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Dr. Georg Heiss

Georg Heiss
Image Credit: Jan Kersten

Geologische Wissenschaften

Fachrichtung Paläontologie

AG Geobiologie und Anthropozänforschung

Malteserstrasse 74-100 - Haus C
Room C.117
D-12249 Berlin

My scientific back-ground: Carbonate geologist specialising in coral reef sedimentology with strong integrative and inter-disciplinary approach.

I conducted research programmes in coral reef growth, paleo-climatologic studies using corals in the recent past and the Holocene, as well as present human impacts on coral reefs of the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. I have extensive field work experience in these regions, both land- and ship-based and worked in close contact with intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental agencies. I have a strong interest in raising public awareness for environmental issues related to the coastal and marine environment and climate change.

 I work as independent consultant in project development and training in coral reef monitoring and management. I am co-ordinating and organising activities of Reef Check Europe  and I am chairman of the Reef Check association in Germany (www.reefcheck.de).

Past activities include work as project coordinator of the International Year of the Reef Germany, co-ordination of international research programmes (e.g. Indonesian-German programme for co-operation in Marine Sciences and Geosciences, EU research projects in the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea). I also worked on the analysis of international climate policy at the Advisory Council on Global Change to the German Government (www.wbgu.de).

  • Geology and biology of recent and fossil reefs, carbonate production of corals and coral reefs.

  • Paleoclimatology, Paleoceanography.

  • Growth rate analysis, stable isotope analysis, ecological assessment of recent and fossil coral reefs.

  • Marine Conservation, assessment of coral reef communities by various methods.

  • Adaptation of coral reefs to changing environmental conditions, including climate change and acidification of the oceans.

for a complete publication list follow this link:


earlier publications:

  • Seemann J., González C.T., Carballo-Bolaños R., Berry K., Heiss G.A., Struck U., Leinfelder R.R. (2013) Assessing the ecological effects of human impacts on coral reefs in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, doi:10.1007/s10661-013-3490-y

  • Leinfelder RR, Seemann J, Heiss G.A., Struck U (2012) Could ‘ecosystem atavisms’ help reefs to adapt to the Anthropocene? Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, 9-13 July 2012:ICRS2012_2012B_2012

  • Kiessling W, Heiss G.A. (2011) Coral Reefs. In: Djoghlaf A, Dodds F (eds) Biodiversity and ecosystem insecurity: A planet in peril. Earthscan, Oxford, pp45-54

  • Tun, K. and Heiss, G. (2006): Status of coral reefs in Myanmar: post-tsunami assessment. p. 79-84. In: Wilkinson, C., D. Souter and J. Goldberg (eds.) Status of Coral Reefs in Tsunami Affected Countries: 2005. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland. 154 p.

  • Kotb, M., Abdulaziz, M., Al-Agwan, Z., Alshaikh, K., Al-Yami, H., Banajah, A., Devantier, L., Eisinger, M., Eltayeb, M., Hassan, M., Heiss, G., Howe, S., Kemp, J., Klaus, R., Krupp, F., Mohamed, N., Rouphael, T., Turner, J., & Zajonz, U. 2004: Status of coral reefs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in 2004. In: Wilkinson, C. (ed.): Status of coral reefs of the World: 2004, vol. 1, 137-151, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.

  • Zinke, J., Dullo, W.-Chr., Heiss, G. A. and Eisenhauer, A. (2004): ENSO and Indian Ocean subtropical dipole variability is recorded in a coral record off southwest Madagascar for the period 1659 to 1995.- Earth and Planetary Science Letters 228: 177-194. [doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2004.09.028]

  • Tyson P. D., Karlén W., Holmgren K. & Heiss G.A. (2000): The Little Ice Age and medieval warming in South Africa, South African Journal of Science 96, 121-126.

  • Heiss, G. A., Dullo, W.-Chr., Joachimski, M. M., Reijmer, J. J. G. & Schuhmacher, H. (1999) Increased seasonality in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, recorded in the oxygen isotope record of a Porites lutea coral. Senckenbergiana maritima, 30(1/2), 17-26.

