Researchers at the Oeschger Centre

The ocean modeler

OCCR researcher Charlotte Laufkötter studies the effects of climate change and plastic pollution on the world's oceans. Step by step, the ambitious marine scientist is climbing the academic career ladder.
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On the trail of urban heat islands

Moritz Burger graduated second best in his class at the Graduate School of Climate Sciences and has been awarded a 2020 Oeschger Young Scientist's Prize for this achievement. Now, as he writes his doctoral thesis, he remains true to his master’s thesis topic: Bern’s urban climate. 
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A top educated climate activist

Conall Heusaff finished at the top of his class at the Graduate School of Climate Sciences, winning a 2020 Oeschger Young Scientist’s Prize for his achievements. Now he provides expert analysis of electricity market issues in Ireland.
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From classical music to the economic consequences of forest fires

Ranking second in her class at the Graduate School of Climate Sciences, Sarah Meier has been awarded a 2020 Oeschger Young Scientist’s Prize for her achievements. For her master’s degree she majored in economics.
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Marlene Kammerer

A sharper look behind the political scenes

With an eye on countries around the world, political scientist Marlene Kammerer researches the road from good intentions to effective climate policy.
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From data collector to climate modeller

Frerk Pöppelmeier is working towards a better understanding of the Atlantic circulation. He’s combining his knowledge of environmental proxies with the unique capacities of the Bern 3D model.
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Love of mountains sparks scientific career

Maria Leunda, recently named a postdoctoral fellow at the OCCR, has received the prestigious Harper Prize for young researchers in the field of ecology. She won the award for a paper on Pyrenean vegetation dynamics based on data from an ice cave.
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The plant whisperer

As a biologist, Eric Allan is searching for answers to the big questions surrounding biodiversity. How does biodiversity arise, how is it changing in the face of global and climate change and what consequences do these changes have for ecosystems?
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Graduate investigated key climate issues

Louis Frey has been awarded the "2019 Oeschger Young Scientist's Prize" for his achievements. Ranked second in his class at the Graduate School of Climate Sciences, he did his master's in climate and earth system sciences.
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Doubly talented prize winner

Markus Grimmer, top of his class at the Graduate School of Climate Sciences, has been awarded the "2019 Oeschger Young Scientist's Prize" for his achievements. He is now working as a doctoral student at the University of Bern.
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Switzerland will have to learn to live with the heat

Spaniard Ana Vicedo-Cabrera studied pharmacology, environmental toxicology and epidemiology. Today she leads the research group on Climate Change and Health, which the OCCR and the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern have jointly established.
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A kind of dream job

Nicole Glaus decided on a climate master’s because of its versatility. Today she works as a TV meteorologist.
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A swift career start

For her climate master’s, Regina Daus specialized in atmospheric sciences. Today she’s a professional when it comes to simulating wind fields.
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The frozen pollen report

OCCR researcher Sandra Brügger reconstructs past vegetation changes. As an expert on pollen found in glacier ice, she’s even been featured in The New York Times.

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A polyglot Estonian in Bern

Anna Kulakovskaya was the top master’s student at the University of Bern Graduate School of Climate Sciences last year. For her excellent achievements, the Estonian has been awarded a 2018 Oeschger Young Scientist’s Prize.

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“What mattered most to me was the multidisciplinary approach”

Thomas Rölli, salutatorian of his class at the University of Bern Graduate School of Climate Sciences, has been awarded a 2018 Oeschger Young Scientist’s Prize. He sees his professional future in the private sector.

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Double challenge for the intrepid

Chantal Camenisch wants to go all the way up the university career ladder – thanks in part to her research stints abroad. The environmental historian currently lives as a guest researcher in Rouen, France, and will soon head to York in the north of England. Of course the academic nomad is bringing her young family along.

