Introduction Prof Dr HOLGER SOMMER

About Me


I´m Prof. Dr. Holger Sommer and I am currently employed as a
Professor at the University of Namibia at the Department of
Geology since the January 2020.
I have by now 27 peer reviewed articles and 48 conference
abstracts. My h-index is 11 and my work has been citated by
now 513 times.
Furthermore, I have by now supervised 36 BsC, Honnors,
Diplom and MsC students during my stay in Botswana, South Africa and Fiji.
One of my MsC student received in 2011 three medals for her
outstanding results.
I´m teaching right now about 40 students per semester and I´m supervising 2 PhD students.

Dowload my cv

Research on the cutting edge

I undertake research within the areas of petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry. My work on metamorphic, igneous petrology and mantle petrology deals with the formation and recycling of continental and oceanic crust from the microscale to the macroscale. This work employs analytical facilities including SHRIMP, EPMA and LA-ICPMS, and software such as PerPleX and TWQ. Fluid rock interaction is another part of my petrological investigations, here I´m studying several hot springs in the South Pacific to in respect to geothermal energy. My mineralogical work assesses components of the planetary volatile cycle, including water and carbon dioxide. I´m using Synchrotron Based FTIR with a micrometre-scale resolution to determine the distribution of volatiles in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals. My geochemical interests lie in understanding the distribution of REE, LREE and HREE in the granulite-eclogite facies transition zone. My research activities are around the globe, but especially in the USA, Greenland, Germany, Morocco, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Antarctica and Fiji.

Areas of expertise: How to handle; for example: 60% of all my publications dealing with metamorphic petrology

  • Metamorphic Petrology:
  • Geochronology:
  • Igneous Petrology:
  • Mantle Petrology:
  • Geodynamics and Geophysics:
  • Planetary Water Cycle:
  • Diamonds, xenolithes and kimberlites:
  • Geothermal Energy:

That´s, what I´m going to do with my rocks! How to read: for example, 45% of all my publications dealing with geochronology…..

  • 45%
    U-Pb Geochronology
  • 80%
    Classical fieldwork
  • 50%
    Mineral chemistry
  • 55%
    Thermodynamic modeling
  • 55%
    Bulk rock chemistry
  • 8%
    Studies on fluid inclusions
  • 15%
    Geochemistry on trace elements
  • 10%
    Geodynamic modeling
  • 10%
    Geophysical calculations
  • 30%
    Volatiles in NAMS (Nominally Anhydrous Minerals)
  • 15%
    Geochemistry on isotopes
  • 90%
    And finally, writing up the manuscript


Teaching portfolio

I have a teaching experience of about 17 years. Within this 17 years I taught all aspects in Mineralogy and Petrology, but mainly metamorphic, igneous and mantle petrology. Due to the fact that my main research interests are in the same scientific area as my lectures, it was/is always possible to connect the topic of the classes with ongoing research projects for the students on a BsC, Honnor, MsC and PhD level. 

I´m using very classical teaching methods like chalc and the blackboard, but also highly suffisticated computer based modelling programs as PERPLEX etc. In the past I offered additionally to the existing classes a voluntarily lunch time seminar. That was a seminar series offered to the students attending my classes. Every week another student gave a small and briefly presentation on the topic of a international peer reviewed publication and a following discussion about the context of the publication was made within the group. The goal was to animate students to follow up the newest scientific literature and therein the importance to study it.

Different teaching concepts can be applied depending on the number of students in a course. From my experience a course with up to 15 students is ideal. That is, because I can personally interact and discuss certain topics with the students directly in the course. Another advantage is that I know the students by name and I´m able to recognize very fast if somebody is struggling with the context of the lecture. Up to 30 students in a course is still fine, because I will also remember them by name and face, but an powerfull direct face to face interaction becomes more difficult. Classes with more than 30 students has to be teached in a completely different way, because personal direct interaction is not longer possible, because I´m dealing than with a group and not longer with single individuals. Due to these circumstances I have to decide by myself how I have to teach certain classes depending on the number of students.

Another very important teaching aspect for mineralogy and petrology students is the field work, which also depends strongly on the number of students attending the class. Here, I would like to visit high grade metamorphic terrains and active volcanoes. But industry excursions, like cement factories will also be on the timetable.

In summary: My goal is to produce practical and field orientated students, which should be able to use classical and advanced mineralogical and petrological methods to create healthy scientific work on the one hand, but on the second hand they should also be able to use their mineralogical and petrological skills obtained in my courses in applied geology as well as in the industry.

Alma mater



Professor. Dr. Holger Sommer, Department of Geology, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia


Senior lecturer

University of the South Pacific, Fiji, Department of Geography, Earth Science and Environmental Science


Research Professor

Seoul National University, Korea, School of Earth and Environmental Science


Senior lecturer

University of the Free State, South Africa, Department of Geology



University of Botswana, Department of Geology


Postdoctoral research

Rice University of Houston, USA Keith-Wiess-School of Earth Science, in collaboration with University of Houston and Lunar and Planetary Institute


Research Associate

Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Germany, Institute for Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry


Researcher and Lecturer

Johannes-Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany, Institut for Geosciences

2001 - 2004

Ph.D. received July 2004

(magna cum laude) Metamorphic petrology and zircon geochronology of high-grade rocks from the central Mozambique Belt of Tanzania: Crustal recycling of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic material during the Pan-African orogeny. Johannes-Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany, Institute for Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology.





You can contact me via this form or my email address.

  • Please use a REAL email address so that we can get back to you.