MRI Science Leadership Council Members 2022
MRI News
article written by MRI
22.01.22 | 03:01

The Mountain Research Initiative is delighted to welcome two new members to our Science Leadership Council, who will provide advice and impetus for our scientific activities. We also extend our sincere thanks to those SLC members who ended their terms in 2021.

The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) Science Leadership Council (SLC) provides the MRI with direction, priorities, objectives, and advice on scientific or technical requirements for our activities, ensuring oversight for the MRI as a project. MRI SLC members are observers of the strategic environment, are key contributors to research on mountain regions, and – through their own activities – carry forward the MRI’s scientific agenda.

Two new members

As we enter 2022, we are pleased to welcome two new SLC members, who have begun their first two-year term with us (2022-2023).

Margreth Keiler

University of Innsbruck & Institute of Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, ӦAW, Austria

Margreth Keiler studied geography and earth sciences at the University of Innsbruck and the University of Aberdeen. After receiving her doctorate from the University of Innsbruck in September 2004, she undertook research and taught at the Institute for Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna. Research stays have taken her to the University of Exeter in the UK, the Santa Fe Institute in the USA, and to Duke University in the USA where she was a Fulbright Visiting Professor. In August 2011, Margreth Keiler took over as head of the Geomorphology, Natural Hazards, and Risk Research Group at the University of Bern’s Institute of Geography. She habilitated in 2012 at the University of Vienna and the University of Bern, where she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017. Since 2014, Margreth Keiler has been a researcher in the Mobiliar Lab for Natural Risks at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern, and took over as co-leader of the Lab in 2016. In addition to her professorship at the Institute of Geography, Margreth Keiler is also the new director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) in Innsbruck.

In her research, Margreth Keiler deals with long-term as well as short-term changes of natural hazards and risks in mountain regions in connection with global change (climate change, land use change). The development and application of interdisciplinary approaches, which consider natural and social processes equally, is central to this. Integration between different approaches remains a challenge. Her main research priorities are therefore the analysis of the interface between natural hazard processes and socio-economic processes under changing conditions, and, building on this, the development of models for coupled human-landscape systems. The main motivation of her research is a better understanding of the different interactions, identification and monitoring of dynamic change of natural hazards, and the development of risk and resilience in mountain areas. Through these findings, she aims to advance sustainable management decisions.

Ignacio Palomo

French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE), France

Ignacio Palomo is a researcher at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE) in Grenoble, where he is laureate of the Make Our Planet Great Again research program.  

He was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Alpine Ecology (LECA) in France, and at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) in Spain. He developed his PhD at the social-ecological systems Laboratory at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) under the supervision of Berta Martín López and Carlos Montes. Ignacio has participated as Lead Author and Fellow of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He is member of the World Commission on Protected Areas of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA).

Ignacio Palomo´s research is located at the intersection of social-ecological systems, ecosystem services and climate change in mountain environments, with a special focus on nature-based solutions and transformative change. He is also interested in the synergies and trade-offs of climate action towards different socio-environmental goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He currently coordinates the Pathways for Transformation in the Alps project in these domains.

Margreth Keiler and Ignacio Palomo join our ongoing SLC members, the full list of whom can be found below.

MRI Science Leadership Council members for 2022

  1. Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
  2. Aster Gebrekirstos, World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya
  3. Ricardo Grau, National University of Tucumán, Argentina
  4. Margreth Keiler, University of Innsbruck & Institute of Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, ӦAW, Austria
  5. Rob Marchant, University of York, UK
  6. Bryan Mark, Ohio State University, USA
  7. Shawn Marshall, University of Calgary, Canada
  8. Ignacio Palomo, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE), France
  9. Maria Shahgedanova, University of Reading, UK
  10. Mandira Shrestha, ICIMOD, Nepal
  11. Jianchu Xu, Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS, China

We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Elizabeth Jiménez Zamora of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia and Samuel Morin of Météo-France, France, who concluded their terms with us at the end of 2021. Their contribution to the MRI during their time as SLC members was hugely valuable and greatly appreciated. We warmly wish them all the very best, and look forward to further opportunities for collaboration for our changing mountains in future.

Upcoming MRI SLC member meetings in 2022

  • First virtual meeting in Q1 of 2022
  • Retreat with MRI Board – September 2022

About the Science Leadership Council

The MRI SLC was formalized and established in 2016, and together with the MRI Board (Chair and Principal Investigators) and MRI Executive Director constitute the MRI Governing Body. The SLC members undertake their role on a voluntary basis, committing to an initial two-year term, renewable for an additional two-year term subject to approval from the MRI Board. In their individual capacity, they contribute to the MRI’s activities and/or tasks, undertake regional or organizational liaison or representation assignments, generate ideas and recommendations for the MRI’s activities and thematic research foci, provide leadership and interface with regional and/or disciplinary communities, and represent the MRI at events and/or scientific fora, acting as point of contact for public media where relevant and appropriate. Collectively, MRI SLC members assist the MRI Governing Body to set direction, priorities, objectives, and provide advice on scientific or technical requirements for the MRI’s activities, ensuring oversight for the MRI as a project.

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Pictured: Members of the 2016-2019 MRI Science Leadership Council photographed alongside members of the MRI Coordination Office during the 2018 MRI SLC meeting in Aeschi, Switzerland.

Cover image by Jörg Vieli.