You will find our current staff members listed here in alphabetical order with brief personal descriptions and contact information.

Lukas Arnold

 Lukas Arnold works as a PhD student in the FWF-funded research project "Affluence and the gender gap in STEM study choices" under the supervision of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wilfred Uunk. Prior to this he completed a master's degree in sociology and a bachelor's degree in history at the University of Innsbruck. Subsequently, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg for four years.


Room: w.2.23


Dr. Pia Blossfeld works as university assistant at the University of Innsbruck. Previously she was an assisstant professor at the University of Leipzig. She received her PhD from the University of Oxford. Her research interests include social inequality, social mobility, education, life course research, international comparisons and labour market research.


Tel.: +43 512 507 73414

Room: w.2.22 



Project-member in the project "Digital Pandemic and Crisis Management in Drinking Water Supply".


Tel.: +43 512 507 73446

Room: 1S21, Grauer Bär, Universitätsstraße 5-7, 1.Stock

Nora Faltmann

With a background in development studies, Nora Katharina Faltmann works on social science perspectives on nutrition. She completed her PhD in International Development at the University of Vienna in 2022. Her dissertation focused on food security and social inequality in Vietnam. Since October 2022, she has been a project assistant in the project 'Exploring values-based modes of production and consumption in the corporate food regime'.


Tel.: +43 512 507 73422

Room: w 2.24


Feurstein Jacqueline

Student employee in research, administration and teaching


Tel.: +43 512 507 73417

Room: w 2.16


Institute Referee


Tel.: +43 512 507 73409

Room: w 2.05

Paul Froning

In 2023, Paul Froning completed his master's degree in the international program "Environmental Management of Mountain Areas", with a focus on regional development and mountain agriculture at the universities of Innsbruck and Bozen. His master's thesis explored territorial development strategies based on organic agriculture in the Swiss region of Valposchiavo. Currently, he works as a research associate in the project “Exploring values-based modes of production and consumption in the corporate food regime".


Room: w 2.18

Bernhard Hall

Institute Secretary


Tel.: +43 512 507-73403  

Room: w 2.05

Foto Li neu

Mingming Li works as a PhD student in the FWF-funded research project "Affluence and the gender gap in STEM study choices" of Prof. Dr. Wilfred Uunk. He completed a Master's degree in economics at the Central European University in Budapest and Vienna. He then worked as a research assistant at Zhejiang University in Budapest.


Room: w.2.23


Bettina Mahlert is assistant professor of general sociology and sociological theory. After studying political science, sociology and ethnology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, she completed her doctorate in 2013 with a thesis on the sociology of global inequalities, and habilitated in 2019 on the topic of "Instruments for observing and evaluating reality: numbers and concepts in global development policy". She was (post)doctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology at Bielefeld University (2007-2012) and at RWTH Aachen University (2013-2019), as well as executive director of the Institute for World Society Studies (2009-2012), research fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research (University of Duisburg-Essen) (2018-2019), visiting scholar at UENF in Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil (2018).

Bettina Mahlert has published in Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, American Sociologist, European Journal of Development Research, Third World Quarterly, among others. Her current research addresses the contemporary relevance of Talcott Parsons' early work, processes of (global) cooperation, as well as - from the perspective of sociology of knowledge - fundamental concepts in the intersection of development policy and sociology (e.g. universalism, poverty, basic need, development).


Tel.: +43 512 507-73438


Room: w 2.12

Consultation hours by arrangement

Chiara Massaroni

Chiara Massaroni is a professional specialised in child participation and children’s social relations whose work experiences bridges academia and third sector. After a Master degree in Politics from the University LUISS in Rome, she completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Innsbruck, with a doctoral thesis where she explored the lived experiences of young migrant children from Sub-Saharan Africa who live with their families in Rabat, Morocco. Her research has been granted various scholarships, such as the “Excellenzstipendium” from the University of Innsbruck, and the “Bourses de recherche” awarded by the Centre Jacques-Berque Pour les Études en Sciences Humaines et Sociales of Rabat, Morocco. She has also worked as consultant on projects related to child participation, education, and inclusion for NGOs and INGOs such as UNESCO, UNODC and the International Rescue Committee.


