Hildegard Westphal

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal

Wissenschaftliche Direktorin, Abteilungs- und Arbeitsgruppenleiterin, Professorin für Geologie der Tropen (Universität Bremen)

Abteilung: Biogeochemie und Geologie
Arbeitsgruppen: AG Geoökologie und Karbonatsedimentologie

Tel.: +49 421 23800 - 21

Fax: +49 421 23800 - 30

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Büro: Wiener Strasse 7
28359 Bremen
Raum: 5311 (3. Etage)


- Karbonatsedimente als Archive für Umwelt- und Klimaveränderungen
- Eutrophische tropische Bedingungen als Vorhersageszenarien zukünftiger Umweltbedingungen
- Karbonatsedimente unter Auftriebsbedingungen
- Der Effekt von Ozeanversauerung auf Skelettstrukturen karbonatischer Organismen

Curriculum Vitae

(nur auf Englisch)

  • since 2011 Scientific Vice President of the Leibniz Association
  • since 2010 Director of the Leibniz-Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, Bremen
  • 2010 Chair for Sedimentology, Universität Heidelberg
  • 2008-2009 Spokesperson (chair) of "die Junge Akademie"
  • 2005-2010 Member of "die Junge Akademie"
  • 2005-2010 Heisenberg grant at University of Bremen and Marum
  • 2004 Albert Maucher Award of the German Science Foundation DFG
  • 2004 Habilitation
  • 2003 Walter-Schall Award of the Gesellschaft für Naturkunde in Württemberg e.V.
  • 2003 Hans Cloos Award of the Geologische Vereinigung
  • 2003-2005 Grant of the Universities and Science Program, Institute of Palaeontology Erlangen (Germany)
  • 1999-2003 Assistent professor at Hannover University (Germany)
  • 1998-1999 Postdoc at Comparative Sedimentology Laboratory , RSMAS, University of Miami
  • 1995-1997 PhD student at GEOMAR Forschungszentrum (Kiel/Germany)
  • 1991-1992 student at University of Queensland (Brisbane/Australia)
  • 1988-1994 student at Tübingen University (Germany)


Laufende Forschungsprojekte

Plastic ingestion in reef corals
Collaboration with NOVA University, Ft. Lauderdale

Eutrophic tropical carbonate depositional system (Mauritania)
Meteor Cruise 129

DFG-SPP-Projekt „Sea level changes in SE Asia"
Co-PI Alessio Rovere



Referierte Fachzeitschriften

Brandano M, Westphal H, Mateu-Vicens G, Preto N, Obrador A (2016 online first) Ancient upwelling record in a phosphate hardground (Tortonian of Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain) Marine and Petroleum Geology. DOI:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.07.017

Farag M, Porzel A, Al-Hammady MA, Hegazy MEF, Meyer A, Mohamed TA, Westphal H, Wessjohann L (2016) Soft Corals Biodiversity in the Egyptian Red Sea: a Comparative MS and NMR Metabolomics Approach (COMET) of Wild and Aquarium Grown Species. Journal of Proteome Research. 15, 1274-1287. DOI:10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00002

Humphreys AF, Halfar J, Rivera F, Manzello D, Reymond CE, Westphal H, Riegl B. (2016) Variable El Niño–Southern Oscillation influence on biofacies dynamics of eastern Pacific shallow-water carbonate systems. Geology 44, 571-574. DOI:10.1130/G37745.1.

Klicpera A, Michel J, Westphal H, (2015) Facies patterns of a tropical heterozoan carbonate platform under eutrophic control: the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania, Facies 61, 421-445. DOI:10.​1007/​s10347-014-0421-5

Mann T, Bayliss-Smith T, Westphal H (2016) A Geomorphic Interpretation of Shoreline Change Rates on Reef Islands. Journal of Coastal Research 32, 500-507. DOI:10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-15-00093.1

Mann T, Rovere A, Schöne T, Klicpera A, Stocchi P, LukmanM, WestphalH (in press) A revision of meter-scale sea-level oscillations in Central Indonesia during the Holocene. Geomorphology.

