Oeschger News (October 2010)

Dominik Fleitmann wins Sinergia funding

OCCR member Dominik Fleitmann, an SNSF professor at the Institute of Geological Sciences, has just been granted a 1.7 Mio CHF Sinergia funding for his project "STALCLIM - Multi-proxy climatic and environmental reconstructions from stalagmites from Switzerland, Turkey, Arabia and India". With Sinergia, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) wants to foster collaborative projects in independent research. Funding is given to interconnected projects consisting of at least 3 to a maximum of 6 research groups. In the case of STALCLIM three groups are based at the University of Bern (Dominik Fleitmann, Martin Frenz and Markus Leuenberger), two groups at ETH Zurich and one at EAWAG. Dominik Fleitmann is the initiator and leader of the project which will last for three years. 

Olivia Romppainen-Martius holds the Mobiliar chair

Olivia Romppainen-Martius has just started her work as the newly appointed professor (tenure track) for Climate Impact Research in the Alpine Region at the Institute of Geography. This new chair is sponsored by the Mobiliar insurance company which has committed itself to fund this research area with 5 Mio. CHF over the next 10 years. Olivia Romppainen-Martius was previously a postdoc researcher in the dynamical meteorology group at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich. There she worked as the coordinator of the Master in Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH which offers an optional exchange program with the University of Bern. Her research interests are in dynamics of short-term climate variation and the inter-scale linkage to mesoscale extreme events, PV-streamers and Rossby-wave breaking, extra tropical wave-guides and forecasting of extreme events. She will now formulate a research plan for her new field of research and build her own research group.

OCCR Work Package 3 meets on Gurten

The OCCR Work Package 3 (Alpine climate responses and risks) meets on 29 October 2010 to discuss research strategies, future collaborations etc. Interested senior researchers are kindly invited to participate at the one-day meeting on Gurten hill. In the morning session the different research groups of WP3 will present themselves, the afternoon is dedicated to workshops and plenary discussion. To register, please write to Monika Wälti and put Willy Tinner in cc.

Rixt de Jong receives an Ambizione grant

OCCR member Rixt de Jong is a postdoc researcher at the Lake Sediment and Paleolimnology Group at the Institute of Geography. She has just been awarded an Ambizione grant by the SNSF for a three-year project which will take her to southern Chile. She aims to reconstruct summer and winter temperatures over the past thousand years, based on climatic information stored in lake sediments. Rixt de Jong works with a method based on the golden-brown algae (chrysophyte stomatocysts) as a climate proxy. 

Climate Change and Food Security

A series of workshops called "Klimawandel und Ernährungssicherheit" is currently held at the University of Bern. The speakers include many OCCR members. The upcoming events ("Wirtschaftliche Rahmenbedingungen", "Spannungsfeld Nord-Süd", "Zwänge und Handlungsoptionen") take place on Saturday mornings of 23 October, 13 November and 27 November 2010 – definitely an interesting way to start your weekends. 

International Moor Excursion to Sicily and Pantelleria

The Paleoecology Group at the Institute of Plant Sciences has just organised the International Moor Excursion (IME). This traditional event aims to extensively discuss new paleoecological and paleoclimatic results in the landscape and at the study site. Every year paleoecologists from around the world meet in Europe and elsewhere on invitation of an organising research group. This year's excursion took the 45 participants from four continents to Sicily and Pantelleria from 12 - 19 September 2010. "The excursion week was a complete success", said organiser Willy Tinner. If any further proof was needed – even the Giornale di Sicilia reported on the event ("50 studiosi di ambienti preistorici in giro per i laghi siciliani a caccia di segni del passato.")

Isabelle Larocque featured in Horizonte

OCCR member Isabelle Larocque, a postdoc researcher at the Lake Sediment and Paleolimnology Group at the Institute of Geography, is featured in the latest issue of the SNFS's magazine Horizonte. The article is on her climate reconstruction project at the Lake Silvaplana which is part of a European initiative called Millenium Project

Mark Battle is the new visiting scientist at the OCCR

The OCCR regularly invites researchers to spend six months at the Oeschger Centre and become involved in our activities. At present the OCCR's visiting scientist is Mark Battle from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, USA. He is an associated professor at the Physics and Astronomy Department and his research interests are in atmospheric composition and climate change. He is hosted by Markus Leuenberger, Climate and Environmental Physics Division at Physics Institute. Mark can be contacted on tel. 031 631 44 70 and mbattle@bowdoin.edu. Oh, and don't miss Marks personal webpage – it is funny! 

Researchers joining and leaving the OCCR

Paleoecology Group, Institute of Plant Sciences:

Christoph Schwörer studied environmental sciences at the ETH Zurich. The topic of his Ph.D. thesis is "Holocene Vegetation and Climate Dynamics at the Iffigsee, a lake at treeline in the Northern Swiss Alps".

Plant Ecology Group, Institute of Plant Sciences:

Stefan Blaser did his M.Sc. in biology at the University of Bern. He now works as a Ph.D. researcher on "Effects of land use change on the diversity of dead wood fungi in forests".

Christophe Bornand did his M.Sc. in biology at the University of Basel. The topic of his Ph.D. thesis is "Analysis of plant species distributions in Switzerland".

Andreas Ensslin obtained his M.Sc. in biology from the University of Marburg, Germany. He now works on "Plant diversity in relation to climate and land use on Mt. Kilimanjaro" as a Ph.D. student.

Corina del Fabbro did her M.Sc. in biology at the ETZ Zurich. The topic of her Ph.D. thesis is "Testing the generality of the novel weapon hypothesis of invasive plants".

Juliane Preuschkas obtainded a Diploma in biology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany and works now on her Ph.D. project. Her current research is on "Invasibility of Swiss grasslands".

Gemma Rutten has a M.Sc. in biology from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She started her Ph.D. on "Plant diversity in relation to climate and land use on Mt. Kilimanjaro".

Barbara Schmitt gained a Diploma in biology from University of Münster, Germany. The topic of her Ph.D. thesis is "Effects of land use change on plant functional diversity in grasslands and forests".

Michaela Zeiter has joined the Paleoecology Group as a postdoc. She already did her Ph.D. at Institute of Plant Sciences and does research on "Ecology of semi-natural dry grasslands and invasibility of grasslands".

Climate and Environmental Physics Division, Physics Institute:

Laurie Menviel received her Ph.D. at the University in Hawaii in 2008. She will study past climate and carbon cycle variations in the Earth System-Biogeochemical Modelling group.

Anil Bozbiyik has started his PhD and will implement carbon isotopes into the Community Earth System Model. He received his Master in Science of Climate Change in Bern.

A big welcome to all of you!