For many, Mountains are the go-to place to reconnect to Nature, to relax and to enjoy a clean environment and fresh air. Mountains also provide us with many important goods, which we need for our daily lives and our health. Those goods include construction wood, fire wood, pastures for livestock, clean drinking water and clean air, amongst others.

Our research, funded by the AXA Research Fund, Belmont Forum, DFG and others, will contribute to our understanding of mountain freshwater ecosystems, the services they provide to human society and the risks we face with future changes of these sensitive ecosystems. We will investigate patterns of pollution, pathogens, microorganisms and global changes in mountain ecosystems to understand the interlinkages between biodiversity change, ecosystem health and human well-being.

Decision makers and stakeholders need to understand that even the most remote areas are strongly threatened by the dominant species of our planet, us.

Our research is funded by



We start to role out a series of short films called "Mountains - a fragile source of life". Subscribe to the channel, leave your comments and enjoy the videos!

You may also enjoy a new article of mine and two colleagues also holding AXA Chairs:

Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases are occurring with increasing frequency and consequences, including wildlife diseases and zoonoses. Those have potentially long-lasting effects on human and wildlife populations, with inevitable direct and indirect effects on ecosystems. The intensifying emergence of infectious pathogens has many underlying reasons, all driven by the growing anthropogenic impact on nature. Intensifying pathogen emergence can be attributed to climate change, biodiversity loss, habitat degradation, and an increasing rate of wildlife–human contacts. All of these are caused by synergies between persisting intense poverty and a growing human population. Improved global management of the human-driven biological degradation and international dispersal processes that exacerbate those pandemic threats are now long overdue. It is vital that we act decisively in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis to radically change how we collectively manage the planet as a whole.

Read the full paper here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-020-02021-6


Our Research


People, Pollution and Pathogens

Mountain ecosystems as sentinels of change

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