Mann T, WestphalH (2016) Multi-decadal shoreline changes on Takú Atoll, Papua New Guinea: Observational evidence of early reef island recovery after the impact of storm waves. Geomorphology 257, 75–84. DOI:10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.12.028

Michel J, Wiemers K, Samhudi H, Westphal H (2015) Molluscan assemblages under the influence of peat-draining rivers off East Sumatra, Indonesia; Molluscan Research 35, 81-94. DOI:10.1080/13235818.2015.1007493

Müller P, Reymond CE, Siegel P, Westphal H (2016 online first) Paleoenvironmental proxies in echinoid spines (Eucidaris galapagensis, Döderlein 1887) along a natural water temperature gradient. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology. DOI:10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.024

Reymond C, Zihrul K-S, Halfar J, Riegl B, Humphreys A, Westphal H (2016) Heterozoan carbonates from the equatorial rocky reefs of the Galápagos Archipelago. Sedimentology 63, 940-958. DOI:10.1111/sed.12244

Westphal H, Lavi J, Munnecke A (2015 online first) Diagenesis makes the impossible come true: crosscutting layers in calcareous turbidites. Facies

Wizemann A, Mann T, Klicpera A, Westphal H (2015 online first) Microstructural analyses of sedimentary Halimeda segments from the Spermonde Archipelago (SW Sulawesi, Indonesia): a new indicator for sediment transport in tropical reef islands? Facies. DOI:10.1007/s10347-015-0429-5

Wizemann A, Meyer FW, Hofmann LC, Wild C, Westphal H (2015) Ocean acidification alters the calcareous microstructure of the green macro-alga Halimeda opuntia, Coral Reefs 34, 941-954. DOI:10.1007/s00338-015-1288-9

Reymond CE, Mateu-Vicens G, Westphal H (2014) Foraminiferal assemblages from a transitional tropical upwelling zone in the Golfe d’Arguin, Mauritania. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 148, 70-84. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.05.034

Klicpera A, Taylor PD, Westphal H (2014) Bryozoans on the move: Adaptations to hard-substrate limiting tropical heterozoan carbonates (Banc d’Arguin – Mauritania). Marine Biodiversity. Online. DOI:10.1007/s12526-014-0279-3

Afşar, F., Westphal, H., Philipp, S. L., (2014) How facies and diagenesis affect fracturing of limestone beds and reservoir permeability in limestone-marl alternations; Marine and Petroleum Geology 57, 418-432

Mann, T, Westphal H (2014) Assessing long-term changes in beach width of reef islands based on temporally fragmented remote sensing data, Remote Sensing 6, 6961-6987, doi:10.3390/rs6086961

Wizemann A, Meyer FW, Westphal H (2014) A new model for the calcification of the green macro-alga Halimeda opuntia (Lamouroux), Coral Reefs 33, 951-964

Afşar F, Duda J-P, Zeller M, Verwer K, Westphal H, Eberli GP (2014) First report of sponge rhaxes in the Picún Leufú Formation (Tithonian–Berriasian), Neuquén Basin, Argentina, Göttingen Contributions to Geosciences 77: 49-56

Klicpera, A., Michel, J., Westphal, H. (2014). Facies patterns of a tropical heterozoan carbonate platform under eutrophic conditions: the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania. Facies 61(421). DOI:10.1007/s10347-014-0421-5

Mann, T., Westphal, H. (2014). Assessing long-term changes in the beach width of reef islands based on temporally fragmented remote sensing data. Remote Sensing 6, p. 6961-6967. DOI: 10.3390/rs6086961.

Reymond, C., Mateu-Vicens, G., Westphal, H. (2014). Foraminiferal assemblages from a transitional tropical upwelling zone in the Golfe d’Arguin, Mauritania. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 148, p. 70-84. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.05.034.

