Terrestrische Paläoklimatologie

Haytham El Atfy, Dr.

Academic Positions

  • since 2019: Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at Universität Tübingen
  • 2015-2019: Assistant Professor, Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt
  • 2010-2014: Graduate Research Assistant. Dept. of Palaeontology and Historical Geology, Senckenberg Research Institute, Germany
  • 2004-2010: Research Assistant, Mansoura University, Egypt


  • 2015: PhD (Dr. phil. nat.) in Geosciences (Palynology), Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2009: MSc in Geology (Palynology), Mansoura University, Egypt
  • 2004: BSc Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt

Research Interests

Over the course of last 10 years, my research interests span all aspects of palynology and its applications in hydrocarbon exploration, age dating and paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic reconstructions, particularly of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic and, to a lesser extent, the Paleozoic, currently focusing on Paleogene and Neogene vegetation from different basins.

Select publications (only last 5 years)

Böhme, M., Spassov, N., Majidifard, M.R., Gärtner, A., Kirscher, U., Marks, M., Dietzel, C., Uhlig, G., El Atfy, H., Begun, D.R., Winklhofer, M. in press. Neogene hyperaridity in Arabia drove the directions of mammalian dispersal between Africa and Eurasia. Nature Communications Earth & Environment.

El Atfy, H., El Beialy, S.Y., El Khoriby, E.M., Uhl, D. in press. Continental palynomorphs from the Dabaa Formation, north-western Desert, Egypt – A contribution to the reconstruction of the vegetation on the southern shores of the Tethys during the Early Oligocene. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.

El Atfy, H. 2021. Palynofacies as a paleoenvironment and hydrocarbon source potential assessment tool: An example from the Cretaceous of north Western Desert, Egypt. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 101: 35–50.

Uhl, D., Paudayal, K., Hervet, S., El Atfy, H. 2021. Menatanthus mosbruggeri gen. nov. et sp. nov. – A flower with in situ pollen tetrads from the Paleocene maar lake of Menat (Puy-de-Dôme, France). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 101: 51–58.

Duarte, S.G., da Silva, F.J., Arai, M., Sylvestre, L.D., Wanderley, M.D., Jha, N., Joshie, H., Masure, E., El Atfy, H. 2021. Paleoclimatic, paleoenvironmental and paleoecological implications of the Family Anemiaceae: A palynological investigation from variable spatial and temporal strata. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 285: 104316.

El Atfy, H., Jasper, A., Uhl, D. 2020. A new record of Paradoxopteris stromeri Hirmer 1927 (Monilophyta, incertae sedis) from the Cenomanian of Sinai, Egypt. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 273: 104148.

El Atfy, H., Ghassal, B., Maher, A., Hosny, A., Mostafa, A., Littke, R. 2019. Palynological and organic geochemical studies of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous successions, Western Desert, Egypt: Implications for paleoenvironment and hydrocarbon source rock potential. International Journal of Coal Geology 211: 103207.

El Atfy, H., Mostafa, A., Maher, A., Mahfouz, K., Hosny, A. 2019. Early Cretaceous biostratigraphy and palaeoenviornment of the northern Western Desert, Egypt: an integrated palynological and micropalaeontological approach. Palaeontographica B 299: 103–132.

El Atfy, H., Anan, T., Jasper, A., Uhl, D. 2019. Repeated occurrence of palaeo-wildfires during deposition of the Bahariya Formation (early Cenomanian) of Egypt. Journal of Palaeogeography 8: 28.

El Atfy, H., Havlik, P., Krüger, P.S., Manfroi, J., Jasper, A., Uhl, D. 2019. Pre-Quaternary wood decay ‘caught in the act’ by fire – examples of plant-microbe-interactions preserved in charcoal from clastic sediments. Historical Biology 31: 952–961.

El Beialy, S.Y., Head, M.J., El Atfy, H., El Khoriby, E.M. 2019. Dinoflagellate cyst evidence for the age and palaeoenvironments of the Upper Eocene-Oligocene Dabaa Formation, Qattara Depression, north Western Desert, Egypt. Palynology 43: 268–291.

Ghassal, B., Littke, R., El Atfy, H., Sindern, S., Scholtysik, G., El Beialy, S., El Khoriby, E. 2018. Source rock potential and depositional environment of Upper Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, Abu Gharadig Basin, Western Desert, Egypt: An integrated palynological, organic and inorganic geochemical study. International Journal of Coal Geology 186: 14–40.

El Atfy, H., Anan, T., El-Soughier, M.I. 2017. Paleoecologic and stratigraphic significance of the freshwater algae Pediastrum in the Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) marine deposits, north Western Desert, Egypt. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 91: 273–281.

El Atfy, H., El Diasty, W.Sh., El Beialy, S.Y., Gheith, A.M., Batten, D.J., Agha. N.N. 2017. Palynofacies and geochemical analyses of the Upper Cretaceous–Eocene succession, western Sirte Basin, Libya: Palaeoenvironmental interpretation and implications for hydrocarbon generation potential. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 157: 148–163.

Ghassal, B.I., El Atfy, H., Sachse, V., Littke, R. 2016. Source Rock Potential of the Middle Jurassic to Middle Pliocene, Onshore Nile Delta Basin, Egypt. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 9: 744.

El Diasty, W.Sh., El Beialy, S.Y., Peters, K.E., El Atfy, H., Gheith, A.M., Agha. N.N. 2016. Organic geochemistry of crude oils and upper Cretaceous source rocks from Concession 11, west Sirte Basin, Libya. Journal of Petroleum Geology 39: 393–414.

El Atfy, H., Sallam, H., Jasper, A., Uhl, D. 2016. The first evidence of paleo-wildfire from the Campanian (Late Cretaceous) of North Africa. Cretaceous Research 57: 306–310.

El Atfy, H., Abeed, Q., Uhl, D., Littke, R. 2016. Palynology, palynofacies analysis, depositional environments and source rock potential of Lower Cretaceous successions in southern Iraq. Marine and Petroleum Geology 76: 362–376.

Abu Hamad, A.M.B, Amireh, B., El Atfy, H., Jasper, A., Uhl, D. 2016. Fire in a Weichselia-dominated coastal ecosystem from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) of the Kurnub Group in NW Jordan. Cretaceous Research 66: 82–93.

Academic Honours & Awards (selection)

  • Egyptian Award of Excellence (2020)
  • Egyptian State Incentive Award (2019)
  • Mansoura University Incentive Award (2019)
  • `Alan Higgins Award for Applied Micropalaeontology’, The Micropalaeontological Society (TMS), UK (2018)
  • `DFG - Bernd Rendel-Prize’, Germany (2014)