Tel.: +43 512 507 - 73428

Raum: 1S19, Grauer Bär, Universitätsstraße 5-7, 1. Floor



Katharina Mojescik

Katharina Mojescik holds a PhD in sociology and has been a university assistant at the University of Innsbruck since 2021. After studying social science at the Ruhr University in Bochum, she worked there as a research assistant at the Institute of Labour Studies (2012-2018). Afterwards, she did research as a project assistant at the Junior Professorship for Qualitative Methods in the project "FLOAT (Research-based Learning from the Perspective of Organisation and Actors)" (2017-2020) and at the Institute of Educational Science in the collaborative project "Your Study - Eigensinnig Studieren im digitalen Zeitalter" (2018-2020). In 2019, she also completed a research stay at the University of British Columbia as part of her doctorate. She also coordinated the research focus on media worlds at TH Köln (2020 - 2021). She completed her doctorate in sociology at the Ruhr University Bochum in 2021. In her explorative dissertation, she investigated self-employment and entrepreneurship in the catering industry using the example of food trucks.

Her research currently focuses on the transformational tendencies of gainful employment with a focus on new forms of self-employment and entrepreneurship at the intersection of labour, economic and organisational sociology.



Room: w 2.19

Foto_Bernadett Müller Kmet

Bernadette Müller Kmet has been working as a university assistant in the field of quantitative methods in social sciences at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Innsbruck since December 2015. She completed her doctorate at the Karl Franzens University of Graz in 2009 with a thesis on personal and social identity, focusing on an operationalisation of the concept. A revised version of her dissertation was published in 2011 under the title "Empirische Identitätsforschung. Personale, soziale und kulturelle Dimensionen der Selbstverortung" (Personal, social and cultural dimensions of self-location), published by VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Her doctorate was followed by two teaching and research stays at the St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT). In the context of this work, she dealt with sociological issues of education and development policy in higher education. From 2009 to 2012, she was a research assistant (research focus: "International comparative and historical social analysis") at the Institute of Sociology at the Karl Franzens University of Graz. In 2013 she held a substitute position at the Department of Education at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Her research interests lie in the fields of identity research, international comparative social research, migration research, sociology of education and social inequality.


Tel.: +43 512 507-73423

Room: w 2.20

Consultation hours by arrangement 

Lampalzer Thomas

Project-member in the project "Digital Pandemic and Crisis Management in Drinking Water Supply



Jessica Pflüger is Professor of Mesosociology (Social Institutions and Organisations). She has taught and researched in Munich, Erlangen, Bochum, Cardiff and Hong Kong. Her research focuses on the sociology of work, organisation and science, as well as social research methods.

She asks how, why and by whom social change takes place. For this scope, she uses and develops various (meso-)sociological theories and methods. She completed her doctorate with an international comparative dissertation on the research practices of scientists (2012). More recent research work deals, for example, with labour protests in an international and gender-sensitive perspective (e.g. 2017, with I. Artus), with the methodology of (organisational) case studies (e.g. 2017, with H.J. Pongratz and R. Trinczek; 2018, with S. Wagenknecht) or with changes in university teaching as a result of new university governance (e.g. 2021, with K. Mojescik).


Tel.: +43 512 507-73410


Room: w 2.09

Andrea Ploder

Andrea Ploder studied sociology, philosophy and law at the Universities of Graz and Utrecht and received her PhD in 2017 with a thesis on the history of qualitative research. She was a research assistant at the Institute for Philosophy of Law, Sociology of Law and Legal Informatics at the University of Graz (2008-2012, 2013-2016), at the Institute for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy at the University of Salzburg (2012-2013), at the Media Studies Seminar at the University of Siegen (2016-2019) and at the Department of Sociology and History at the University of Konstanz (2020-2021). She has also been a visiting researcher at TU Berlin (2013), UC Berkeley (2014, 2018-2020) and the University of Chicago (2015), and a lecturer at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (2013, 2014) and the University of Innsbruck (2019-2021). From 2016-2021 she was a member of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre "Media of Cooperation" at the University of Siegen.

Her research focuses on qualitative methods and methodology, sociological theory, history of the social sciences, sociology of science and science and technology studies.



Room: w 2.21

Rief NEU

Silvia Rief is an associate professor specializing in interpretative sociology and cultural sociology. Her research interests encompass the intersections of consumption sociology, economic sociology, technology sociology, as well as cultural sociology and the history of social sciences and social theory.

