environmental conditions in the Upper Amazon Basin.. Abstract from 26th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (IMOG 2013), .


    • Hoorn, C. (2018). Chair of this organisation, Treub Maatschappij.
    • Hoorn, C. (2016-). Board member, Palynologische Kring KNGMG.

    Journal editor

    • Hoorn, C. (editor) (2018-). Journal of Biogeography (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (10-2018). Mountain uplift as driver for biodiversity: A deep time perspective (with reference to Tibet and Myanmar), Qingdao Institute for Science and Technology, China.
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (9-2018). Interaction between geological and biological processes with special reference to the NE Tibetan Plateau, Peking University.
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (8-2018). A SEM and TEM study of two fossil Malvaceae from northern South America provides new insights on past forest composition, 10th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference, Ireland.
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (7-2018). Part 1. Mountains, climate and biodiversity: Towards a better understanding of the interaction between geological and biological processes and how it shaped the Earth surface. Part 2. When and how did the steppe-desert ecoregion of Central Asia evolve?”, Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography.
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (5-2018). Geological history of Amazonia - with focus on the Neogene, TransAmazon Drilling Project workshop. , Niteroi, Brazil.
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (3-2018). Grass pollen from the Andes-Amazonian system as indicators of Past and Present altitudinal gradients: Insights from an FTIR study, MAGIC - ERC workshop.
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (3-2018). Landscape changes and grassland development in Amazonia during Plio-Pleistocene climatic change, International Biogeography Society, Climate Change Biogeography Meeting, Evora (Portugal).
    • Hoorn, C. (speaker) (2-2018). Application of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscropy in palynology, Palynologische Kring KNGMG.
    • Hoorn, C. (invited speaker) (12-2017). Multidisciplinary Approaches to Outstanding Questions in Andean Tectonics, AGU fall meeting 2017, United States.
    • Hoorn, M. C. (speaker) (29-10-2013). The evolution of the mighty Amazon River and the debate about its onset., Invited Seminar, Freie Universitat Berlin.
    • Hoorn, M. C. (speaker) (24-9-2013). Evolution of the Amazon drainage basin and implications for life on land and at sea., Invited Seminar, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Belem, Brazil.
    • Hoorn, M. C. (speaker) (12-7-2013). Neogene palynology of the Neotropics, AASP International Pollen & Spores course, Utrecht University.
    • Hoorn, M. C. (speaker) (28-3-2013). CLIMAMAZON and the research on evolution of the Amazon drainage basin and climate history, Invited seminar for MSc students of Mestrado de Analise Geoambiental, Guarulhos, Brazil.
    • Hoorn, M. C. (speaker) (19-9-1994). An environmental reconstruction of the paleo-Amazon river system (Middle to Late Miocene, N.W. Amazonia, European Conference of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Heerlen.


    • Hoorn, C. (participant) (8-2019). International Biogeographic Society Meeting Quito-Humboldt 250th anniversary, Quito, Ecuador (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Hoorn, C. (visiting researcher) (12-2018). University of Potsdam (visiting an external institution).
    • Hoorn, C. (participant) (15-11-2018). Advances in tropical research, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Programme with presentations, including an invited speaker from Sweden (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Hoorn, C. (host) (15-11-2018). Christine Bacon (hosting a visitor).
    • Hoorn, C. (visiting researcher) (7-2018 - 10-2018). Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography (visiting an external institution).
    • Hoorn, C. (participant) (31-5-2018). Palynological Society of the Netherlands - Annual Meeting 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Programme with presentations, including one invited speaker from Germany (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Hoorn, C. (host) (31-5-2018). Phil Jardine (hosting a visitor).
    • Hoorn, C. (examiner) (16-5-2018). Studies in Caspian palynology: six million years of vegetation, climate and sea level change (examination).
    • Hoorn, C. (host) (19-2-2018). Allison Perrigo (hosting a visitor).
    • Hoorn, C. (visiting researcher) (2-2018). Technische Universität Braunschweig (visiting an external institution).
    • Hoorn, C. (visiting researcher) (2018). University of Leeds (visiting an external institution).


    • Hoorn, M. C. (1994). Miocene palynostratigraphy and palaeo-environments of northwestern Amazonia: Evidence for marine incursions and the influence of Andean tectonics. [details]
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  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities