zum Inhalt springen

Dr. rer. nat. Simon Matthias May


Dr. rer. nat. Simon Matthias May

Rundbau, Raum 0.12

Zülpicher Straße 45
50674 Köln

Telefon +49-(0)221-470-76085
Fax +49-(0)221-470-5124
E-Mail matthias.may(at)uni-koeln.de


Current Position

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Interests

Physical Geography; Geomorphology, Coastal and Desert Geomorphology, Palaeogeography, Coastal Hazards

Projects (ongoing)

Hyper-arid landscapes in transition (sub-project C8 of the CRC 1211 "Earth - Evolution at the dry limit"). Funding: DFG | PI: T. Reimann

Ground based observations and experiments (sub-project Z3 of the CRC 1211 "Earth - Evolution at the dry limit"). Funding: DFG | PIs: O. Bubenzer, G. Bareth

Projects (completed)

Soil dynamics and hillslope processes (sub-project C3 of the CRC 1211 "Earth - Evolution at the dry limit"). Funding: DFG | PI: O. Bubenzer

OSL surface exposure dating of wave-emplaced boulders - Improving the use of coarse-clast records for coastal hazard assessments. Funding: DFG | PIs: D. Brill, S.M. May | Cooperation partners: J. Lario (Madrid, Spain). Participating scientists in working group: G. King, A. Zander, H. Brückner, M. Engel.

Cyclone-generated washover deposits and landforms of Western Australia – Sediment characteristics and chronology of geo-archives and palaeotempestological implications (German Research Council, DFG, begin: 08/2012) (together with: A/Prof Dr Anja Scheffers, Southern Cross GeoScience, Australia / Prof Dr H. Brückner, Cologne).

Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines - a dramatic disaster provides a crucial reference for palaeotempestology (Funding: UoC Postdoc Grant) | PIs: M. Engel, D. Brill, S.M. May, H. Brückner (Cologne).

Archeostraits - Vorgeschichtliche Siedlungskammern an der Meerenge von Gibraltar: die Territorien von La Silla del Papa und Los Castillejos de Alcorrín (9. – 1. Jh. v. Chr.) (Funding: DFG) | PIs: Prof. Dr. Pierre Moret (CNRS, Toulouse), Prof. Dr. Dirce Marzoli (DAI, Madrid) | Participating Scientists (Cologne): D. Brill, H. Brückner.

Extreme events (cyclones, tsunamis) and sea level changes in Western Australia (German Research Council, DFG). Supervisors: Prof Dr Dieter Kelletat, Prof Dr Helmut Brückner (Cologne) and A/Prof Dr Anja Scheffers (Southern Cross, Australia). Research Assistants: Dr Simon Matthias May, Dipl-Geogr Max Engel (Cologne), Peter Squire (Southern Cross).

„Chevrons“.  Litorale  Ablagerungen  ungeklärter  Genese  –  exemplarische  Studie an Küsten von Südbrasilien und Zentralchile (German Research Council, DFG, since 2010)

Rekonstruktion von mittel- bis spätholozänen Tsunami-Ereignissen im Gebiet Leukas-Preveza (Nordwestgriechenland) mit Hilfe sedimentologischer, geomorphologischer und paläogeographischer Untersuchungen. Finanzierung: DFG (08/2006 - 07/2009). Leitung: Dr. A. Vött, Prof. Dr. H. Brückner. 


08/2012-07/2015: Own research project funded by the German Research Council (DFG, MA 5768/1-1).

03-07/2012: Visiting Research Fellow at Southern Cross Geoscience, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia.

Dr. Hohmann Funding by the Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Köln e.V. for the research project "Dating of tsunami deposits on the Cape Verde and Canary Islands using cosmogenic nuclides (36Cl)" (together with Max Engel and Gilles Rixhon) (Jun 2012)

Start-up grant by KölnAlumni e.V. covering field work for the research project "Dating of tsunami deposits on the Cape Verde and Canary Islands using cosmogenic nuclides (36Cl)" (together with Max Engel and Gilles Rixhon) (Jan 2012) 

Publications (selected)

Books and book chapters

Engel, M., Pilarczyk, J., May, S. M., Brill, D., Garrett, E. (Eds.). (2020): Geological Records of Tsunamis and Other Extreme Waves. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/C2017-0-03458-4

Engel, M., May, S. M., Pilarczyk, J., Brill, D., Garrett, E. (2020): Chapter 1 - Geological records of tsunamis and other extreme waves: concepts, applications and a short history of research. In: Engel, M., Pilarczyk, J., May, S. M., Brill, D., Garrett, E. (Eds.)., Geological Records of Tsunamis and Other Extreme Waves. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-815686-5.00001-8.

