Ruben Sommaruga

University of Innsbruck
Department of Ecology 

Head of the Research Group:
Lake and Glacier Ecology

Technikerstrasse 25     (Room 503)
A-6020 Innsbruck

T +43 (0)512 507-51710
F +43 (0)512 507-51799

Ruben Sommaruga is Full Professor of Limnology at the Department of Ecology, where he acted also as Director between 2012 and 2020.

He graduated in Biological Oceanography at the Faculty of Sciences in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1989, and in 1993 received his doctor degree from the University of Innsbruck. His interest for aquatic sciences brought him as post-doc researcher to several institutes in Europe, USA, and South America. In 1998, he completed his habilitation requirements in the field of Limnology at the University of Innsbruck. He has been elected Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, as well as awarded several international prizes including the Recognition of Professional Excellence in Limnetic Ecology by the International Ecology Institute and the Scientific Award from the Principality of Liechtenstein among others.

His general field of scientific interest is aquatic ecology, and within this general area, he has expertise in (micro)plankton ecology, biogeochemistry, photoecology, and global change effects in mountain lakes. Research on these topics is done in different types of aquatic ecosystems mainly in the Alps, but also in the Andes, Himalaya, Bale Mountains and Greenland.

Ruben Sommaruga is Subject Editor of Aquatic Microbial Ecology and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Limnology. He was member of the Scientific Board from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) between 2008-2020 and member of the Faculty of 1000. He acted before as Associate Editor of Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences and of FEMS Microbiology Ecology, as well as in the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports and Journal of Plankton Research.

10 Selected publications (see all)

1) Sommaruga-Wögrath, S., Koinig, K, Schmidt, R., R. Tessadri, Sommaruga, R., and R. Psenner (1997) Temperature effects on the acidity of remote alpine lakes. Nature 387: 64-67.

2) Sommaruga, R. and F. Garcia-Pichel (1999) UV-absorbing mycosporine-like compounds in planktonic and benthic organisms from a high-mountain lake. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 144: 255-269.

3) Adrian, R., O’Reilly, C. M., Zagarese, H., Baines, S. B., Hessen, D.O., Keller, W., Livingstone, D. M., Sommaruga, R., Straile, D., Van Donk, E., Weyhenmeyer, G.A., and Winder, M. (2009) .Lakes as sentinels of climate change. Limnology and Oceanography 54: 2283-2297.

4) Mladenov, N., Sommaruga, R., Morales-Baquero, R., Laurion, I., Camarero, L., Diéguez, M., Camacho, A., Delgado, A., Torres, O., Chen, Z., Felip, M. and Reche I. (2011) Dust inputs and bacteria influence dissolved organic matter in clear alpine lakes. Nature Communications 2: 405| DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1411.

5) Peter, H. and R. Sommaruga (2016) Shifts in diversity and function of lake bacterial communities upon glacier retreat. The ISME Journal 10: 1545-1554.

6) Peter, H., De Meester, L., Jeppesen, E. and Sommaruga, R. (2017) Changes in bacterioplankton community structure during early lake ontogeny resulting from the retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The ISME Journal , DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2017.191

7) Rofner, C., Peter, H., Catalán, N., Drewes, F., Sommaruga, R. and Pérez, M.T. (2017) Climate-related changes of soil characteristics affect bacterial community composition and function of high altitude and latitude lakes. Global Change Biology 23: 2331-2344.

8) Bellas, C. and Sommaruga, R. (2021) Polinton-like viruses are abundant in aquatic ecosystems. Microbiome 9:13.

9) Kraemer, B., R. M. Pilla, R. I. Woolway, O. Anneville, S Ban, W. Colom-Montero, S.P. Devlin, M. T. Dokulil, E. E. Gaiser, K. D. Hambright, D. O. Hessen, S. N. Higgins, K.D. Jöhnk, W. Keller, L. B. Knoll, P. R. Leavitt, F. Lepori, M. S. Luger, S. C. Maberly, D. C. Müller-Navarra, A.A. Paterson, D. C. Pierson, D.C. Richardson, M. Rogora, J.A. Rusak, S. Sadro, N. Salmaso, M. Schmid, E. A. Silow, R. Sommaruga, J. A.A. Stelzer, D. Straile, W.Thiery, P. Verburg, G.A. Weyhenmeyer, and R. Adrian (2021) Climate change drives widespread shifts in lake thermal habitat. Nature Climate Change 11: 521–529.

10) Jane, S.F., Hansen, G.J.A., Kraemer, B., Leavitt, P.R.,  Mincer, J.L.,  North, R.L., Pilla, R.M., Stetler, J.T., Williamson, C.E., Woolway, R.I., Arvola, L., Chandra, S., DeGasperi, C.L., Diemer, L., Dunalska, J., Erina, O., Flaim, G., Grossart, H.-P., Hambright, K.D., Hein, C., Hejzlar, J., Janus, L.L., Jenny, J-P., Jones, J.R., Knoll, L.B., Leoni, B., Mackay, E., Matsuzaki, S.-I. S., McBride, C., Müller-Navarra, D.C., Paterson, A.M., Pierson, D., Rogora, M., Rusak, J.A., Sadro, S., Saulnier-Talbot, E., Schmid, M., Sommaruga, R., Thiery, W., Verburg, P., Weathers, K.C., Weyhenmeyer, G.A., Yokota, K. and Rose, K.C. (2021) Widespread deoxygenation of temperate lakes. Nature 594: 66–70

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