Wizemann, A., Meyer, F.W., Westphal, H. (2014). A new model for the calcification of the green macro-alga Halimeda opuntia (Lamouroux). Coral Reefs. DOI:10.1007/s00338-014-1183-9.

Hanebuth, T.J.J., Mersmeyer, H., Kudrass, H.R., Westphal, H. (2013) Aeolian to shallow-marine shelf architecture off a major 1 desert since the Late Pleistocene (Northern Mauritania); Geomorphology, online first. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X13004364

Klicpera, A., Taylor, P.D., Westphal, H. (2013) Bryoliths constructed by bryozoans in symbiotic associations with hermit crabs in a tropical heterozoan carbonate system, Golfe d'Arguin, Mauritania; Marine Biodiversity, DOI: 10.1007/s12526-013-0173-4

Preto, N., Agnini, C., Rigo, M., Sprovieri, M., Westphal, H. (2013) The calcareous nannofossil Prinsiosphaera achieved rock-forming abundances in the latest Triassic of western Tethys: consequences for the δ13C of bulk carbonate. Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, pp. 7989-8025. DOI: 10.5194/bgd-10-7989-2013.

Preto, N., Willems, H., Guaiumi, C., Westphal, H. (2012) Onset of significant pelagic carbonate accumulation after the Carnian Pluvial Event (CPE) in the Western Tethys. Facies. DOI: 10.1007/s10347-012-0338-9.

Preto, N., Rigo, M., Agnini, C., Bertinelli, A., Guaiumi, C., Borello, S., Westphal, H. (2012) Triassic and Jurassic calcareous nannofossils of the Pizzo Mondello section: A SEM study. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 118, pp. 131-141.

Heindel, K., Birgel, D., Brunner, B., Thiel, V., Westphal, H., Gischler, E., Ziegenbalg, S.B., Cabioch, G., Sjövall, P., Peckmann, J. (2012) Post-glacial microbialite formation in coral reefs in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean. Chemical Geology, 304-305, 117-130.

Thomas, A.L., Fujita, K., Iryu, Y., Bard, E., Cabioch, G., Camoin, G., Cole, J.E., Deschamps, P., Durand, N., Hamelin, B., Heindel, K., Henderson, G.M., Mason, A.J., Matsuda, H., Ménabréaz, L., Omori, A., Quinn, T., Sakai, S., Sato, T., Sugihara, K., Takahashi, Y., Thouveny, N., Tudhope, A.W., Webster, J., Westphal, H., Yokoyama, Y. (2012) Assessing uplift rates and paleo water-depths for Tahiti reefs using U-Th chronology of altered corals. Marine Geology, 295-298, 86-94.

Michel, J., Westphal, H., v. Cosel, R. (2011) The mollusk fauna of soft sediments from the tropical, upwelling-influenced shelf of Mauritania (northwestern Africa) Palaios 26, 447-460.

Michel, J., Mateu-Vicens, G., Westphal, H. (2011) Modern heterozoan carbonate facies from a eutrophic tropical shelf (Mauritania). Journal of Sedimentary Research, 81, 641-655.

Massari, F., Westphal, H. (2011) Microbialites in the Middle-Upper Jurassic Ammonitico Rosso of the Southern Alps (Italy); in: Seckbach, J. and Tewari, V. (Eds.) Stromatolites: interaction of microbes with sediments. Springer-Verlag. Series: Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology, 2011, Volume 18, Part 2, 223-250, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0397-1_10

Heindel, K., Birgel, D., Peckmann, J., Kuhnert, H., Westphal, H. (2010) Formation of deglacial microbialites in coral reefs off Tahiti (IODP 310) involving sulfate-reducing bacteria; Palaios 25, 618-635.

Iryu, Y., Takahashi, Y., Fujita, K., Camoin, G., Cabioch, G., Matsuda, H., Sato, T., Sugihara, K., Webster, J.M. and Westphal, H. (2010) Sealevel history recorded in the Pleistocene carbonate sequence in IODP Hole 310-M0005D, off Tahiti; Island Arc, 19, 690-706.

