Cooperation Professorship Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)

Geology of the Tropics

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal

(Only in German)
1994 Diplom Universität Tübingen
1997 Promotion Universität Kiel
2004 Habilitation Universität Tübingen

1992-1993 University of Queens-land, Brisbane, Australia
1998-1999 University of Miami, USA; 1999-2003 Universität Hannover
2003-2004 Universität Erlangen
2005-2010 Universität Bremen
2010 Universität Heidelberg

Professorin in Bremen und
Direktorin des Leibniz-Zentrums für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT) seit 2010

Karbonat-Sedimentologie, Palökologie, Biogeologie im Küstenraum

We study biologically formed sediments in tropical shallow seas. In particular, we investigate the influence of changed environmental conditions – such as ocean acidification, sea level rise, increases in water temperature as well as eutrophication – on these biogenic systems. As an example: Increased nutrient content leads to a shift from tropical coral reefs to deposition systems characterised by filter organisms such as for example mussels and bryozoans. This effect has consequences for the services of tropical coastal ecosystems. At the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) we conduct interdisciplinary research and combine natural and social sciences. We closely cooperate with our partners in the tropics and support the development of local capacities, expertise and structures for sustainable coastal zone management.

Working Area

Tropical shallow-water seas: Ghana, Mauritania, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Galapagos, Bahamas and other countries along the tropical belt


Petrography, light and scanning electron microscopy, experimental ecology, geochemistry, sediment analyses, field work, proteomics


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