After completing her studies in history and German studies at the universities of Salzburg, Berlin, and Vienna, she earned her Ph.D. in sociology from Goldsmiths College at the University of London. Her doctoral work focused on social stratification processes and experience-based consumption within club culture scenes in London. In 2016, she obtained her habilitation at the University of Innsbruck, focusing on societal processes of aestheticization. Silvia Rief has been a fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the UK. She has also served as a visiting lecturer at institutions such as the London School of Economics, Goldsmiths College, the University of Kent (2003-2004), and the Open University (2002-2012). Between 2017 and 2019, she conducted a two-year research stay at Harvard University as a Joseph A. Schumpeter Fellow and Botstiber Fellow.

Her research work has been published in various academic journals, including Sociology Compass, Journal of Cultural Economy, European Journal of Social Theory, and New Political Economy. In her current research, Silvia Rief explores sociotechnical systems and infrastructures of everyday provisioning, particularly within the context of drinking water infrastructure (in the RESIST research project). She also engages in historical and contemporary social science debates concerning societal knowledge, social calculation, and planning.


Tel.: +43 512 507-73415


Room: w 2.10

Consultation hours by arrangement

Carla Scheytt

Carla Scheytt is doing her doctorate in the Mesosociology department on the topic of "Research ethics in qualitative social research". She studied at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and focused on methods of empirical social research in her Master's degree in "Social Science". She then worked at the RUB as a research assistant at the Junior Professorship for Qualitative Methods and at the Chair of Sociology/Organisation, Migration, Co-determination (2020-2022) and has been a research assistant in the team of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jessica Pflüger since October 2022. The dissertation is funded by a DOC scholarship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).



Room: w 2.19

Schermer NEU

Markus Schermer graduated in agricultural economics from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna in 1983. From 1984 - 1999 he worked in development cooperation, agricultural extension and spatial planning outside the university. Since 1999 he has been working at the University of Innsbruck, where he completed his dissertation at the Institute of Sociology in 2004. This was followed in 2008 by his habilitation in sociology. From 2008-2010 he served as Institute Director at the Institute of Sociology, until 2020 he was Deputy Institute Director. From 2010-2014 he acted as a study officer. He was also head of the Mountain Agriculture Research Centre from 2005 to 2008 and has been deputy head since then.

His research focuses on the following areas: Social developments in food production and consumption; Territorial approaches to regional development; Changes in the cultural landscape in mountain areas; The position of farmers in society.


Tel.: +43 512 507-73413

Homepage: Agrar- und Regionalsoziologie /

Room: w 2.18 

Virtual consultation hour - Monday from 03:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m.  

Staubmann NEU

Studied sociology at the University of Vienna and at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna, where he habilitated in Sociology in 1994. Erwin Schrödinger Fellow at UCLA and the University of Maryland, College Park (1991/92).

1994-97 APART fellow (Austrian Program for Advanced Research and Technology) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences with research stays at the University of Chicago, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1995 Awarded the Cardinal Innitzer Promotion Prize

2012/13 Visiting Scholar at Harvard University

3/2013 - 2/2021 Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences

Visiting professorships at UT Knoxville, FU Bolzano and the Austrian universities in Graz, Linz and Salzburg; numerous guest lectures at universities in the USA, Italy, Japan, Australia


Tel.: +43 512 507-73406


Room: w 2.13 

Consultation hour by arrangement


"How do conflicts of values arise?" asks Kristina Stoeckl.

Kristina Stoeckl researches in the field of sociology of religion and political sociology on questions of knowledge and value systems, pluralism and conflicts. She is interested in transnational dynamics in the politicisation of human rights. Her special field is Russian Orthodoxy and religion and politics in Russia.

Link to Postsecular Conflicts Research Group


Tel.: +43 512 507-73424

Homepage: / i-point


Rike Stotten has been an assistant professor (tenure track) at the Institute of Sociology since 2020. Her research focuses thematically on Rural Sociology and Agro-Food Studies and spatially on mountain areas. Here she is interested in the manifold relationships and interconnections between town and country, production and consumption, as well as the underlying processes, structures and power relations. She is spokesperson of the Rural Social Research Section of the Austrian Sociological Association and deputy spokesperson of the Mountain Agriculture Research Centre.

She studied Geography and Sociology at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Universität Aachen and graduated with a Master's thesis on the acceptance of nature conservation measures at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Switzerland. She worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and at the Competence Centre for Urban and Regional Development at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.