Kelletat, D.H., Engel, M., May, S.M., Erdmann, W., Scheffers, A.M., Brückner, H. (2020): Chapter 26 - Erosive impact of tsunami and storm waves on rocky coasts and post-depositional weathering of coarse-clast deposits. In: Engel, M., Pilarczyk, J., May, S. M., Brill, D., Garrett, E. (Eds.)., Geological Records of Tsunamis and Other Extreme Waves. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-815686-5.00026-2

May, S.M., Engel, M., Brill, D., Squire, P., Scheffers, A., Kelletat, D. (2013a): Coastal hazards from tropical cyclones and extratropical winter storms based on Holocene storm chronologies. In: Finkl, C. (ed.), Coastal Hazards. Springer, Coastal Research Library 6, 557–585. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5234-4_20.

Scheffers, A.M., May, S.M., Kelletat, D.H. (2015): Landforms of the World with Google Earth: Understanding our Environment. Springer, Dordrecht, 391 pp. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9713-9.

Journal articles

Brill, D., May, S.M., Engel, M., Reyes, M., Pint, A., Opitz, S., Dierick, M., Gonzalo, L.A., Brückner, H. (2016): Typhoon Haiyan's sedimentary record in coastal environments of the Philippines and its palaeotempestological implications. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 16, 2799-2822. DOI: 10.5194/nhess-2016-224.

Brill, D., May, S.M., Shah-Hosseini, M., Rufer, D., Schmidt, C., Engel, M. (2017a): Luminescence dating of cyclone-induced washover fans at Point Lefroy (NW Australia). Quaternary Geochronology 41, 134-150. DOI: 10/1016/j.quageo.2017.03.004.

Brill, D., May, S.M., Mhammdi, N., King, G., Brückner, H. (2017b): OSL surface exposure dating of wave-emplaced coastal boulders - Research concept and first results from the Rabat coast, Morocco. Geophysical Research Abstracts 19, EGU2017-12947.

Brill, D., Reimann, T., Wallinga, J., May, S. M., Engel, M., Riedesel, S., Brückner, H. (2018): Testing the accuracy of feldspar single grains to date late Holocene cyclone and tsunami deposits. Quaternary Geochronology 48, 91-103. 10.1016/j.quageo.2018.09.001.

Brill, D., May, S. M., Mhammdi, N., King, G., Burow, C., Wolf, D., Zander, A., Lehmann, B., Brückner, H. (2021): OSL rock surface exposure dating as a novel approach for reconstructing transport histories of coastal boulders over decadal to centennial timescales. Earth Surf. Dynam. 9, 205–234, https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-205-2021.

Callow, J. N., May, S. M., Leopold, M. (2018): Drone photogrammetry and KMeans point cloud filtering to create high resolution topographic and inundation models of coastal sediment archives. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 43(12), 2603-2615. DOI: 10.1002/esp.4419.

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.

Engel, M., Brückner, H., Wennrich, V., Scheffers, A., Kelletat, D., Vött , A., Schäbitz, F., Daut, G., Willershäuser, T., May, S.M. (2010): Coastal stratigraphies of eastern Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles): new insights into the palaeo-tsunami history of the southern Caribbean. Sedimentary Geology 231, 14–30. DOI: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2010.08.002.

Engel, M., Brückner, H., Scheffers, A., May, S.M., Kelletat, D. (2014): Holocene sea levels of Bonaire (Leeward Antilles) and tectonic implications. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 58, Supplementary Issues 1, DOI: 10.1127/0372-8854/2012/S-00111.

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.