  • Eisenhauer, A., Heiss, G.A., Sheppard C., & Dullo, W.-Chr. 1999: Reef and island formation and Late Holocene sea-level changes in the Chagos Islands.- In: Sheppard, C.R.C & Seaward, M.R.D. (ed.): Ecology of the Chagos Archipelago: 21-33.

  • Heiss, G.A., Camoin, G.F., Eisenhauer, A., Wischow, D., Dullo, W.-Chr. and Hansen, B. (1997): Stable isotope and Sr/Ca signals in corals from the Indian Ocean.- Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium: 1713-1718.

  • Heiss G.A., Dullo W.-Chr. (1997): Stable isotope record from recent and fossil Porites sp. in the northern Red Sea.- Coral Research Bulletin, 5: 161-169.

  • Dullo, W.-Chr., Eisenhauer, A., Heiss, G.A., Wischow, D., Camoin, G.F., Colonna, M. and Montaggioni, L. (1996): Coral and reef growth in the western Indian Ocean (La Réunion, Mayotte, and Seychelles).- In: Reitner, J., Neuweiler, F. and Gunkel, F. (eds.): Global and regional controls on biogenic sedimentation, I. Reef Evolution, Sb2: 23-27; Göttingen.

  • Dullo, W.-Chr., Reijmer, J.J.G., Schuhmacher, H., Eisenhauer, A., Hassan, M. and Heiss, G.A. (1996): Holocene reef growth and recent carbonate production in the Red Sea.- In: Reitner, J., Neuweiler, F. and Gunkel, F. (eds.): Global and regional controls on biogenic sedimentation, I. Reef Evolution, Sb2: 13-17; Göttingen.

  • Heiss, G.A. (1996): Variation in annual band width of Porites sp. from Aqaba, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.- Bulletin of Marine Science, 59/2: 393-403.

  • Wischow, D., Eisenhauer, A., Kuhnert, H., Pätzold, J., Wefer, G., Hansen, B., Heiss, G.A. and Dullo, W.-Chr. (1996): Sr/Ca and Stable Isotope Signals in Corals from the Indian Ocean.- EOS Transactions, 77/46: 384.

  • Heiss, G.A. (1995): Carbonate production by scleractinian corals at Aqaba, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.- Facies, 33: 19-34. [doi:10.1007/BF02537443]

  • Priess, K., Thomassin, B.A., Heiss, G.A., Dullo, W.-Chr. and Camoin, G.F. (1995): Variabilité de la croissance des Porites massifs (P. gr solida-lobata-lutea) (Scleractinaires) dans les récifs coralliens de Mayotte (SW océan Indien).- C.R. Acad. Sc. Paris - Géologie, 318: 1147-1154.

  • Heiss, G.A. and Dullo, W.-Chr. (1995): Carbonate production recorded in coral growth rates. In: Dullo, W.-Chr. et al. (eds.): Factors controlling Holocene reef growth: An interdisciplinary approach.- Facies, 32: 157-161. read the abstract [doi:10.1007/BF02536867]

  • Dullo, W.-Chr., Heiss, G.A. and de Vries, E. (1994): Comparison of linear growth rates in Porites between undisturbed and stressed environments, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.- In: Ginsburg, R.N. (ed.): Proceedings of the Colloquium on Global Aspects of Coral reefs: Health, Hazards and History, 1993: 34-37; Miami (University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science).

  • Heiss, G.A. (1994): Coral reefs in the Red Sea: Growth, production and stable isotopes.- GEOMAR Report, 34: 1-143.->read the summary

  • Heiss, G.A., Dullo, W.-Chr. and Reijmer, J.J.G. (1993): Short- and long-term growth history of massive Porites sp. from Aqaba (Red Sea).- Senckenbergiana maritima, 23/4/6: 135-141.



  • Anthropocene
  • assessment of coral reef communities
  • Biodiversity
  • corals
  • ecological assessment
  • ecosystem
  • environmental conditions
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Marine Conservation
  • Network
  • ocean
  • Paleoceanography
  • Paleoclimatology
  • recent and fossil coral reefs
  • reefs
  • stable isotope analysis