Postcards from the Field

Innsbruck Ecology and Biodiversity scientists share their fieldwork




9 December 2019


after almost 3 month of intensive fieldwork in Peru my time here soon comes to an end. In the first week I had company from Georg and Fabien and we installed the eddy station, took part in a glaciology conference of our local partners from ANA and had a pretty good time. After that I did a lot of fieldwork, using the EcoBot, planting potatoes with local farmers, fighting angry dogs, joining Rolando for his fieldwork, setting up a new AWS in the Coordillera Blanca (first weather station ever in the Coordillera Negra!), taking crop samples, talking and negotiating with farmers and locals and solving many many little problems! 



Research Group Biometeorology



November 2019

During 11-14 November, 31 scientists from 16 different countries met within the frame of the 2nd international COS workshop organized by the Biometeorology group at the University Center Obergurgl in order to discuss the most recent insights regarding carbonyl sulfide (COS or alternatively OCS). The topics presented ranged from the COS exchange from soils, leaves, terrestrial ecosystems and the ocean to the global budget of COS and its isotopologues, and attempts to close it. Ample time was given to informal discussions, during coffee breaks or a hike through the snow, and when all left Obergurgl with a lot of new ideas for future research in mind.

Georg and his group Biomet

Research Group Biometeorology



HimanshHimalayan Station (Bild: R. Sommaruga)

18 November 2019

A new card just coming in from our Director's sabbatical:
Ruben Sommaruga is currently staying at the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research of Goa

Lake and Glacier Research Group



8 October 2019


For the last weeks I have been at the Biosphere-2 in Arizona. This is a huge facility, hosting the largest greenhouse in the world, including a whole tropical rainforest system! Together with huge group of scientists we study the effects of drought on the C cycle of rainforest ecosystems.
We can fully control the whole climate in the rainforest and measure (almost) all components of the system, which is really cool :-)
On top of that we did the possibly largest 13CO2 pulse labeling ever done, treating the whole forest as one big chamber!

Best from the desert!


P.S. the desert is on climate strike as well!

Research Group Plant, Soil and Ecosystem Processes



September 2019

mid September Georg, Lorenz and Fabien headed towards Peru to bring and set up instrumentation for the “AgroClim Huaraz” project.

Georg is back again, we are looking forward to news from Lorenz.

Research Group Biometeorology



28 August 2019

Grüße aus dem Nationalpark Hohe Tauern!

Dort haben wir erfolgreich nach Hummeln gejagt und viele Ameisen, dank unseres selbstkonstruierten Ameisensaugers, gesammelt!

Vroni und Sabrina

Research Group Molecular Ecology



12 July 2019

Liebe Magdalena, 

der alpine Tierökologiekurs in Obergurgl ist heuer noch interdisziplinärer - Vera zeigt uns Charakterarten der verschiedenen Höhenstufen. Das Gletschervorfeld bietet eine spannende Sukzessionsabfolge und seit heute wissen wir: im Regen lassen sich Vögel schlechter kartieren, als bei gutem Wetter :-)

Liebe Gruesse,

Julia, Eva, Birgit, Florian & 13 hochmotivierte Studierende sowie Reinhard und Rüdiger

Research Group Molecular Ecology



26 June 2019

liebe Gruesse aus dem Gletschervorfeld im Rotmoostal,

Fallen wurden fängig gemacht und Bodenproben genommen – alles bereit für den Kurs „Praxis der Alpinen Tierökologie“ im Juli!

Birgit, Florian, Julia und Rüdiger mit Unterstützung von Eva und Sylvia

Research Group Molecular Ecology



20 December 2018

Hello again from Mieming 

While others decorate their Christmas tree we installed the 30m measurement tower at the forest field site in Mieming.

Ideal preparations by our technicians, heavy machinery, lots of manpower and a “flying construction worker” made things running smoothly and swiftly. 

Merry Christmas to everyone 

Georg and Albin

Research Group Biometeorology



13 December 2018

Greetings from Mieming, 

where currently the new forest field site is established with heavy machinery in use. The foundations were built, components of the 30m tower just arrived and will be mounted next week. The site will be used jointly by the institutes of Ecology, Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, Botany and Geography. 

Georg, Herbert and Albin

Research Group Biometeorology



26 November 2018

Greetings from Lunz am See and from Mondsee, 

with weather conditions being less than optimal we moved our flux measuring equipment from Lunz am See, where we were measuring for the past four years, to Mondsee. The flux tower will be in operation at the shore of the Limnology Institute at Mondsee within the frame of the ALCH4 project for the next year.

