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Dr. Thomas Felis

Research Staff


MARUM Director


+49 421 218-65751


+49 421 218-65505



MARUM I, 3080

Thomas Felis


DFG Priority Programme "Tropical Climate Variability and Coral Reefs" (SPP 2299)


Project leader

CoralHydro2k - PAGES (Past Global Changes) 2k Network


Expedition participant

International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)

Expedition 325 - Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes

Expedition 310 - Tahiti Sea Level


Extension of instrumental climate records using tropical and subtropical coral archives

I am using annually-banded shallow-water corals to reconstruct ongoing and past changes in temperature and hydroclimate across the tropics to subtropics. I am interested in ocean-atmosphere interactions at timescales from seasons to decades, from millennia to hundred thousands of years. By using modern corals of the past decades to centuries and fossil corals of the Holocene, the last glacial and interglacial, my research focuses on modes of climate variability and integrates coral paleoclimate data with climate model output to understand processes driving past and future climate change.


Selected Publications

Brachert, TC, Felis, T, Gagnaison, C, Hoehle, M, Reuter, M and Spreter, PM (2022) Slow-growing reef corals as climate archives: A case study of the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum 40 Ma ago. Science Advances, 8(20). eabm3875. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abm3875

Felis, T, Hinestrosa, G, Köhler, P and Webster, JM (2022) Role of the deglacial buildup of the Great Barrier Reef for the Global carbon cycle. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(4). e2021GL096495. doi:10.1029/2021GL096495

Felis, T (2020) Extending the instrumental record of ocean-atmosphere variability into the last interglacial using tropical corals. Oceanography, 33(2). 68-79. doi:10.5670/oceanog.2020.209

Felis, T, Ionita, M, Rimbu, N, Lohmann, G and Kölling, M (2018) Mild and arid climate in the eastern Sahara-Arabian Desert during the late Little Ice Age. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. 7112-7119. doi:10.1029/2018GL078617 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, Giry, C, Scholz, D, Lohmann, G, Pfeiffer, M, Pätzold, J, Kölling, M and Scheffers, SR (2015) Tropical Atlantic temperature seasonality at the end of the last interglacial. Nature Communications, 6. 6159. doi:10.1038/ncomms7159 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, McGregor, HV, Linsley, BK, Tudhope, AW, Gagan, MK, Suzuki, A, Inoue, M, Thomas, AL, Esat, TM, Thompson, WG, Tiwari, M, Potts, DC, Mudelsee, M, Yokoyama, Y and Webster, JM (2014) Intensification of the meridional temperature gradient in the Great Barrier Reef following the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Communications, 5. 4102. doi:10.1038/ncomms5102 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, Merkel, U, Asami, R, Deschamps, P, Hathorne, EC, Kölling, M, Bard, E, Cabioch, G, Durand, N, Prange, M, Schulz, M, Cahyarini, SY and Pfeiffer, M (2012) Pronounced interannual variability in tropical South Pacific temperatures during Heinrich Stadial 1. Nature Communications, 3. 965. doi:10.1038/ncomms1973 PANGAEA Supplementary Data

Felis, T, Lohmann, G, Kuhnert, H, Lorenz, SJ, Scholz, D, Pätzold, J, Al-Rousan, S and Al-Moghrabi, SM (2004) Increased seasonality in Middle East temperatures during the last interglacial period. Nature, 429(6988). 164-168. doi:10.1038/nature02546 PANGAEA Supplementary Data


Conferences and workshops

NSF Coral Bleaching RCN Workshop

Bremen, 1-3 July 2020 (virtual due to COVID-19 pandemic)

CoralHydro2k Meeting (PAGES)

Sydney (Australia), 1 September 2019
PAGES 2k Network

PaleoENSO Workshop

Belitung (Indonesia), 25-30 August 2019

Networking activities

CoralHydro2k - Tropical ocean hydroclimate and temperature from coral archives

Coral reef Aqaba
Coral reef at Aqaba (Jordan), northern Red Sea

Hargreaves J., K. DeLong, T. Felis, N. Abram, K. Cobb, and H. Sayani (2020), Tropical ocean hydroclimate and temperature from coral archives, Past Global Changes Magazine, 28(1), 29, https://doi.org/10.22498/pages.28.1.29

PAGES 2k Network

Tropical coral archives – Reconstructions of climate and environment beyond the instrumental record at societally-relevant timescales

Round Table (Rundgespräch), German Research Foundation (DFG), Bremen, January 29-30, 2018

More than 30 scientists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland discussed future collaborative research in the field of "Tropical corals as climate archives".

Session & Workshop at International Conference 'GeoBremen 2017', September 24-29, 2017

38 scientists from 8 countries discussed latest research in the field of "Tropical corals as climate archives"

Zinke, J., M. Pfeiffer, and T. Felis (2018), Reconstructing climate and environment from coral archives, Eos, 99, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EO096071.