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

Joannes-Boyau, R., Bodin, T., Scheffers, A., Sambridge, M., May, S.M. (2015): Using Benford's law to investigate Natural Hazard dataset homogeneity. Scientific Reports 5, 12046. DOI: 10.1038/srep12046

Kelletat, D.H., Scheffers, A.M., May, S.M. (2014): Coastal environments from Polar Regions to the Tropics – A geographer’s zonality perspective. In: Martini, I.P., Wanless, H.R. (eds.), Sedimentary Coastal Zones from High to Low Latitudes: Similarities and Differences. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 388, 33-57, DOI: 10.1144/SP388.1.

Laermanns, H., Kelterbaum, D., May, S.M., Elashvili, M., Opitz, S., Hülle, D., Rölkens, J., Verheul, J., Riedesel, S., Brückner, H. (2017): Mid- to Late Holocene landscape changes in the Rioni Delta area (Kolkheti lowlands, W Georgia). Quaternary International 465, 85-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2016.12.037.

Laermanns, H., Kirkitadze, G., May, S.M., Kelterbaum, D., Opitz, S., Heisterkamp, A., Basilaia, G., Elashvili, M., Brückner, H. (2018): Bronze Age settlement mounds on the Colchian plain at the Black Sea coast of Georgia – a geoarchaeological perspective. Geoarchaeology 33 (4): 453-469. DOI: 10.1002/gea.21670.

Laermanns, H., May, S.M., Kelterbaum D., Kirkitadze, G., Opitz S., Navrozashvili, L., Elashvili, M. & Brückner, H. (2019): Coastal lowland and floodplain evolution along the lower reach of the Supsa River (Western Georgia). E&G Quaternary Science Journal 68: 119-139. DOI: 10.5194/egqsj-69-1-2019.

May, J.-H., May, S.M., Marx, S.K., Cohen, T.J., Schuster, M. & Sims, A. (2022): Towards understanding desert shorelines - coastal landforms and dynamics around ephemeral Lake Eyre North, South Australia, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 146:1, 59-89, DOI: 10.1080/03721426.2022.2050506

May, S. M., Vött, A., Brückner, H., Herd, R., & F. Lang (2008): Geoarchaeological studies in the environs of the ancient dam of Glosses, Akarnania, NW Greece. Geoöko 29/1-2, 89-113.

May, S.M., Vött, A., Brückner, H., Grapmayer, R., Handl, M., Wennrich, V. (2012a): The Lefkada barrier and beachrock system (NW Greece) – controls on coastal evolution and the significance of extreme wave events. Geomorphology 139–140, 330–347. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.10.038.

May, S.M., Vött, A., Brückner, H., Smedile, A. (2012b): The Gyra washover fan in the Lefkada Lagoon, NW Greece – possible evidence of the 365 AD Crete earthquake and tsunami. Earth, Planets and Space 64 (10), 859–874. DOI: 10.5047/eps.2012.03.007.

May, S.M., Pint, A., Rixhon, G., Kelletat, D., Wennrich, V., Brückner, H. (2013): Late Holocene coastal stratigraphy, coastal changes and potential palaeoseismological implications inferred from geo-archives in Central Chile (29–32°S). Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 57 (Supplementary Issue 4), 201–228. DOI: 10.1127/0372-8854/2013/S-00154.

May, S.M., Brill, D., Engel, M., Scheffers, A., Pint, A., Opitz, S., Wennrich, V., Squire, P., Kelletat, D., Brückner, H. (2015a): Traces of historical tropical cyclones and tsunamis in the Ashburton Delta (NW Australia). Sedimentology 62, 1546–1572, DOI: 10.1111/sed.12192

May, S.M., Engel, M., Brill, D., Cuadra, C., Lagmay, A.M.F., Santiago, J., Suarez, J.K., Reyes, M., Brückner, H. (2015b): Block and boulder transport in Eastern Samar Philippines during Supertyphoon Haiyan. Earth Surface Dynamics 3, 541-553. DOI: 10.5194/esurfd-3-739-2015.

May, S.M., Zander, A., Francois, J.P., Kelletat, D., Pötsch, S., Rixhon, G., Brückner, H. (2015c): Chronological and geoarchaeological investigations on an anthropogenic shell accumulation layer in the Longotoma dune field (Central Chile). Quaternary International 367, 32-41, DOI:10.1016/j.quaint.2014.06.005.

