The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) is a platform for international and cross-disciplinary collaboration on the assessment, conservation, and sustainable use of mountain biodiversity. JOIN THE NETWORK!
Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA)
Mountain Research and Development Vol 38, No 1 available online and open access
Papers analyze gender-inclusive value chain development in Nepal, the impact of Swiss policy to maintain high-mountain pasturing, cultivation of an endangered runner bean in Italy, an intercropping experiment in Thailand, Bhutanese herders’ perceptions of climatic changes, the introduction of non-native plants by tourists in a Chinese national park, plant functional groups in grassland in the Georgian Caucasus, and large-scale mapping of arid regions in river valleys in southwestern China.
PhD Opportunity in Plant Invasion Ecology
The Afromontane Research Unit (ARU) and Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS)’s Qwaqwa Campus, in association with various invasion research partners, is advertising for a PhD Candidate to work on the invasion ecology of the South American Tussock Grasses (Nassella) in southern Africa. Application deadline is May 15th. Click on this news item to find out more about this position.
Call for Proposals: Science for Nature and People Partnership
The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) is seeking proposals for interdisciplinary teams to develop evidence-based solutions to challenges at the intersection of nature conservation, sustainable development, and human well-being, using a synthesis research approach. The deadline is June 6th, 2018. More details can be found in the Request for Proposals by clicking on this news item.
Call for Participation: Functional Ecology of Alpine Soils
Robert Mills at Lancaster University is making the first global assessment of the response of alpine soil microbial communities to perturbations associated with climate extremes, using proximate controls (e.g. microhabitat, microbial community structure, soil organic matter quality, vegetation structure) as well as broader-scale controls (e.g. bioclimatic zone, geological attributes) to explain variance. All he needs are soil samples from mountain regions. If you are interested in participating, click on this news for more information.
Call for abstracts, Mountains 2018
The call for abstracts for Mountains 2018, to be held from 10 to 14 December 2018 in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, is open. Mountains 2018 will be organized along two segments: the III Workshop on Sustainable Development in Mountain Environments on 10-12 December; and the II International Conference on Research for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions on 12-14 December. The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 May 2018. Click on the news to learn more about the conference.
Call for Proposals: SDC HUC Focus Grants on Climate change and adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas
The objective of the focus grants is to foster regional collaboration in higher education research and training in and for sustainable mountain development. Institutional grant proposals are expected to focus on any of the nexuses among the thematic areas of Climate Change Sciences and Adaptation Measures: Water, Ecosystems, Landuse, Air Quality, Gender, Migration, Food, etc.. Applying (leading) institutions must be one of HUC’s Full Members and involve relevant expertise from research institutions in Switzerland. Click on the news to read more about the call
IAI Call for pre-proposals: The role of ecosystem services in adaptation to global change for human wellbeing
The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) opened a call for pre-proposals on the role of ecosystem services in adaptation to global change for human wellbeing. The IAI will fund international collaborative research networks for 2 years. Click on the news to read more about the call. Deadline for submission is 27.05.2018.
Join MIREN's global Trail Survey
MIREN (the Mountain Invasion Research Network) is calling on mountain scientists to join their global Trail Survey this summer! The aim is to study the spread of global plant invaders along mountain trails to figure out where and how fast these species are traveling.
Participation is easy: just walk a mountain trail and use your GPS or smartphone to submit observations of the plant species of interest.
Click on this news to get more information and contact MIREN if you are interested to participate: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mountain Futures Conference 2018: SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACT!
The second Mountain Futures Conference will take place in China’s Yunnan province, against the backdrop of the famous Hani rice terraces in Honghe and the rapidly growing city of Kunming. Abstract submission is still open until 23.03! Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to shape the future of the Mountain Futures Initiative and to share knowledge and ideas with a range of researchers and representatives from mountain regions around the world. For late comers, please contact the organizers: email@example.com!