Westphal, H., Halfar, J., Freiwald, A. (2010): Non-coralgal carbonates in subtropical to tropical settings in the present and in the past. International Journal of Earth Sciences; 99, S153-S169; invited paper.

Westphal, H., Heindel, K., Brandano, M., Peckmann, J. (2010) Genesis of microbialites as contemporaneous framework components of coral reefs, deglacial of Tahiti (IODP 310); Facies, 56, 337-352.

Wienberg, C., Kwoll, E., Westphal, H., Hebbeln, D. (2010) An isolated carbonate knoll in the Timor Sea (Sahul Shelf, NW Australia): facies zonation and sediment composition; Facies, 56, 179-193.

Westphal, H., Hilgen, F., Munnecke, A. (2010) An assessment of the suitability of individual rhythmic carbonate successions for astrochronological application. Earth Science Reviews, 99, 19-30.

Michel, J., Westphal, H., Hanebuth, T. (2009) Sediment partitioning and winnowing in a mixed eolian-marine system (Mauritanian shelf). Geo-Marine Letters, 29, 221-232.

Heindel, K., Wisshak, M., Westphal, H. (2009) Microbioerosion in Tahitian reefs: A record of environmental change during the last deglacial sea-level rise (IODP #310). Lethaia, 42, 322-340.

Bornholdt, S., Sneppen, K. & Westphal, H. (2009) Longevity of orders is related to the longevity of their constituent genera rather than genus richness; Theory in Biosciences, 128, 75-83.

Heindel, K., Westphal, H., Wisshak, M. (2009) Bioerosion in the reef framework, IODP Expedition #310 off Tahiti (Tiarei, Mara'a, and Faa'a); Proceedings IODP Vol 310; doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.310.201.2009, 28p.

Heindel K., Birgel D., Peckmann J., Kuhnert H. & Westphal H. (2009). Sulfate-reducing bacteria as major players in the formation of reef-microbialites during the last sea-level rise (Tahiti, IODP 310). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73 (13), Goldschmidt Conference, A514-A514.

Asprion U., Westphal, H., Nieman, M., Pomar, L. (2009) Ground Penetrating Radar for extrapolating depositional geometries of a Miocene carbonate ramp (Menorca, Spain). Facies, 55, 37–46.

Brandano, M., Westphal, H., Mateu-Vicens, G. (2009) The sensitivity of a tropical foramol-rhodalgal carbonate ramp to relative sea-level change:Miocene of the Central Apennines, Italy; in: Mutti, M., Betzler, C.,Piller, W.E.; Carbonate systems during the Oligocene-Miocene climatic transition. IAS Special Publication 42, 89–106.

Westphal, H., Munnecke. A., Böhm, F., Bornholdt, S. (2008) Limestone-marl alternations in epeiric sea settings – witnesses of environmental changes, or of rhythmic diagenesis? In: C. Holmden, B. R. Pratt; Geological Association of Canada Spec Paper 48, 389-406

Westphal, H., Munnecke, A., Brandano, M. (2008) Effects of diagenesis on the astrochronological approach of defining stratigraphic boundaries in calcareous rhythmites: The Tortonian GSSP; Lethaia 41, 461-476

Munnecke, A., Westphal, H., Kölbl-Ebert, M. (2008) Diagenesis of plattenkalk: examples from the Solnhofen area (Upper Jurassic, S-Germany), Sedimentology 55, 1931–1946.

Camoin, G.F., Y. Iryu, D.B. McInroy, IODP Expedition 310 Scientists (2007) IODP Expedition 310 reconstructs sea level, climatic, and environmental changes in the South Pacific during the last deglaciation, Scientific Drilling, 5, 4-12.

Westphal, H. (2006): Limestone-marl alternations as environmental archives and the role of early diagenesis: a critical review . Int. Journal of Earth Science 95, 947-961.