Kathi and Albin

Research Group Biometeorology

16 October 2018

Greetings from Kaserstattalm,

We are currently running the calibration campaigns of our LTER microclimate stations.

We align sensors that are in long-term continuous use with newly calibrated sensors.

Mario and Herbert

Ecosystem Research and Landscape Ecology


Postcard from TimmelsjochTimmelsjochsee (Bild: Markus Möst)

18 September 2017

Greetings from Timmelsjochsee!

Sampling melanic Daphnia ‘zschokkei’ for a study on speciation and hybridisation in water fleas.

They’re all sitting at the bottom of the lake where it’s deepest and obviously I will need a longer line for my plankton net next time… 


Research Group Molecular Ecology



"Shirley" am Caldonazzosee (Bild: Katharina Scholz)

16 August 2018


The Biometeorology group set sail again. With our new group member "Shirley" (named after Thomas Shirley who first experimented with methane) we are visiting different lakes in South and North Tyrol to measure lake-atmosphere methane fluxes.

Best regards


Research Group Biometeorology



 InnsbruckMeasurement tower on top of the University building covering the city area of Innsbruck
(Credit: Thomas Karl, UIBK)

12 August 2018

Greetings from downtown Innsbruck, Bruno-Sander-Haus where I join an intensive observation campaign at the “Innsbruck atmospheric observatory”.


Research Group Biometeorology



23 July 2018

Greetings from our protectAlps study areas on “Hoher Sonnblick”  in the national park “Hohe Tauern” and from “Zugspitze”, with the highest insect trap in Germany.

Veronika, Birgit, Florian & Co


Research Group Molecular Ecology



10 July 2018

Greetings from the Alpine Ecology course in Obergurgl,

Birgit, Florian, Julia, Rüdiger, Reinhard, Michael


Research Group Molecular Ecology


20 April 2018

Greetings from the Völser Teich, where we are sampling toads and water to monitor the presence of Bd (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), a chytrid fungus threatening amphibian populations worldwide.


Michael and Santiago

Research Group Applied and Trophic Ecology



Postcard from EGU

13 April 2018

Every year around 14.000 scientist from all over the world gather at European Geophysical Union General Assembly ( in Vienna to present and discuss their latest research in Geosciences. After one week packed with oral presentations, poster and PICO sessions we return back home exhausted, but full of new ideas and experiences.

Georg, Katharina G., Felix, Albin, Karolina, Florian, Katharina S. 

Research Group Biometeorology



07 Mar 2018

‚Ökosystemleistungen erleben‘ Workshop mit der 3c der Neuen Mittelschule Neustift im Stubaital

organisiert und abgehalten von Sarah und Johannes

zum Weiterlesen: ein Artikel im 20er (März 2018) zur Arbeit im Projekt "Ökosystemleistungen erleben"

Research Unit Ecosystem Research and Landscape Ecology


28 Feb 2018

Postcard from Gossenköllesee

Digging for mysteries in and under the ice cover. Winter #limnology in Gossenköllesee with our Master students.

Ruben Sommaruga

Lake and Glacier Research Group

29 January 2018

Moin moin,

since the 23th of January, I am aboard the RV Poseidon, going by ship off the coast of Mauritania. Ten scientists from the GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the University of Innsbruck analyze the water and atmosphere. With the ship we follow an upwelling patch, which brings cold water from the ocean depths to the surface in this part of the Atlantic which belongs to the most productive ocean regions worldwide! We examine different gases, chlorophyll, temperature, salinity, microorganisms and squid.



Research Group Biometeorology

GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel


20 December 2017

Heute konnten wir nicht viel dichten,

denn wir mussten den Niederschlagstrichter richten.

Mario und Herbert und Albin

Research Unit Ecosystem Research and Landscape Ecology


End of September 2017

Greetings from Kühtai and Penser Joch!

No matter how cold it is we are still collecting ants,


Research Group Molecular Ecology


30 August 2017

Postcard from Gran Paradiso

Lake and Glacier Research Group


25 August 2017

Grüße aus dem Matschertal!

Gemeinsam mit unseren wissenschaftlichen Gästen Dr. Sandra Lavorel und Dr. Karl Grigulis (LECA Grenoble) sind wir im LTSER Gebiet Matschertal unterwegs.

