Coordination Office

The MRI Coordination Office works with the mountain research community to identify research priorities and possibilities for common action, and supports this common action by providing targeted funding, coordination, and administrative assistance. It also strives to keep the research community informed, and works with research organizations and funding agencies to ensure that mountain global change topics are recognized and addressed. The MRI Executive Director oversees the work of the MRI Coordination Office and contributes to the strategic and operational discussions and decisions made within the MRI Governing Body. 

Through its activities, the MRI Coordination Office aims to: 1) strengthen the mountain research network; 2) bolster research activity; 3) enable capacity-building; 4) support thematic advocacy for mountains; 5) provide resource opportunities; 6) facilitate science-policy-society interactions; and 7) communicate effectively.

The MRI Coordination Office is hosted by the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland.


Executive Director
Mountain Research Initiative

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About

Carolina Adler, a dual national from Chile and Australia, is an Environmental Scientist and Geographer with an international career spanning over 25 years in both research and practice in the public and private sectors. As the current Executive Director of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), she is tasked with overseeing the work of the MRI Coordination Office, as well as connecting, coordinating, and promoting global change research and supporting regional and thematic networked collaborations in mountains worldwide.


Carolina Adler obtained her PhD at Monash University (Australia) in 2010, focusing on climate change adaptation and relevant policy processes for sustainable development in mountain regions, receiving the Harold D Lasswell Prize in 2010 for best thesis. Among her many roles, she is also a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment, specifically in the chapter on High Mountain Areas of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), published in September 2019, as well as the Working Group II contribution on Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation and Co-Lead for the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains, published in February 2022. Following a passion for mountaineering, she shares her environmental expertise as a delegate to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (Union International des Associations d'Alpinisme - UIAA) Mountain Protection Commission, later in 2016 assuming the role of Commission President. When not at her work desk, Carolina is most likely to be found enjoying the great outdoors in the mountains.

 

Research Interests

Keywords: Social-Ecological Systems, Climate Change; Governance; Risk & Decision-Making; Evidence; Science-Policy Knowledge Systems; Global Assessments; Monitoring & Evaluation; Transdisciplinary Research; Mountains.

Carolina Adler focuses on research activities related to the assessment and evaluation of inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations on questions relevant for sustainable development in mountains, as well as the use of scientific evidence in regional and global assessments and their uptake in policy and decision-making contexts.

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Scientific Project Officer (GEO Mountains)
Mountain Research Initiative

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Alexandrine Massot joined the Mountain Research Initiative Coordination Office in 2023, after completing a Master in Environmental Sciences and a certificate in Geomatics at the University of Geneva. During her studies, her research primarily focused on exploring the dynamics of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from lakes and investigating gas emissions in the Arctic Ocean. She then continued her learning around a temporal analysis of drought dynamics in Switzerland using remote sensing. Before this, she worked in the philanthropic sector as a project manager, where she was responsible for the environment & sustainability working group, among others.

As a Scientific Project Officer, Alexandrine contributes to the coordination and implementation of GEO Mountains — a GEO initiative, which aims to enhance the availability and accessibility of diverse data related to mountainous regions. 

Aside from her scientific pursuits, her passion for nature is reflected in her artistic work. Between her painting studio and her practice of aerial sports and climbing, she often finds inspiration while hiking in the mountains.

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Scientific Project Officer
Mountain Research Initiative

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Pauline joined the MRI Coordination Office as a Scientific Project Officer in 2024. After completing a bachelor's degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva and a master's degree in International Law and Sustainable Development from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, she began her career working for environmental organizations based in Geneva and for the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. She then spent more than four years working for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs on bilateral economic relations with Asia and Oceania.

In her spare time, Pauline spends most of her time in the mountains and in nature, engaging in outdoor sports such as trail running, cycling, and ski touring.

Senior Scientific Project Officer (GEO Mountains)
Mountain Research Initiative

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James joined the Mountain Research Initiative in 2020 upon completion of his PhD in hydrogeology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. His doctoral research focussed on the interdisciplinary, physics-based numerical modelling of hydrological processes in complex Alpine terrain, and involved a wide range of datasets and computational tools. He was awarded the Adrien Guébhard-Séverine prize for his thesis. 

Prior to that, James worked in the reinsurance sector, where he was responsible for leading the development of stochastic natural catastrophe models in order to quantify the risks associated with extreme events such as floods and tropical cyclones to portfolios of physical assets.

James is currently responsible for the coordination and implementation of GEO Mountains; a Initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) seeking to increase the discoverability, accessibility, and use of a wide range of data pertaining to mountainous regions to benefit human societies and ecosystems globally. He contributed to the IPCC AR6 Cross-Chapter Paper Mountains (2022), is a Topical Editor at the journal Earth System Science Data, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. 

Research Focus

Keywords: Alpine hydrology; climate change; numerical modelling; 3D geological modelling; snow hydrology; inverse methods

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Communications Manager
Mountain Research Initiative

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Heather Turnbach is a mission-driven storyteller with an international marketing communications career spanning over 10 years. In 2022 she joined MRI’s Coordination Office as its Communications Manager where she is responsible for implementing and enhancing the network’s communication strategy.

Heather began her career as a management consulting analyst in Philadelphia. Since moving to Switzerland, she has held several marketing communications roles, primarily within the international education field. She’s enjoyed rebranding two organizations, creating compelling communications campaigns, and sharing stories with impact. Most recently Heather stretched her entrepreneurial muscle by founding the OutFit Women's Movement, a project that aims to help women realize their own self-powered possibilities in the outdoors.

Heather holds an Executive Master’s in Food and Health from the University of Gastronomic Sciences (Italy) and Bachelor of Arts in both Media and Communications Studies and Business and Economics from Ursinus College (USA). In her free time, Heather can be found pursing her passion as an all-seasons endurance athlete either trail running or skiing in the mountains.

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