Munnecke, A. & Westphal, H. (2005): Variations in primary aragonite, calcite, and clay in fine-grained calcareous rhythmites of Cambrian to Jurassic age - an environmental archive? Facies, 51, 592-607.

Swart, P.K., Cantrell, D., Westphal, H., Handford, R. and Kendall, C. (2005) Origin of Dolomite in the Arab-D Reservoir from the Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia: Evidence from Petrographic and Geochemical Constraints. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 75, 476-491.

Munnecke, A. and Westphal, H. (2005): Schwankende Umweltbedingungen des südwestdeutschen Oberjura dokumentiert in Kalk-Mergel-Wechselfolgen. Jahreshefte d. Ges. f. Nat. in Würt. 160, 33-48.

Westphal, H., Surholt, I., Kiesl, C., Thern, H.F. and Kruspe, T. (2005) NMR Measurements in Carbonate Rocks - Problems and an Approach to a Solution. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 162, 549-570.

Westphal, H., Böhm F. and Bornholdt, S (2004) Orbital Frequencies in the Sedimentary Record: Distorted by Diagenesis? Facies, 50. p. 3-11.

Pomar, L., Westphal, H. and Obrador, A. (2004) Oriented concretions in Upper Miocene carbonates of Menorca, Spain: Evidence for fluid flow through a heterogeneous porous system. Geologica Acta, 2, 271-284.

Pomar, L. , Brandano, M. & Westphal, H. (2004) Environmental factors influencing skeletal grain sediment associations: a critical review of Miocene examples from the western Mediterranean. Sedimentology, 51, 627-651.

Westphal, H., Eberli, G.P., Smith, L.B., Grammer, G.M. & Kislak, J. (2004): Reservoir characterization in the Mississippian Madison Formation, Wind River Basin, Wyoming. AAPG Bulletin, 88, 405-432.

Munnecke, A. and Westphal, H. (2004) Shallow-water aragonite recorded in bundles of limestone-marl alternations - the Upper Jurassic of SW Germany. Sedimentary Geology, 164, 191-202.

Westphal, H., Munnecke, A., Pross, J. and Herrle, J. (2004) Multi-proxy approach to understanding the origin of Cretaceous pelagic limestone-marl alternations (DSDP Site 391, Blake-Bahama Basin). Sedimentology, 51, 109-126.

Westphal, H. & Munnecke, A. (2003) Limestone-marl alternations - a warm-water phenomenon? Geology, 31, 263-266.

Böhm, F., Westphal, H., and Bornholdt, S. (2003) Required but disguised: Environmental signals in limestone-marl alternations. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2987, 1-18.

Pomar, L. , Obrador, A. & Westphal, H. (2002) Sub-wavebase cross-bedded grainstones on a distally steepened carbonate ramp, upper Miocene, Menorca, Spain. Sedimentology, 49, 139-169.

Melim, L.A. , Westphal, H. , Swart, P.K. and Eberli, G.P., Munnecke, A. (2002) Questioning carbonate diagenetic paradigms: Evidence from the Neogene of the Bahamas. Marine Geology, 185, 27-53.

Kenter, J.A.M., Anselmetti, F.S. , Kramer, P., Westphal, H. & Vandamme, M.G.M. (2002) Acoustic properties of "young" carbonate rocks, ODP Leg 166 and Holes Clino and Unda, Western Great Bahama Bank. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 72, 129-137.

Munnecke, A. , Westphal, H., Elrick, M. & Reijmer, J. (2001) The mineralogical composition of precursor sediments of calcareous rhythmites: a new approach. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 90,795-812.

Cantrell, D.L., Swart, P.K. , Handford, C.R., Kendall, C.G. & Westphal, H. (2001) Geology and Production Significance of Dolomite, Arab-D Reservoir, Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia. GeoArabia, 6, 45-60.

Moritz, E., Bornholdt, S. , Westphal, H. and Meschede, M. (2000) Neural network interpretation of LWD data (ODP Leg 170) confirms complete sediment subduction at the Costa Rica convergent margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 174, p. 301-312.

