Keynote speakers

Julia Klein, Colorado State University, USA

Julia Klein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability and a Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. She received a B.A. in Political Science from Cornell University and an M.S. and PhD in Ecosystem Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Upon receiving her doctorate, she was awarded a NOAA Postdoctoral Climate and Global Change Fellowship.  The broad goals of Dr. Klein’s research are to understand how interacting global changes affect pastoral and mountain ecosystems and livelihoods; to detect the patterns and underlying mechanisms driving these responses and feedbacks; and to identify actions and pathways to increase adaptation opportunities to global change.  Her projects typically combine diverse methods, including experimental manipulations, landscape analysis, local ecological knowledge and modeling.  The main geographic focus of her research has been the eastern and central alpine grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau; however, she also works on the shortgrass steppe and alpine region of Colorado and conducts global syntheses of grassland, arctic/alpine and mountain systems worldwide.  Dr. Klein is a member of the Scientific Leadership Committee for the Mountain Research Initiative, and lead-PI of the Mountain Sentinels Collaborative Network, an international research coordination network (RCN) composed of transdisciplinary, globally-representative teams of mountain scientists and stakeholders, using biophysical and socio-economic observations and models to engage in knowledge co-creation and coordinated practice for mountain sustainability.

Georg Gratzer, University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria

 Georg Gratzer is Associate Professor and deputy head of the Institute of Forest Ecology at the University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna. His research interests are forest dynamics and the nexus of dynamic processes in forests with sustainable forest use and the livelihood of forest users. His research spans many continents, including Asia, Africa and Europe, providing a unique global perspective on mountain forest ecosystems and human communities.  At BOKU he also directs the Mountain Forestry Graduate Program, which brings masters students together from around the world – particularly mountainous regions of Africa, the European Alps, and the central Asian Himalayas – each working in their native countries but taking classes and defending their theses in Vienna, Austria. Currently, Georg Gratzers research focusses on the effects of monsoon failures on mountain forests in the Himalayas and their effects on ecosystem services. With his partners in Bhutan, he conducts large-scale drought experiments in order to identify stress tolerances of ecosystems and tree species in less studied, albeit critical monsoon driven forest ecosystems. In Ethiopia, he implements a long-term, participatory, community based CO2 compensation project, which aims at reconciling pro-poor livelihood approaches with increasing carbon stocks in mountain landscapes.

Harald Bugmann, ETH Zurich – Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Zurich, Switzerland

HaraldBugmannHarald Bugmann was Assistant Professor of Mountain Forest Ecology from 1999 to 2004. Since October 2004, he is Associate Professor of Forest Ecology at ETH Zurich. Born in Solothurn (Switzerland), he studied systematics and ecological biology at ETH in Zurich. After a M.Sc. in limnology, he obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Hannes Flühler and Dr. Andreas Fischlin at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology of ETH, dealing with the impacts of climatic change on mountain forests in the Alps. His dissertation was awarded with the medal of ETH in 1994. From 1994 to 1998, he worked on the regional impacts of climatic change at the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany. In 1998/99, he did research on the ecology of Rocky Mountain forests at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research in Boulder (Colorado, USA). His main research interests are in the long-term dynamics of forest ecosystems under environmental change, particularly successional dynamics in mountain forests and changes in the disturbance regimes (e.g. wildfires). From 1997 to 2007, he was involved in various parts of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), including the project Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE), the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and Human Impacts on Terrestrial Ecosystems (HITE). He was a Contributing Author or a Reviewer for the second, third und fourth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Working Group II.

Martin F. Price,  Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK

Martin F. Price established the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), UK in 2000 and has been as its Director since then.  He was appointed Professor of Mountain Studies by UHI in 2005, Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development in 2009, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway, in 2013.  He worked previously at the University of Oxford; the University of Bern, Switzerland; and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA.  He has a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The primary emphasis of his research has been on mountain people and environments.  He has acted as a consultant on mountain issues to many international organizations, and has coordinated studies on Europe’s mountains for many European organisations.  He also has a strong interest in knowledge exchange, having played key roles in the Mountain Forum and the Mountain Partnership, organised four international interdisciplinary conferences of mountain scientists, and written and edited 15 books on mountain topics, most recently ‘Mountains; A very short introduction’ (Oxford University Press, 2015).  In 2012, the King Albert I Memorial Foundation awarded him the King Albert Mountain Award: the citation states that “Martin Price, with his exceptional knowledge and his editorial competence, has played a vital role for the mountains of the world”.  Further emphases of his work have been on: the human dimensions of global (environmental) change, including acting as Secretary of the International Social Science Council’s Standing Committee on the Human Dimensions on Global Change (1989-90); and interdisciplinary research and practice, particularly in the context of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, in which he has held a number of key positions, most recently Rapporteur of the International Coordinating Council (2014-16).