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The key to success is cooperation

Junior researcher Julia Gottschalk spent two years doing postdoctoral research in Bern. Now the German geoscientist is moving on to Columbia University of the City of New York. What she particularly valued at the Oeschger Centre? The inspiring discussions beyond the borders of her own discipline.

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Thinking outside the box

Eric Strobl has been appointed Professor of Climate and Environmental Economics at the University of Bern. For him, the fact that he’ll be working with scientists in this role goes without saying.

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Sherlock Holmes and Lake Iffig

Environmental scientist Christoph Schwörer is piecing together vegetation history with the help of sediments from alpine lakes. And using data from the past, he’s also simulating the future tree line.

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To Bern on a prestigious scholarship

With its international reputation as a first-class research institution, the Oeschger Centre attracts scientists from around the world – like Kristy Barnes, who wants to learn how to reconstruct past climates using fossil midges.

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Perseverance of the ice core specialist

Hubertus Fischer is one of the few researchers to have won two prestigious "ERC Advanced Grants" from the European Research Council. The goal of the current project? A new technique to analyse the world's oldest ice.

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Solving climate puzzles by trillionths of a gram

For his diploma-thesis, Jörg Lippold focussed on X-ray astronomy. Today, with the help of a new geochemical method, he wants to find out how ocean currents changed in the past. This knowledge may help us to understand the transport of heat and carbon in the sea - and also the entire climate system.

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How climate science and philosophy learn from each other

Philosopher of science Claus Beisbart is intrigued by how research is done using computer simulations. His preferred object of study? Climate research. He believes that philosophy and science can find inspiration in each other, and that the attraction is completely mutual.

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Pinhole technology to search for the oldest ice

Few people in the world have had as much experience with drilling ice cores as Bernese physicist Jakob Schwander. He is now working at the Oeschger Centre on the development of ultra-light drilling equipment to be used to search for 1.5 million-year-old ice in Antarctica. Last summer, the new technology proved itself in Greenland.

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Studying Planetary Waves to Predict Alpine Precipitation

Olivia Martius is the new assistant professor for climate change impact research at the Oeschger Centre. One of her research areas is to investigate the effects of climate change on heavy precipitation events in the Alps. Swiss Mobiliar insurance company finances her chair.

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How an archaeologist learned to love climate research

For twenty years Albert Hafner was involved in archaeological digs under water and in bogs and ice. In his second career as professor of archaeology what attracts him most is research - and for this he is more than happy to team up with climate experts.

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In Search of Algae on the Other Side of the Globe

In 2010, about 150 junior researchers applied for an Ambizione grant with the Swiss National Science Foundation. Only a third of the research projects made the grade. One of them was by Rixt de Jong, a postdoc researcher at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research. She aims to reconstruct climate in Chile.

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Innovative Ideas for Using Midge Larvae in Climate Research

The paleoecologist Oliver Heiri has been awarded funding of two million Swiss francs from the European Research Council. With an innovative approach, the funded project aims to reconstruct the emission of the greenhouse gas methane in lakes at the end of the last ice age.

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The role former tavern "Krone" plays in climate research

The historian Oliver Wetter breaks the mould. He not only tracks down unusual sources, but he also uses scientific methods to validate them. 

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Promising drilling expedition on Lake Towuti

Geologist Hendrik Vogel works with sediment cores. They come from lakes from all over the world, and provide information about climate and the environment far back in time. He has recently joined the management team of an international deep drilling project on Sulawesi, Indonesia.

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Why Bern's view of the atmosphere isn't distorted by clouds

Physicist Klemens Hocke measures the ozone values in the atmosphere from the roof of one of the university buildings. They are so accurate that they are used to calibrate the measuring apparatus on board satellites. And he also knows a great deal about hurricanes raging 50 kilometres above our heads.

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Climate and famine in the far North

Finnish historian Heli Huhtamaa is writing part of her doctoral thesis at the Oeschger Centre. She was drawn to Bern by the pioneering work of the group for environmental history and historical climatology at the Institute of History.