Principal Investigators

The MRI's Principal Investigators are six established academics based in Switzerland who guide the MRI's strategic direction. 

 

Chair 
Mountain Research Initiative

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About

Rolf Weingartner is Professor for Hydrology at the Institute of Geography, University of Bern, where he leads the Group for Hydrology. 

Rolf was the driving force behind the project HADES, the Hydrological Atlas of Switzerland, a comprehensive scientific reference tool mapping and collating data on water in Switzerland. The result of a huge collaborative effort by Swiss hydrologists, HADES was launched by the Swiss government in 1988 as a means of providing essential information for water conservation and management. The original idea was first developed by Rolf  two years earlier as part of his PhD thesis – and he continues to lead the project three decades on.

Rolf also presides over the Hydrological Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, and is Chair of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI).

Research Interests

KeywordsRegionalization in Hydrology, Mountain Hydrology, Flooding, Water in a Changing World, Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approaches, Hydrology of Switzerland, Water Resources.

Rolf Weingartner's research explores three main areas:

  1. In the area of ​​regional hydrology, Rolf deals with the hydrological aspects of mountains (Alps, Himalayas, New Zealand). His many years of extensive research into the hydrology of Switzerland led to, among others, a project to develop a Hydrological Atlas of Switzerland, which he has been leading since 1989.
  2. The impact of climate change on water resources and the associated hydrological risks has become a topic of increasing public interest in recent years. To support a comprehensive understanding of the issues involved,  several projects on different temporal and spatial scales were initiated by the Group for Hydrology at the University of Bern, headed by Rolf Weingartner. These include two field projects supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation in the Crans-Montana region (NFP-61, project MontanAqua) and in the Gotthard region. As part of these projects, CCWasserkraft (swisselectric research, BfE) and CCHydro (FOEN) are studying the effects of climate change on Switzerland, in collaboration with other research groups.
  3. In recent years, the Group for Hydrology has developed several statistical and deterministic flood models, which are also widely used in practice.

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Web Link ImageGroup for Hydrology, Institute of Geography, University of Bern 

Web Link ImageHADES: Hydrologischen Atlas der Schweiz

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Article | 30 Years of HADES: Diving Beneath the Surface of Swiss Hydrology

Co-Chair
Mountain Research Initiative


Principle Investigator
Mountain Research Initiative

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About

Martin Grosjean is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He is Director of the Graduate School of Climate Sciences, University of Bern, and Director of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, where he leads the Paleolimnology Group. Martin previously served as Executive Director of the National Centre of Competence in Research on Climate (NCCR Climate) at the Swiss National Science Foundation, and as Head of Division, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF.

Research Interests

Keywords: Climate Change, Water Resources, Limnology, Lake Sediments, Pleistocene, Holocene, Natural Resources, Andes, Alps, Geochemistry, Sedimentology.

Martin Grosjean's research explores climate change and freshwater systems, looking at changes in sediment fomation and sediment characteristics (geochemistry), nutrient cycling, and the physical properties of lakes as a function of climate change. This research is used both as a means to reconstruct climate and to study the impacts of climate change.

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MRI Expert Database

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Profile Page (CV and Publications List), Institute of Geography, University of Bern

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Paleolimnology Group, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern

Principle Investigator
Mountain Research Initiative

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About

Adrienne Grêt-Regamey is an environmental scientist and landscape planner. She has been Professor at the Chair of Planning Landscape and Urban Systems at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development, ETH Zürich (Switzerland) since 2008. 

Research Interests

Keywords: Sustainability, Spatial Planning, Spatial Modeling, Landscape and Environmental Planning, Urban Planning, 3D Visualization, Emerging and Developing Economies.

Currently, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey's research focuses on understanding how the interactions and/or actions of humans shape landscapes at various temporal and spatial scales, using different land-use decision models in forecasting and backcasting modes. For fostering participatory landscape planning, she investigates how people perceive the landscape in the three labs, where state-of-the-art 3D visualizations and auralizations of landscape changes are generated and decision support tools developed. She also explores how an iterative process between design and science can allow co-creating place specific responses satisfying human needs and demands for well-being in a sustainable manner. For one of her recent research projects, the consortium was awarded the Swiss National Science Foundation Transdisciplinary Award. In 2017, she received an ERC Starting Grant for the project GLOBESCAPE linking design and land system science to foster place-making in peri-urban landscapes. In 2018 she was finalist for the ETH ALEA Art of Leadership Award.

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MRI Expert Database

Web Link ImageETH Zurich Profile Page

Web Link ImagePlanning of Landscape and Urban Systems (PLUS), ETH Zurich

Principle Investigator
Mountain Research Initiative

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About 

Christian Huggel is Professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich, and leads the research group Environment and Climate: Impacts, Risks and Adaptation.

Christian Huggel has previously held positions at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ETH Zurich, University of Geneva, and has been a visiting researcher at the US Geological Survey in Anchorage, Alaska and at a number of research institutions in South America. He has been a science advisor and member of the Swiss delegation at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties. Currently, he leads several projects on climate impacts and adaptation in the tropical Andes, the Indian Himalayas, and the Alps, in collaboration with the Swiss and other national governments and international organizations. He is a Lead Author of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report – working on Chapter 12: Central and South America and the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains – and previously also served as a Lead Author on the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report.

Research Interests

KeywordsClimate Change, Hazards, Risks, Adaptation, Glaciers, Socio-Environmental Systems.

Christian Huggel’s research focuses on climate impacts, and risks and adaptation to climate change – mainly in mountain regions. His interest is to understand how climate and climate change affects environmental and socio-environmental systems, how these systems respond in the context of multiple drivers of change, and what changes can be attributed to climate change and other drivers. To adequately approach these research fields, he stresses the importance of an interdisciplinary perspective. In the past he has looked into glacier and other mountain hazards, such as glacier lake outburst floods, avalanches, and landslides; volcano-ice interactions; hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessments; integrated monitoring and early warning systems, and climate adaptation more generally. His geographic research areas include the European Alps, the Andes, Alaska, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas.

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MRI Expert Database

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Personal Webpage

Web Link ImagePublications List

Principle Investigator
Mountain Research Initiative

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