Unter Führung von Georg Niedrist (Eurac.research, Institut für Alpine Umwelt) haben wir die auf 2700m gelegene Klimastation besucht und die Kulinarik auf der Oberetteshütte analysiert. Während Sandra und Karl dabei „plant traits“ genauer unter die Lupe genommen haben, konnten wir uns vor Ort ein Bild von den Kraftwerksprojekten am Saldurbach und am Upibach für unser Agent Based Model zur Wassernutzung im Matschertal machen.

Liebe Grüße und bis bald,

Georg und Lisa

Research Group Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology


1 August 2017

Grüße von der Alm:

Wenn die Luft vor Hitze steht,
und die Mücken lästig stechen,
wird bei den Ökologen die Alm gemäht,
und StudentInnen dürfen rechen.

Durchtrennt wurde nicht ein einziges Kabel,
weder von Sense, Rechen, noch von Gabel. 

Fleißig waren viele Hände,
drum hat die Mahd auch nun ein Ende.
Weh tun uns die Füße,
und schicken von der Kaserstattalm – schöne Grüße.

Mario und Herbert

Research Group Plant, Soil and Ecosystem Processes



29 July 2017

Hi Magdalena

bin derzeit in Berlin bei einer Messkampagne gemeinsam mit Fred Meier von der TU Berlin.

Dabei geht’s um Messungen der Mikrometeorologie in der Stadt Berlin um Validierungsdaten für ein Stadtklima- und Schadstoffmodell zu erhalten. Mit von der Partie – unsere Thermokamera und der Ökobot.



Reseach Group Biometeorology


Postcard from Kaunertal


26 July 2017


Assessing the heterogeneity in chemical properties and biological responses of glacial meltwaters in different catchments.

Here the Weißsee in Kaunertal.


Regards from Benjamin Pauly (Master student)


Lake and Glacier Research Group


Postcard from Matsch (South Tyrol)

21 July 2017

Dear all,

just launched the snowbed-project in the sampling area Matsch, South Tyrol, which will continue at the Furka in Switzerland and finally in the National Parc Hohe Tauern.

Greetings from the Oberettes hut,

Julia, Michael, Alex, Eva, Andreas and Laura

Research Group Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology


Postcard from National Park Hohe Tauern

20 July 2017

Greetings from the Central Alps!

Sampling micro-catchments in Easttyrol, Carinthia and Salzburg. After long hikes, ready to measure nutrients and water chemistry for longterm ecological research - implementing the just launched project!


Leo, Manuel, Brigitte & Ines

River and Conservation Research Group


Postcard from Svalbard

20 July 2017

Greetings from the Arctic.

We spent the last weeks carrying air samplers on glaciers around NyAlesund (Svalbard, 79°N). Once the deep melting slush was gone, we had amazing days and took a big bag full of samples to assess aerial microbial biodiversity and abundance. What a great place to work !

best wishes

Lake and Glacier Research Group

Postcard from Chile

19 July 2017


Sampling in one of the highest lakes in the world, Lago Chungará (4517 m a.s.l.), Chile…

Hard work is the motto of sampling in this type of lake with very strong winds, low oxygen to breath and cold temperatures.

Anyway, happy that at the end everything went well and I got my DNA samples for assessing the microbial diversity, despite getting wet and frozen


Pablo Aguilar

Lake and Glacier Research Group

Postcard Rotmoos Gletschertor

18 July 2017

Greetings from the glacier,


we are on an excursion with 15 ecologists studying hydrology, chemistry and biology of glacial streams in the inner Oetz Valley.


We have been searching for the glacier mouth, and found it eventually, but not on the spot it was last year.  


Roland and Leo

Lake and Glacier Research Group
River and Conservation Research Group


Postcard from Aosta

Biometeorology group



13 July 2017

Hi Magdalena,

We are currently preparing our pulse-labeling experiment on the ClimGrass field site in Raumberg-Gumpenstein. Additionaly we perform various measurements to display carbon dynamics on species-, canopy- and ecosystem levels.

On the "postcard" attached, you can see our Master students Lena and Lisa performing measurements of light-dependencies of photosynthetic rates on species level. On a ClimGrass-field plot, using a LiCor LI6400 device.




The ClimGrass experiment
Research Group Plant, Soil and Ecosystem Processes



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