Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal (left), director of the ZMT Bremen, with Prof. Dr. Anja Engel, chairwoman of the GEOMAR Women's Exdcutive Board. Photo:  Jens Klimmeck/GEOMAR

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal (left), director of the ZMT Bremen, with Prof. Dr. Anja Engel, chairwoman of the GEOMAR Women's Exdcutive Board. Photo: Jens Klimmeck/GEOMAR

25.09.2018

Tropical Coastal Boundaries - From global to local stressors

24th Marie-Tharp Lecture with Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal

25 September 2018/Kiel. Shorelines, the natural boundary between land and sea, are among the most complex socio-ecological systems on our planet. This is especially true in densely populated areas where people are particularly influential to coastal ecosystems and yet most dependent on them. Coral reefs characterize the tropical coastal zones. As a carbonate deposit, they are scientifically significant climate archives of Earth's history and at the same time particularly susceptible to environmental stressors and human intervention. Insights into these sensitive systems, and their responses to warming and acidification of seawater as well as to extensive human exploitation were given by Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Scientific Director of the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research and Professor of Geology of the Tropics at the University of Bremen at the 24th Marie Tharp Lecture Series at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research.

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal studied geology and geophysics at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and the University of Queensland, Australia. She earned her doctorate in 1995 at GEOMAR and the Kiel University. After a stay abroad at the University of Miami (USA) and further research years at the Universities of Hannover and Erlangen she habilitated in 2004 in Tübingen. From 2005 to 2010 she was employed at MARUM with a Heisenberg scholarship, before she became director of the ZMT Bremen in 2010. Prof. Westphal has received numerous awards for her scientific work, i.a. by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, the Gesellschaft für Naturkunde in Württemberg (Walter Schall Prize) and the Geological Association (Hans Cloos Prize). In 2004 she received the Albert Maucher Prize from the German Research Foundation.

The "Marie Tharp Lecture Series" is hosted by the Women's Executive Board (WEB) of GEOMAR. The WEB invites internationally renowned female scientists who present their scientific work in Kiel, but at the same time serve as role models for young female scientists. As for previous lectures, after the public lecture, a get-together took place only for female scientists. There, young female researchers can exchange ideas with more experienced female colleagues and discuss possible career paths.