May, S.M., Falvard, S., Norpoth, M., Pint, A., Brill, D., Engel, M., Scheffers, A., Dierick, M., Paris, R., Squire, P., Brückner, H. (2016): A mid-Holocene candidate tsunami deposit from the NW Cape (Western Australia). Sedimentary Geology 332, 40-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.11.010.

May, S.M., Brill, D., Leopold, M., Callow, N., Engel, M., Scheffers, A., Opitz, S., Norpoth, M., Brückner, H. (2017): Chronostratigraphy and geomorphology of washover fans in the Exmouth Gulf (NW Australia) - A record of tropical cyclone activity during the late Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 169, 65-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.05.23.

May, S.M., Gelhausen, H., Brill, D., Callow, N.,Engel, M., Opitz, S., Scheffers, A., Joannes-Boyau, R., Leopold, M., Brückner, H. (2018a): Chenier-type ridges in Giralia Bay (Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia) - Processes, chronostratigraphy, and significance for recording past tropical cyclones. Marine Geology 396, 186-204, DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2017.03.005.

May, S.M., Brill, D., Mhammdi, N., King, G., Burow, C., Wolf, D., Brückner, H. (2018b): Towards improving the dating of wave-emplaced coarse clast deposits: OSL surface exposure dating of coastal boulders at the Rabat coast, Morocco. Geophysical Research Abstracts 20, EGU2018-18633.

May, S.M., Hoffmeister, D., Wolf, D., Bubenzer, O., (2019): Zebra stripes in the Atacama revisited – seismicity-induced granular fingering as a mechanism for zebra stripe formation? Geomorphology 344, 46-59.

May, S.M., Meine, L., Hoffmeister, D., Brill, D., Medialdea, A., Wennrich, V., Gröbner, M., Schulte, P., Steininger, F., Deprez, M., de Kock, T., Bubenzer, O. (2020): Origin and timing of past hillslope activity in the hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert – the formation of fine sediment lobes along the Chuculay Fault System, northern Chile. Global and Planetary Change 184, 103057.

May, S.M., Callow, N., Brill, D., Hoffmeister, D., May, J.-H. (2021): Revealing Sediment Transport Pathways and Geomorphic Change in Washover Fans by Combining Drone-Derived Digital Elevation Models and Single Grain Luminescence Data. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 125, e2020JF005792, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JF005792.

May, S.M., Norpoth, M., Pint, A., Shumilovskikh, L., Raith, K., Brill, D., Rixhon, G., Moret, P., Jiménez-Vialás, H., Grau-Mira, I., García-Jiménez, I., Marzoli, D., León-Martín, C., Reicherter, K., Brückner, H. (2021): Mid- to late Holocene environmental changes and human-environment interactions in the surroundings of La Silla del Papa, SW Spain. Geoarchaeology 36, 573–600, https://doi.org/10.1002/gea.21846

May, S. M., Brückner, H., Norpoth, M., Pint, A., Wolf, D., Brill, D., León Martín, C., Stika, H.-P., Suárez Padilla, J., Moret, P., Marzoli, D. (2022). Holocene coastal evolution and environmental changes in the lower Río Guadiaro valley, with particular focus on the Bronze to Iron Age harbour ‘Montilla’of Los Castillejos de Alcorrín (Málaga, Andalusia, Spain). Geoarchaeology. http://doi.org/10.1002/gea.21943

Medialdea, A., May, S.M., Brill, D., King, G., Ritter, B., Wennrich, V., Bartz, M., Zander, A., Hurtado, S., Kuiper, K., Hoffmeister, D., Schulte, P., Gröbner, M., Opitz, S., Brückner, H., Bubenzer, O. (2020): Identification of humid periods in the Atacama Desert through hillslope activity established by infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) dating. Global and Planetary Change 185, 103086. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103086

Moradiab, G., Bol, R., Trbojevica, L., Missong, A., Mörchen, R., Fuentes, B., May, S.M., Lehndorff, E., Klumpp, E, (2020): Contrasting depth distribution of colloid-associated phosphorus in the active and abandoned sections of an alluvial fan in a hyper-arid region of the Atacama Desert. Global and Planetary Change 185, 103090. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.103090

Paris, R., Ramalho, R.S., Madeira, J., Ávila, S., May, S.M., Rixhon, G., Engel, M., Brückner, H., Herzog, M., Schukraft, G., Perez-Torrado, F.J., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, A., Carracedo, J.C., Giachetti, T. (2018): Mega-tsunami conglomerates and flank collapses of ocean island volcanoes. Marine Geology 395, 168-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2017.10.004.