New PhD position in soil ecology at Eurac Research
The research facility Eurac Research in Bozen/Bolzano is recruiting a PhD candidate in soil ecology. The project aims at assessing land-use effects (management practices, application of manure) on soil macro-invertebrates in the European Alps and at evaluating implications for ecosystem service provision. Deadline for application is 27.04.2018. Read more...
Certificate of Advanced Studies on Geomatics for a Sustainable Environment
The University of Geneva and GRID-Geneva are proud to announce the second edition of the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) called «Geomatics for a Sustainable Environment». This CAS aims at providing attendees with an overview of the various existing tools and approaches to tackle the multidisciplinary environmental challenges. The first module is a MOOC about ecosystem services, followed by a second module presenting different tools linked to Spatial Data Infrastructures, Web Mapping, statistics and programming, as well as specific thematic tools and approaches commonly used to address issues in biodiversity, ecosystem services or water resources.
From dried plants to Big Data at the botanical garden in Lausanne
Under the initiative and leadership of GMBA network member and University of Lausanne research associate Dr. Christophe Randin, 120,000 plants from the Canton de Vaud are currently being digitized at the botanical garden in Lausanne. A tremendous effort to make samples collected since 1800 available to the scientific community at large but also, and importantly, to the broader public, who will be able to query these data online by the end of the year. As the curator of the garden, Christophe has been preparing this gigantic project for several years, raising funds and awareness about the importance of such work.
(Article in French, more information directly from Christophe: firstname.lastname@example.org)
New application of the GMBA mountain inventory
GMBA Scientific Steering Committee member Walter Jetz (Yale University, Map of Life) and his PhD student Ignacio Quintero apply the GMBA mountain inventory to look at global elevational diversity and diversification of birds and show that a worldwide mid-elevation peak in bird richness is driven by wide-ranging species and disappears when using a subsampling procedure that ensures even species representation in space and facilitates evolutionary interpretation.
Job opportunity at SCNAT
Im Zeichen der Forschungsförderung und des Dialogs Wissenschaft–Politik engagieren sich die SCNAT und die Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (SAGW) im Bereich der Schutzgebiets- und Gebirgsforschung, der sich zukünftig thematisch um Fragen der Landschaftsentwicklung erweitern soll. Im Zentrum stehen Beiträge zur Koordination der Forschungsinstitutionen, zur internationalen Zusammenarbeit, zur Verbindung von Forschung und Praxis, zur Aufarbeitung des Stands des Wissens sowie zu dessen Vulgarisierung und Vermittlung in die Politik und interessierte Öffentlichkeit. Die SCNAT sucht per 1. September 2018 oder nach Vereinbarung eine/n wissenschaftlich ausgewiesene/n Leiter/in Schutzgebiets-, Gebirgs- und Landschaftsforschung (80-100%).
JBI Call for papers: The legacy of Humboldt: Exploring the links between geo- and biodiversity
This special issue that coincides with the 250th anniversary of Humboldt's birth, will review the current state of knowledge of biodiversity and geodiversity around the world, and draw lessons for biogeography from understanding linkages between biodiversity and geodiversity. Papers may present new data, reflect on the state of affairs, or review a particular geographic region. Extended abstracts are due by 31 March 2018, full papers by 30 November 2018.
Successful workshop on species distribution models and remote sensing
The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment, the ESA GlobDiversity consortium, and the bioDISCOVERY and Global Land Programme of Future Earth concluded a successful three-day workshop on the present and future of remote sensing for biodiversity monitoring and the modeling of species distributions.
Postdoc position on plant diversity and endemism in African Mountains
The Afromontane Research Unit at the University of the Free State, South Africa is advertising a Post-Doctoral Fellowship focusing on plant diversity & endemism in African mountains (with a particular focus on the Eastern Great Escarpment/Eastern Mountain Region), and related concepts around ecological and historical biogeography. Contact: Dr. Ralph Clark (ClarkVR@ufs.ac.za)
Guest Lectures on Remote Sensing and Biodiversity Assessment, University of Zurich, 05 & 07.02.2018
The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment, the ESA GlobDiversity consortium, and the bioDISCOVERY and Global Land Programme of Future Earth jointly organize a workshop on the use of remote sensing in biodiversity assessment, University of Zurich (Irchel campus), 05-09.02.2018.
