About us

We are a multidisciplinary team, with a common goal but with different backgrounds. Keep reading and get to know us!

Georg Leitinger

Georg is the scientific coordinator for the Austrian project part (UIBK – University of Innsbruck) and was already involved in former joint international projects with the colleagues from France. Within LUCSES, given his strong expertise in climate change experiments in alpine grasslands and water balance quantification using lysimeters, he deeply focuses on the climate manipulations part. Further, with LUCSES, Georg aims at extending existing knowledge from numerous former projects, not only but especially from the BiodivERsA projects VITAL and REGARDS, on functioning and management of social-ecological systems in terms of shrub encroachment of alpine grassland, meadows and pastures. As lecturer and supervisor of bachelor’s, master’s-and PhD theses at the University of Innsbruck, he follows another passion of him to supervise the LUCSES PhD-students at UIBK.

Bello Mouhamadou

Bello is the scientific coordinator for the French team (LECA) and has solid experience in coordinating research projects. He has coordinated multiple projects which involved several public partners (University, CNRS, CEA) and private companies (INSAVALOR, SERPOL, SERFIM Group, SITA). As a lecturer in Mycolgy, he brings fundamental knowledge and expertise in the field of taxonomic and funtional diversity of fungi. He is also currently supervising PhD students and participated in the VITAL project with UIBK and several local projects, exploring the taxonomic diversity and the ecological roles of mutualistic fungi in mountain systems.

Sandra Lavorel

Aboutus_SandraSandra’s career has been dedicated to linking global change impacts on biodiversity to changes in ecosystem functioning, known as the Holy Grail for functional ecology. To address this challenge, Sandra contributed to the emergence of functional trait-based approaches, initially on plants and then across trophic levels including plant-soil and plant-herbivore interactions. Sandra’s current research focuses on impacts on ecosystems and their services of combined changes in climate and land management and on nature-based adaptation. This research is developed at the interface between functional ecology and social sciences, with a close participation of local and regional stakeholders. With LUCSES, she aims to address the knowledge gap for science and decision about the functional and ecosystem service consequences in the context of climate change of management induced transitions from grasslands to woody vegetation.

Karl Grigulis

Karl Grigulis works as a research engineer in the Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine in Grenoble, France. Initially working as an agronomist in south-east Australia on topics of population ecology using pasture weeds as model systems, more recently in France he participates in projects focussed on functional and community ecology, in particular the assessment of community functional structure as a determinant of ecosystem responses to climate and management change and of ecosystem services.

Ulrike Tappeiner

Ulrike Tappeiner (co-coordinator of the Austrian team) is full professor at the Department of Ecology at UIBK, a passionate ecosystem and landscape ecologist, contributing to LUCSES her broad experience in national and international project management as well as functional trait assessment and analyses. She is further strongly focusing on landscape ecological impacts driven by global change, directly and indirectly affecting vital ecosystem services of the at some stage highly vulnerable social-ecological systems of the Alps. Ulrike also supports the scientific coordination, PhD-supervision and staff management at UIBK.

Marie-Pascale Colace

Ursula Peintner

Ursula Peintner from the Department of Microbiology is an excellent environmental mycologist, complementing the UIBK project team by bringing in solid background for mycorrhizae and their interactions in alpine habitats.

Marie-Noëlle Binet

Aboutus_MarieNBMarie-Noëlle Binet is an associate professor and does her research in the Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, UMR CNRS-UGA, Grenoble. She has been teaching in plant physiology and plant biology, at the «Université de Bourgogne», Dijon. Her research focuses on fungi that play a major role in the function and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. The aim of her studies is to determine the abiotic and biotic factors that structure fungal communities, to understand the interactions between different fungal functional groups and the effects of these interactions on plant communities and the functioning of ecosystems. Another objective of her research concerns the exploitation of fungi (e.g. mycorrhizal fungi, saprophytes) for applications in plant protection and in bioremediation. The LUCSES project offers her a good opportunity to collaborate with a group from Austria and to extend the areas of study. The LUCSES project focuses a part of its research on mycorrhizal communities as an important actor in mediating shrub effects on nutrient and water availibility. 'I am very interested in studying the response of the mycorhhizal fungi to shrub expansion in alpine ecosystems'.

Christiane Gallet

Elena Tello García

Elena Tello GarcíaElena is a PhD student at the University of Innsbruck, with a background in biology and a Master's degree in "Ecology, Environmental Management and Restoration". The last years she has worked on the effects of global change on water use efficiency, biomass productivity and plant composition of grassland ecosystems. Throughout her PhD, she became interested in plant traits and plant-soil interactions, especially with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Therefore, the LUCSES project is a good opportunity to go deeper into these topics, to fill the gap on the effects of shrubland encroachment, as well as to work with an international and multidisciplinary team.


Blandine Lyonnard

Lucía Laorden Camacho

LuciaLaordenLucía is a PhD student from the Universität Innsbruck. She did her bachelor in ‘Environmental Sciences’ at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and her master in ‘Environmental Management of Mountain Areas’ in the Universität Innsbruck and Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. She is passionate about mountains and concerned about current and future climate change. Lucía is deeply interested in the study of climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as socio-ecological ecosystems in mountain areas. ‘For me the LUCSES project is a perfect opportunity to work with subalpine ecosystems and exchange knowledge with other researchers from different corners of the planet’.

Lisa Ambrosi


Lisa is a Postdoc at the University of Innsbruck. She finished her PhD studies at the University of Innsbruck about modelling and mapping of ecosystem services in the European Alps, especially considering social-ecological interactions. Lisa has a deep interest in the current state of the Alpine ecosystems and their further development while being stressed by climate change and anthropogenic impacts. Within the LUCSES project, Lisa can primarily use her advanced knowledge about the deployment of high-precision lysimeters for water balance quantification. She is especially responsible for the lysimeter measurements and data analysis of the drought experiments and advanced snowmelt experiments. Lisa is excited about the LUCSES project as it joins forces of several disciplines to get a holistic understanding of nitrogen and water cycling processes in shrub-encroached mountain grasslands.

Anna-Lena Neunteufel

Anna-Lena is a Master student in 'Environmental Management of Mountain Areas' at the University of Innsbruck and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. She completed her Bachelor's degree in 'Environmental and Bioresource Management' at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna. Her interest in mountain ecosystems and processes brought her to Innsbruck. In her Master's thesis and project work, she focuses on mycorrhizae and their symbiosis with 
herbaceous plants and dwarf shrubs. ´It is very exciting for me to get an insight into an ecosystem with  its smallest structures, such as mycorrhizae. You realise how interconnected all the processes are.


Nach oben scrollen