Cave scientist Gina Moseley
Cave scientist Gina Moseley

Geologist Gina Moseley receives prestigious Rolex Award

Geologist and cave scientist Prof. Gina Moseley from the Department of Geology at the University of Innsbruck was today awarded the "Rolex Award for Enterprise". Rolex supports particularly visionary projects with this highly endowed award. Moseley is the only award winner in Europe. She is researching climate change in the Arctic in caves in Greenland.

A total of five winners of the "Rolex Award for Enterprise 2021" were announced by the company today. An international jury of independent experts selected the winning projects from almost 1700 applications from all over the world. Rolex has been awarding this sponsorship since 1976 to outstanding personalities with groundbreaking and visionary project ideas. The award comes with a substantial amount of funding and is also intended to further strengthen the international visibility and networking of the award winners. Gina Moseley is the only award winner in Europe, along with the winners from Nepal, Brazil, Chad and the USA.

Valuable climate archive

In her now funded project, the geologist is expanding her research work in the caves of Greenland. Moseley is currently preparing an expedition to the northernmost caves of Greenland in order to find evidence of past climate developments in places - some of which have never been visited by humans. By analysing deposits in the world's northernmost caves, Gina Moseley is contributing to a better understanding of the climate in the Arctic. Her analyses allow a precise look into Arctic climate development - up to several hundred thousand years into the past. In view of rising temperatures, these data are of great importance for climate forecasts. In order to sample the cave deposits, spectacular and costly expeditions to the north of Greenland are necessary. The caves there can only be reached by very arduous routes by air and water and by long walks.

Spectacular expeditions

Gina Moseley recognised the importance of the caves in northeast Greenland back in 2008 while doing her PhD in Bristol, UK. In 2015, she already led a five-man expedition. This gave Moseley access to the unique High Arctic climate archive for the first time. For this, the geologist was awarded the prestigious START Prize of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). In July 2019, Moseley and her Greenland Caves Project team set off on their third expedition to northeast Greenland.

Gina Moseley has been working at the University of Innsbruck in the Quaternary Research Group of the Department of Geology since 2011. The multi-award-winning scientist has been Ingeborg Hochmair Professor since 2018.


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