Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl



Alpine Research Sites of the Faculty of Biology

The consortium of the Alpine Research Sites of the Faculty of Biology was funded in 2020. It comprises 8 sites which are operated by scientists of the University of Innsbruck to enable high quality environmental research. Since the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl is part of this consortium we would encourage you to visit the website of the Alpine Research Sites for further information and news on all of the sites.



S4SSS Logo

The Student for Student Summer School 2022 will take place from September 5th to 9th 2022 in Obergurgl, Austria. The Summer School is dedicated to PhD-students working in mountainous regions in the fields of Atmosphere, (Paleo-)Climate, Glaciers, Natural Hazards and Tourism. It is offered in conjunction with and prior to the International Mountain Conference 2022 to provide PhD-students with extended possibilities to discuss their research in detail with fellow students and experts. The call for abstracts ends on February 16th. For further information visit the website of the Summer School or take a look at the fact sheet.


Laserscanner im Rotmoostal

Innsbruck Summer School of Alpine Research 2022

Close Range Sensing Techniques in Alpine Terrain


Obergurgl (Austria), 18.9.2022 – 24.9.2022

University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences
International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)


The Innsbruck Summer School of Alpine Research 2022 will take place at the University Center Obergurgl from 18th to 24th September.

Please register by e-mail ( until 31st January, 2022. For more information visit


In memory of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Moser

Walter MoserDirector of the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl from 1970 to 1979 

Walter Moser was born in Längenfeld, Tyrol in 1930. He studied botany and geology at the University of Innsbruck and wrote his doctoral thesis on the physiology of nival plants. To study these plants in the field, he established a research station at the top of Mount Hoher Nebelkogel in the Ötztal Alps at an elevation of 3184 m a.s.l.

During his time as the director of the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl he developed and coordinated 'MaB Obergurgl', an interdisciplinary research project as part of the UNESCO program 'man and the biosphere'.

After his habilitation, Walter Moser became a professor of plant ecology and the director of the phytotron at the University of Alberta.  

Walter Moser died this October at the age of 92. He will be remembered as an outstanding scientist, a meritorious director of the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl and a paternal advisor after his retirement.


Außenansicht hist.

The Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl turned 70

The Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl has a long history of science and education. It opened on 7th July 1951 as the ‘Bundessportheim und Alpine Forschungsstelle der Universität Innsbruck‘. Its founding father and first director was Prof. Dr. Ing. agrar. Wolfgang Burger. His comprehensive expertise of both natural and sport sciences and his knowledge of the Ötztal valley encouraged him to combine science, alpinism and skiing and to share his experience with students and international guests in Obergurgl.

The University Center and the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl do their very best to carry his vision further.


In memory of ao. Univ.Prof. Dr. Erwin Meyer

Erwin MeyerDepartment of Ecology, 19.12.1948 - 07.06.2020

Erwin Meyer was a pivotal member of the research group in Obergurgl throughout his scientific career. He conducted the field work for his doctoral thesis on alpine invertebrates in Obergurgl in 1978 and often returned for research activities in following years. 

Erwin Meyer was a lead scientist in the steering board of the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl from 2004 to 2009. He organized countless courses and excursions for students and supervised many diploma and doctoral theses in Obergurgl.

Even after his retirement in 2013, he remained interested in the activities of the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl and has always been there for help and advice. 

Erwin Meyer will be remembered for his positive and encouraging attitude and the passion for science he conveyed in his lectures. 


Mosses and Liverworts of Tyrol - Especially those connected to the Iceman


Wolfgang K. Hofbauer, James H. Dickson
Alpine Forschungsstelle Obergurgl - volume 5
ISBN 978-3-903187-84-9
236 pages, including colour illustrations and maps
2020, innsbruck university press • iup
price: 29,90 Euro

The fifth book within the series "Lebensräume im inneren Ötztal" (environments of the inner Ötztal) is focussed on bryophytes, a species group often ignored although occurring nearly everywhere in the Alps. This book comprises an impressive number of more than 500 bryophytes from the valleys of the Austrian and South Tyrolean Central Alps (mainly Ötztal Alps). They resulted from collections along altitudinal gradients from the valley bottom up to more than 3000 m a.s.l.

Wolfgang K. Hofbauer and James H. Dickson, two outstanding bryophyte experts, are responsible for the documentation and determination.

James H. Dickson was involved in the research boom, started after the discovery of the Iceman (Ötzi) in 1991 at the border between Austria and Italy. An incredible number of bryophyte fragments was found at and in the corpse of the Iceman, at his gear and clothing and in the sediment of the discovery place. 68 subfossile bryophyte species were identified to species level by James H. Dickson and they are now listed in this book.

Stimulated by the questions arising from the diversity of "Iceman bryophytes", Wolfgang K. Hofbauer and James H. Dickson started a long-term investigation, studying transects along the valleys north and south of the Iceman discovery place. In total, 200 plots of 1 km² were examined over a period of more than two decades. The results of this comprehensive bryological mapping are presented in this book. For some selected species, distribution maps are shown. For all species of the recent bryoflora, the altitudinal ranges are provided as well as the uppermost known occurrence. These informations can be regarded as basic data for future bryological research of climate change effects in the investigation area.

This is the first book of this series published completely in English language.

The book is available at Innsbruck university press here and chapters of the book are free for download here.


Open Day of Alpine Research 2019

Our annual Open Day of Alpine Research took place on 27th of September this year. More than 100 school kids from Sölden, Längenfeld and Umhausen visited the University Center Obergurgl. At 10 scientific stations, they had the opportunity to study bed-load transport in an alpine river, to take a glance into the inside of alpine soils and to try prehistoric pottery among other things.


Students 4 Students Summer School at the University Center Obergurgl

60 students from all over the world met at the Students 4 Student Summer School ( from 2nd to 6th September 2019 in Obergurgl in order to prepare for the International Mountain Conference in Innsbruck ( later that month. In workshops, discussions and field trips they developed new ideas on the topics “Mountain Biology”, “Mountain Hazards” and “Mountain Tourisms” and shared them with experts of the University of Innsbruck.


5th Austrian Citizen Science Conference in Obergurgl

More than 120 Scientists met at the 5th Austrian Citizen Science Conference which took place at the University Centre Obergurgl from 26th to 28th July 2019. The University of Innsbruck and the Citizen Science Network Austria organized the conference and the venue in the Central Alps close to the border to Italy perfectly suited the conference motto: “boundaries and transitions”. For more information on the conference please visit


The Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl at the Science Festival in Innsbruck

The University of Innsbruck organized a Science Festival ( from 14th to 16th June 2019 celebrating the University’s 350th Anniversary. The Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl had the opportunity to participate in the festival with a stand on glacier retreat and its consequences, providing games and a picture puzzle for the younger generation and posters and brochures for adults.




Nach oben scrollen