Research Groups

Atmospheric Dynamics 

instrument setup

The Atmospheric Dynamics research group is  mainly concerned with aspects of dynamical processes in mountainous areas. We study the characteristics of exchange processes between the Boundary Layer in complex terrain and the ‘free Troposphere’, and thus boundary layers in complex terrain – thereby putting a special focus on snow- or ice-covered surfaces; flows dynamically influenced by mountains (such as gap flows or Föhn); and weather forecast methodology and downscaling.

Research themes: boundary layer meteorology; mountain meteorology; weather forecasting; high-resolution numerical modelling

Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry

Urban Flux Tower

The Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry research group focuses on the development and field deployment of innovative experimental techniques to quantify the chemical composition of the atmosphere. New concepts are explored that allow studying the exchange of trace constituents and their turbulent atmospheric transport in the atmosphere.

Research themes: environmental mass spectrometry and in-situ techniques; UV/VIS/NR ground based remote sensing



The Biometeorology research group is interested in how the physical environment, biotic controls, and humans affect the ability of ecosystems to act as sources and sinks for matter and energy, as well as how the functioning of ecosystems feeds back on the state and dynamics of the atmosphere. We combine experimental measurements and theoretical models on various spatial (leaves-plant canopies-landscape) and temporal (seconds-years) scales.

Research themes: biometeorology; global change, biosphere-atmosphere exchange; trace gases; energy and water vapor exchange; direct and indirect modulation by human interference



The Alpine Tree-ring Group uses woods from several sites in the Alps for dendrochronological studies in different research fields.

Research themes: environment and climate evolution of high-mountain Alpine regions during the Holocene; archaeology and building history

Human-environment systems research 

Human-environment system research

The research team "Human-environment systems research" investigates mountain water systems of local to regional scale. Our disciplinary roots are in the natural sciences and origin in hydrology and climatology. We strive for an integration of the various natural and social scientific perspectives for an improved understanding of the immanent functions of mountain water systems. Therefor we have developed a modelling framework to simulate the hydrological fluxes and storages particularly designed to be applied in high resolution in regions with complex topography: AMUNDSEN. In the Rofental (Ötztal Alps) we operate a highly engineered research site to collect meteorological, hydrological and glaciological observations and to further develop our modelling approaches.

Research themes: alpine catchment hydrology; snow and glacier hydrology; climate monitoring; scaling and regionalization; development of hydroclimatological process models; effects of climate change; co-evolution of human-environment water systems

Ice and Climate


The Ice and Climate research group uniquely combines the expertise of accurately monitoring glaciological and meteorological processes. We combine detailed field measurements with state-of-the-art numerical models, to understand what the cryosphere tells us about the past and present climate abd how changing glaciers affect local water resources and sea-level rise.

Research themes: global scale glaciology; tropical glaciology and climate dynamics; polar meteorology; alpine glaciology and climate dynamics

Lake and Glacier Ecology

Schwarzsee Sölden

The Lake and Glacier Ecology research group focusses on the ecology of (sub-) alpine lakes and glaciers within the context of global change.

Research themes: biogeochemistry; microbial and zooplankton ecology; paleolimnology; hydrology; photobiology

Palyonolgy and Archaeobotany

Petra Heidenwolf

The Palyonolgy and Archaeobotany working group is dedicated to the analyses of plant remains (pollen, seeds, wood, etc) recovered from natural and anthropogenic paleo-archives. It aims to provide an understanding on the role of plants in the complexity of ecological responses to climatic and/or human induced changes at a decadal to millennial timescales.  The group also carries out monitoring activities as the daily airborne pollen concentration. 

Research themes: pollen morphology and taxonomy, climate and vegetation dynamics, past human impact on flora and vegetation, land use and land use changes, cryopalynology, aerobiology



The Quaternary research group is concerned with understanding changes in environments and climate over glacial-interglacial timescales through a study of sediments in caves and on the Earthʼs surface.

Research themes: cave deposits; lake sediments; geochronology

Remote Sensing and Topographic LiDAR

group of people researching on a glacier

The Remote Sensing and Topographic LiDAR research group is concerned with the development and application of methods for handling new remote sensing data types and collected geoinformation to map and analyse geographic phenomena in physical and human shaped environments triggered by natural processes and human players.

Research themes: exploration of the potential of topographic LiDAR data for mapping and monitoring tasks; increasing spatial and time resolution to allow realistic three-dimensional representation of the environment; monitoring time dependent changes; modelling of processes on different scales

Sedimentary Geology

The Sedimentary Geology group is dedicated to fundamental research identifying and quantifying dynamic sediment processes that shape the world's landscapes and oceans. Such processes are governed by the dynamic response of sediments to geological, climatic and environmental forces acting on timescales from seconds to millions of years, and are archived in the geological records of mountains, lakes and oceans. We investigate its stratigraphic record and study rates and states of Earth-system processes to advance our understanding and predictability of complex interactions between tectonics, climate and anthropogenic impacts.

Research themes: sedimentology and stratigraphy; marine and lacustrine geology and geophysics; analytical core logging; regional geology,

Urban Water Management


The Urban Water Management group is aims to be at the international forefront in developing innovative solutions to urban water problems with special emphasis on drainage issues.

Research themes: interaction between various elements of the urban water cycle; in-sewer processes;  surface water runoff quality management;  modelling of integrated systems (sewer, treatment plant & receiving water); sustainability of urban water systems.


Participating Institutes

 Associated Institutes

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