Tel.: +43 512 507-73425

Link: Agrar- und Regionalsoziologie / i-point


Room: w 2.07

Consultation hours by arrangement

Uunk_neues Bild

Wilfred Uunk is a professor of sociology. He comes from the Netherlands, studied sociology in Utrecht and received his doctorate in 1996 in Nijmegen on the topic of homogamy (similarity in partner characteristics). Between 1996-1998, Uunk was a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin (topic: job mobility in East and West Germany) and from 1998-2002 a post-doc in Utrecht (topic: remarriage). He then worked at Tilburg University until 2017; first as a post-doc, then as a junior professor of sociology (topics: divorce, gender and work, migration, welfare solidarity). From 2017-2020, Uunk was a research associate at the chair of sociology at the University of Bamberg (topic: gender and education), and from 2020-2021 a senior researcher at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. In May 2021, he accepted a professorship in macro-sociology and social inequality at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Innsbruck.

Wilfred Uunk conducts research on various forms of social inequality (e.g., by gender and migration status). His research is often cross-nationally comparative and he uses quantitative methods of social science research.


Tel.: +43 512 507 73445

Room: w. 2.06


Virtual consultation hour: Thursday from 01:00 p.m. to 02:00 p.m.


Sarah von Karger completed a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Communication Studies at the University of Vienna and then a Master's degree in Sociology at the University of Innsbruck. In her Master's thesis she examined the differences in Bourdieu's and Butler's theories of language in terms of their stability and dynamics. The title of the Master's thesis was: "Performativity of language. A theoretical examination of the action-practical dimension of speaking". Since October 2020, Von Karger has been working as a university assistant and as a project worker in the Social Theory Research Centre at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Innsbruck.

Within this framework, she is writing her dissertation on the connection between migration and development by examining transnational engagement in African migrant organisations in German-speaking countries.


Tel.: +43 512 507-73404

Room: 1S18, Grauer Bär, Universitätsstraße 5-7, 1.Stock


Bernhard Weicht studied economics (with a focus on social policy) at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and social policy at the University of Nottingham (UK). He received his PhD in 2010 from the University of Nottingham with a thesis on the social and moral construction of care and care work for older people. As a Marie Curie Fellow, he continued his research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. During this period, he focused on the interplay and connections between migration and social policies in Austria, the Netherlands and the UK, and their impact on migrants employed in the care sector. Before joining the University of Innsbruck, he worked as a Lecturer at Leiden University College. In 2018 he habilitated with the topic "A Caring Sociology for Ageing Societies".

Bernhard Weicht publishes mainly on the topics of care work, dependencies, migration and care, social and migration policy, and the discursive construction of ageing and care. He is author of the monograph "The Meaning of Care" and editor of "Commonalities of Global Crises" (both published by Palgrave Macmillan). He has chaired the Ageing in Europe research network of the European Sociological Association and is currently co-spokesperson of ESPANet Austria.


Homepage: /

Tel.: +43 512 507-73402

Room: w 2.14

Consultation hours by arrangement

WELZ, Frank, Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr.phil.

Frank Welz is Professor of Sociology, Vice-President of the "European Sociological Association" (ESA) and - since 2006 - an enthusiastic Innsbruck resident, when he came to Leopold Franzens University after studying sociology, philosophy, psychology and history in Freiburg i. Br. as well as research and teaching in Freiburg, Basel, Bielefeld, Durban, New Delhi (JNU), Onati and Cambridge (UK/US).

Frank Welz's research was initially concerned with the phenomenological concept of the lifeworld (dissertation), i.e. people's view of the reality of their lives, i.e. a kind of perspective "from below". Since his Innsbruck time (habilitation), his interest shifted more and more to the perspective "from above": To what extent are people's orientations, their attitudes and interests "produced" socially?

Current projects: Historical epistemology of the social sciences; constitution of crisis and critique; "subjectivities" - governmentality and field analysis.


Tel.: +43 512 507-73405

Homepage: / Betreuung von PhD- und Masterarbeiten

Room: w 2.11

Consultation hour by arrangement


Thea Xenia Wiesli has been employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Sociology since 2023. Her research interests revolve around Sustainable Development, Food Studies, Meat Consumption, Human-Animal Relations, and Regional Sociology. In her PhD, she explored the connection between sustainability and high quality of life in rural areas and natural parks. In additional research projects at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, she focused on village relocations, food policies, and food justice.



Link: Agrar- und Regionalsoziologie

Tel.: +43 512 507-73439

Room: w.2.24


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