logo-klein.jpg     Research funding 2015


In spring 2015, the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl and the rectorate of the University of Innsbruck again advertised the funding of two scientific pilot studies in the inner Ötz valley. The call for proposals follows a biennial rhythm.

The submitted projects were evaluated and ranked by reviewers of the University of Innsbruck and other universities. The two winning projects are:

  • “Soil fungi and collembolans in early successional stages of a glacier foreland as a basis to investigate trophic interactions of pioneers“, submitted by Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Ursula Peintner

The melting of glaciers worldwide is an obvious indicator of climate change and the consequent emergence of deglaciated areas enables field studies on a fundamental question in ecology: How does an ecosystem evolve?Scientists of the University of Innsbruck have been examining the foreland of the “Rotmoos” glacier near Obergurgl for many years, unravelling the succession of plants and animals in different developmental stages of this extreme habitat and the trophic interactions between pioneer species. This project by Ursula Peintner and Michaela Hittorf will complement the research programme in the “Rotmoos” glacier foreland by examining whether soil fungi serve as nutritional basis for collembolans – tiny but abundant insects which are important prey for pioneers such as spiders and ground beetles. The outcome of this project could be an important step in disentangling the food webs of glacier forelands but could also improve the understanding of trophic interactions in other ecosystems.


  • “Biological ice nucleators for artificial snow production“, submitted by Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Martin Tollinger

The production of artificial snow has become a necessity in many alpine regions where winter tourism is an economic key sector. However, security- and health regulations differ between countries, particularly regarding the use of ice nucleators for snow production at higher temperatures. One of the most common commercial additives uses specific bacteria, which contain ice nucleating proteins on their cell membranes. However, these bacteria attack fungi and may cause allergic reactions in people. Therefore, even though the bacteria are devitalized in this additive, its use is prohibited in Austria and Bavaria but allowed in many other countries.In order to provide an environmentally save solution in the future, Martin Tollinger and his team aim to identify and characterize the core element in ice nucleating proteins that is required for ice nucleation, enabling the production of a defined and pure protein without using potentially harmful bacteria.

With the funding of these two projects, the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl aims to support the acquisition of knowledge relevant for science as well as society and to strengthen the research activities in the inner Ötz valley.

On October 9th, the official award ceremony took place at the parlour of the rectorate with Dr. Sarah Matt-Leubner, head of the department for business cooperation and shareholding, congratulated the awardees.


Forschungsförderung 2015 GBGroup picture at the award ceremony, f.l.t.r.: Brigitta Erschbamer (Director Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl), Nikolaus Schallhart (Coordinator ARCO), Michaela Hittorf, Rüdiger Kaufmann (Deputy Director ARCO), Ursula Peintner, Martin Tollinger, Sara Matt-Leubner (picture: Stefan Hohenwarter; Public Relations Office, University of Innsbruck)








Research funding 2012

In autumn 2012 the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl tendered research funding for the third time in cooperation with the rectorate and the vice rectorate of research of the University of Innsbruck. After evaluation of the submitted projects by external researchers and further internal proceedings, the following two projects were selected for funding.

  1. "Plant-herbivory interactions on Alpine glacier forelands", submitted by Dr. Corinna Wallinger:

    This projekt complements the studies on successional patterns in glacier forefields - a very well established research area at the Alpine Research Centre - by examining the dietary choice of herbivores in early successional stages. Since these animals are small arthropods, which are difficult to observe while feeding, Dr. Wallinger will identify ingested plants by molecular gut content analysis.

  2. Bedload mobility at steep slopes", submitted by Ass.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Bernhard Gems:

    This projekt deals with the mechanisms of bedload discharge in Alpine rivers. Measurings and Characterisations of the brook beds of the "Gurgler Ache" and the "Rotmoosbach" will help to create models of typical alpine river brook bed structures for indoor trials. In this trials, the stability of bed brooks and the mechanisms leading to bedload discharge will be examined. 


Förderungsvergabe 2012 

On December 13, Vice rector Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sabine Schindler awarded the fundings to Dr. Corinna Wallinger and Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Bernhard Gems



Picture left: Rüdiger Kaufmann, Deputy Director Alpine Research Centre; Corinna Wallinger, Institute of Ecology; Vice rector Sabine Schindler; Bernhard Gems, Institute of Infrastructure; Brigitta Erschbamer, Scientific Director Alpine Research Centre (f.l.t.r.)



Research funding 2010

In spring 2010 the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl together with the vice rectorate of research announced funding for interdisciplinary pilot studies in the Inner Oetz valley. On the 7th July the chosen applicants obtained the commitment of funding. Aims of the AFO funding are to extend, to intensify and to support scientific research at the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl.

Vice rector Tilmann Märk, Alexander Zanesco, archaeologist, Birgit Sattler from the Institute of Ecology, Brigitta Erschbamer and Eva-Maria Koch from the Alpine Research Centre Obergurgl.
(Foto: Susanne Röck)

The chosen projects of the funding from 2010 were:

1. GLAC.-L.I.F.E: Dr. Birgit Sattler from the Institute of Ecology is studying in her project the microbial ecosystem at the Rotmoos glacier with new measurements. Cooperation partners within this project are the Institute of Experimental Physics and the Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics from the Innsbruck University as well as the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information from the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

2. ALPO: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jean Nicolas Haas from the Institute of Botany is studying in his project „Alpine Land Use at Obergurgl (ALPO)“ the land use history at the area of "Putzach" in Obergurgl together with scientists from the Institutes of German Studies, Ecology and Botany as well as with an archaeologist from the City Archaeology of Hall.

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