Westphal, H., Head, M.J. & Munnecke, A. (2000) Differential diagenesis of rhythmic limestone alternations supported by palynologic evidence . Journal of Sedimentary Research, 70, 715-725.

Westphal, H., Reijmer, J.J.G. & Head, M.J. (1999) Input and Diagenesis on a Carbonate Slope (Bahamas): Response to Morphology Evolution and Sea-Level Fluctuations.- In: Harris, P.M., Saller, A. and Simo J.A., Advances in Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy: Applications to Reservoirs, Outcrops, and Models. SEPM Special Publication v. 63, p. 247-274.

Bornholdt, S. , Nordlund, U. & Westphal, H. (1999) Inverse stratigraphic modelling using genetic algorithms.- In: Numerical Experiments in Stratigraphy, SEPM

Head, M.J. & Westphal, H. (1999) Palynology and paleoenvironments of a Pliocene carbonate platform: the Clino Core, Bahamas.- Journal of Paleontology 73, p. 1-25.

Bornholdt, S. & Westphal, H. (1998): Automation of stratigraphic simulations - quasi-backward modeling using genetic algorithms.- In: Mascle, A., Puigdefabregas, C., Fernandez, M. & Luterbacher, H.P. Cenozoic Foreland Basins of Western Europe, Geological Society Special Publication v. 134, p. 371-379.

Munnecke, A. , Westphal, H., Reijmer, J.J.G. & Samtleben, C. (1997): Microspar development during early marine burial diagenesis: a comparison of Pliocene carbonates from the Bahamas with Silurian limestones from Gotland (Sweden).- Sedimentology, v. 44, 977-990.

Westphal, H. & Aigner, T. (1997): Seismic stratigraphy and subsidence analysis in the Barrow-Dampier Subbasin, NW-Australia.- AAPG Bulletin, v. 81, 1721-1749.

Westphal, H. & Munnecke, A. (1997): Mechanical compaction versus early cementation: differentiation by the preservation of organic microfossils.- Sedimentary Geology, v. 112, p. 33-42.

Westphal, H. & Bornholdt, S. (1996): Lithofacies prediction from wireline logs with genetic algorithms and neural networks.- Zeitschrift der DGG, v. 147, p. 465-474.

Westphal, H. (1996): Cenozoic Progradation in the Barrow-Dampier Subbasin, Northwest Shelf of Australia.- Zeitschrift der DGG, v. 147, 125-135



Massari, F., Westphal, H. (2011) Microbialites in the Middle-Upper Jurassic Ammonitico Rosso of the Southern Alps (Italy); in: Seckbach, J. and Tewari, V. (Eds.) Stromatolites: interaction of microbes with sediments. Springer-Verlag. Series: Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology, 2011, Volume 18, Part 2, 223-250.

Schmundt, H.; Vec, M.; Westphal, H. (eds.) (2010): Mekkas der Moderne - die Pilgerstätten der WIssensgesellschaft. Böhlau Verlag.

Westphal, H.; Riegl, B.; Eberli , GP. (eds.) (2010) Carbonate depositional systems - assessing dimensions and controlling parameters. Springer Verlag.

Westphal, H. (2010) Geologie. In: Engelen, E.-M.; Fleischhack, C.; Galizia, C.G.; Landfester, K. (Hrsg.) Heureka - Evidenzkriterien in den Wissenschaften. Spektrum-Verlag.

Vec, M., Beer, B., Engelen, E.-M., Fischer, J., Freund, A.M., Kiesow, R.M., Korte, M., Schollwöck U., Westphal, H. (Hrsg.) (2006) Der Campus-Knigge. Von Abschreiben bis Zweitgutachten. C.H.Beck-Verlag (2. Auflage Feb. 2008).

Westphal, H. (1998) Carbonate Platform Slopes - A Record of Changing Conditions. The Pliocene of the Bahamas .- Lecture Notes in Earth Science, v.75, Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York. 197 p.