Research Group
Stress physiology

The stress physiology group studies resilience and stress survival mechanisms of wild plants and crops with a focus on frost, heat and drought. Using the unique opportunity offered by the location in Innsbruck functionally divers plant groups are investigated across the environmental gradient from lowland up to the nival zone, from a molecular to a whole plant perspective and from laboratory to the field. Understanding of functional aspects of stress tolerance is critically important in view of global climate change. The investigations shall provide information on functional models of plant stress resilience that potentially will be transferable to crop species.

Flowering Ranunculus glacialis in front of Mt. Zuckerhütl

Flowering Ranunculus glacialis in front of Mt. Zuckerhütl

Tulip leaf frozen in the field

Tulip leaf frozen in the field

Infrared image of Papaver rhaeticum in the sun

Infrared image of Papaver rhaeticum in the sun

Main research topics

  • Abiotic stress resilience
  • Ice accumulation and propagation in plant tissues
  • Water use under heat
  • Freezing susceptibility of fruit trees and crops


  • The low temperature limit of tree xylem, FWF Project PAT 7612223, 2024-2028
  • Predetermined spaces of ice accumulation in plant tissues, FWF Project 34844-B, 2021-2025
  • Plant water use under heat, FWF Project 34717-B, 2021-2025
  • Disentangling evolutionary adaptation from transient acclimation to alpine environments in Arabidopsis arenosa, FWF Project 31027-BB2, 2018-2023
  • Ice management and freeze dehydration of plant cells, FWF Project 30139-B32, 2018-2021


Research group leader

Gilbert Neuner


Academic staff

Administrative and technical staff

  • Julian Maindok

Emeriti and retired staff

Research Assistants

  • Clara Bertel
  • Othmar Buchner
  • Matthias Stegner

    Graduate students

    • Lisa Capponi
    • Dominik Kaplenig
    • Maria Ralser

    Master and diploma students

    • Kristina Graßl
    • Monika Huber
    • Julian Maindok
    • Celina Rieger

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