Max Engel

Associated Research Fellow

                            +32 2 788 76 00 (Secretary Office)


Max Engel is a geomorphologist with a specific interest in coastal and arid environments as well as geoarchaeology, Quaternary sciences and natural hazards. His regional interest covers the Arabian Peninsula, the Caribbean, Western Australia, the Philippines and (north-)western Europe. He graduated from Philipps University of Marburg (Germany) in 2007 (Diplom-Geograph) and received a PhD in Physical Geography at the University of Cologne in 2012, for his thesis on reconstructing the palaeotsunami history of the southern Caribbean. After 5 postdoctoral years in Cologne, where he gained extensive experience in teaching, he took up a postdoc position in GSB’s geohazard research group, investigating the metagenomics of tsunami deposits on the Shetland Islands (GEN-EX project). After returning to Cologne in 2019, he took up a tenure position as Head of the Laboratory of Geomorphology and Geoecology at Heidelberg University (Germany), while he is still active in the GEN-EX project as an Associated Research Fellow of GSB.


Max Engel is also a Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute and member of the Editorial Board of Geologica Belgica.

Research group

Research interests


Coastal geomorphology, arid environments, geoarchaeology, Quaternary sciences, natural hazards. tsunami geoscience

Key publications

  1. Engel, M., Strohmenger, C.J., Peis, K.T., Pint, A., Brill, D., Brückner, H., 2021. High-resolution facies analysis of a coastal sabkha in the eastern Gulf of Salwa (Qatar): A spatio-temporal reconstruction. Sedimentology, DOI: 10.1111/sed.12938
  2. Engel, M., Dotterweich, M., Fülling, A., Brill, D., Broisch-Höhner, M., Totschnig, R., Seren, S., Kehl, M., 2021. Syn- and post-eruptive gully formation near the Laacher See volcano. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 46, 1783–1796. DOI: 10.1002/esp.5119
  3. Oetjen, J., Engel, M., Schüttrumpf, H., 2021. Experiments on tsunami induced boulder transport – A review. Earth-Science Reviews 220, 103714. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103714
  4. Engel, M., May, S.M., Garrett, E.G., Pilarczyk, J.E., Brill, D., eds., 2020. Geological records of tsunamis and other extreme waves. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 848 pp. DOI: 10.1016/C2017-0-03458-4
  5. Engel, M., Rückmann, S., Drechsler, P., Brill, D., Opitz, S., Fassbinder, J., Pint, A., Peis, K., Wolf, D., Gerber C., Pfeiffer, K., Eichmann, R., Brückner, H., 2020. Sediment-filled karst depressions and riyad – key archaeological environments of south Qatar. E&G Quaternary Science Journal 68, 215–236
  6. Engel, M., Oetjen, J., May, S.M., Brückner, H., 2016. Tsunami deposits of the Caribbean – Towards an improved coastal hazard assessment? Earth-Science Reviews 163, 260–296. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.10.010
  7. Engel, M., May, S.M., Scheffers, A., Squire, P., Pint, A., Kelletat, D., Brückner, H., 2015. Prograded foredunes of Western Australia’s macro-tidal coast – implications for Holocene sea-level change and high-energy wave impacts. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 40, 726–740. DOI: 10.1002/esp.3663
  8. May, S.M., Engel, M., Brill, D., Cuadra, C., Lagmay, A.M.F., Santiago, J., Suarez, K., Reyes, M., Brückner, H., 2015. Block and boulder transport in Eastern Samar (Philippines) during Supertyphoon Haiyan. Earth Surface Dynamics 3, 543–548. DOI: 10.5194/esurf-3-543-2015
  9. Engel, M., May, S.M., 2012. Bonaire’s boulder fields revisited: Evidence for Holocene tsunami impact on the Leeward Antilles. Quaternary Science Reviews 54, 126–141. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.12.011
  10. Engel, M., Brückner, H., Pint, A., Wellbrock, K., Ginau, A., Voss, P., Grottker, M., Klasen, N., Frenzel, P., 2012. The early Holocene humid period in NW Saudi Arabia – evidence from sediments, microfossils and palaeo-hydrological modeling. Quaternary International 266, 131–141. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2011.04.028


More details and extensive list of publications at:
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