Reyes, M., Engel, M., May, S.M., Brill, D., Brückner, H. (2015): Life and death after Super Typhoon Haiyan. Coral Reefs 34, 419-419, DOI: 10.1007/s00338-015-1259-1.

Rixhon, G., May, S.M., Engel, M., Mechernich, S., Schroeder-Ritzrau, A., Fohlmeister, J., Frank, N., Boulvain, F., Dunai, T., Brückner, H. (2018): Multiple dating approach (14C, 230Th/U and 36Cl) of tsunami-transported reef-top megaclasts on Bonaire (Leeward Antilles) - current research and future challenges. Marine Geology 396, 100-113, DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2017.03.007.

Scheffers, A., Kelletat, D., Vött, A., May, S.M., Scheffers, S. (2008): Late Holocene tsunami traces on the western and southern coastlines of the Peloponnesus (Greece). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 269, 271–279. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.02.021.

Scheffers, A., Scheffers, S., Kelletat, D., Squire, P., Collins, L., Feng, Y., Zhao, J., Joannes-Boyau, R., Schellmann, G., Freeman, H., May, S.M. (2012): Coarse clast beach ridge sequences as suitable archives for past storm events? Case Study on the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia. Journal of Quaternary Science 27 (7), 713–724. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.2558.

Scheffers, A.M., Engel, M., May, S.M., Scheffers, S.R., Joannes-Boyau, R., Hänßler, E., Kennedy, K., Kelletat, D., Brückner, H., Vött, A., Schellmann, G., Schäbitz, F., Radtke, U., Sommer, B., Willershäuser, T., Felis, T. (2014): Potential and limits of combining studies of coarse and fine-grained sediments for the coastal event history of a Caribbean carbonate environment. In: Martini, I.P., Wanless, H.R. (eds.), Sedimentary Coastal Zones from High to Low Latitudes: Similarities and Differences. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 388, 503-531, DOI: 10.1144/SP388.4.

Ullmann, T., Sauerbrey, J., Hoffmeister, D., May, S.M., Baumhauer, R., Bubenzer, O. (2019): Assessing Spatiotemporal Variations of Sentinel-1 InSAR Coherence at Different Time Scales over the Atacama Desert (Chile) between 2015 and 2018. Remote Sensing, 11(24), 2960. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11242960

Ullmann, T., Jagdhuber, T., Hoffmeister, D., May, S.M., Baumhauer, R., Bubenzer, O. (2023). Exploring Sentinel-1 backscatter time series over the Atacama Desert (Chile) for seasonal dynamics of surface soil moisture. Remote Sensing of Environment 285, 113413, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2022.113413.

Vött, A., May, M., Brückner, H., Brockmüller, S. (2006): Sedimentary Evidence of Late Holocene Tsunami Events near Lefkada Island (NW Greece). Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Suppl. Vol. 146, 139–172.

Vött, A., Brückner, H., May, S.M., Lang, F., Herd, R., Brockmüller, S. (2008): Strong tsunami impact on the Bay of Aghios Nikolaos and its environs (NW Greece) during Classical Hellenistic times. Quaternary International 181, 105–122. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2007.02.017.

Vött, A., Brückner, H., Brockmüller, S., Handl, M., May, S.M., Gaki-Papanastassiou, K., Herd, R., Lang, F., Maroukian, H., Nelle, O., Papanastassiou, D. (2009): Traces of Holocene tsunamis across the Sound of Lefkada, NW Greece. Global and Planetary Change 66, 112–128. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2008.03.015.

Wolf, D., May, S. M., Brill, D., Hoffmeister, D., Ritter, B., Binnie, S., Bubenzer, O. (2020): Activity and stability of zebra stripes in the central Atacama Desert based on geomorphological and geochronological evidence. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, EGU2020-19968, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19968.