Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal at the Marie Tharp Lecture Series of GEOMAR | Photo: Jens Klimmeck/GEOMAR

26.09.2018 | Coastlines, 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.

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Scientific Director of the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), gave some varied insights into these sensitive systems, and their responses to warming and acidification of seawater as well as to extensive human exploitation when she held a talk at GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research as part of the 24th Marie Tharp Lecture Series.

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.

 Author: GEOMAR