All podium presentations delivered during the workshop are open to the public. The program on Monday will focus on the use of remote sensing for informing species distribution models and the program of Wednesday will focus on the use of remote sensing for informing essential biodiversity variables. Click on the news to get the flyer!
18 PhD positions in the Tree Diversity Interactions project
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and its partners in Germany and Chinar are jointly starting the new International Research Training Group TreeDì - Tree Diversity Interactions: The role of tree-tree interactions in local neighborhoods in Chinese subtropical forests (www.treedi.de). TreeDì offers 18 positions for doctoral researchers, 9 on the German and 9 on the Chinese side. These projects will be addressing synergistically how tree-tree interactions in local neighborhoods translate into tree species richness effects on ecosystem functions at the community scale.
Job opportunities at ICIMOD
The International Center for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu (ICIMOD) is looking for one Knowledge Management and Communication Officer (Chinese language), one administrative associate, and one Enterprise Resource Planning associate. Vacancies are announced on the ICIMOD website.
Mountain Research and Development Vol 37, No 4 available online
This focus issue on implications of out- and in-migration for sustainable development in mountains offers papers on asylum seekers, amenity migrants, young in-migrants, depopulation, the elderly, the structurally poor, and resettled migrants; they analyze social, environmental, and economic impacts of migration in mountains in Europe, Chile, Georgia, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Tibet, and Ethiopia. Further topics are vegetation, wildfire observation, and hydro-sociology.
MRD Call for papers: Adaptation to Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Mountains
Mountains and mountain communities are critically affected by climate change. Mountain Research and Development (MRD) is looking for papers that assess novel adaptation practices and present well-researched insights into implications of climate change relevant to adaptation. Synthesis papers comparing case studies are of particular interest, as MRD aims to contribute to the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report as well as to inform development policies. Extended abstracts are due by 19 January 2018, full papers by 15 August 2018.
Job opportunities at ICIMOD
The International Center for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu (ICIMOD) is looking for one Remote Sensing Specialist and one Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) Specialist (based in Afghanistan). Vacancies are announced on the ICIMOD website.
Short term postdoc position on forest microclimate at the Czech Academy of Sciences
The Department of GIS and Remote Sensing, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences (http://labgis.ibot.cas.cz/) seeks a postdoc to participate in a project on forest microclimate. Expect experience includes analyses of time-series and spatially correlated climatic data. Tender will be announced on Euraxess shortly. Duration: 6 month (starting April 2018); Required qualification: up to 7 years from PhD; at least 2 publications during the last 3 years. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sixth sDiv Call for Working Groups, Individual Postdocs and Sabbaticals
sDiv calls for working groups, postdocs and sabbaticals will be announced one to two times a year. The synthesis projects foster integrative and synthetic research collaborations among international scientists, iDiv core and member groups by analysing and synthesising existing knowledge, data, theories and hypotheses to produce new insights
Release of the new USGS Global Mountain Explorer
On 24.10.2017 USGS releases the Global Mountain Explorer developed in partnership with GMBA, the Center for Development and Environment, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), and ESRI. This tool was developed to provide a detailed view of the world's mountains according to the three most commonly used definitions of mountains. With this product, MRI, who led the effort, achieves the first objective of the Group on Earth Observations - Global Network for Observation and Information in Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME) work program. Read the full press release...
MRD Call for papers: Food security and sustainable development in mountains
Food security is a key concern for sustainable development in mountain areas. Mountain Research and Development is looking for papers that present validated insights into development solutions for reducing malnutrition and increasing food security for mountain people; that analyze food systems in mountains against the background of global trends and the need for conserving ecosystems; or that offer agendas for research or policymaking aimed at increasing the sustainability of food systems in mountains. Notices of intent are due by 15 November 2017, full papers by 28 February 2018.
Mountain Research and Development Vol 37, No 3 available online and open access
This Focus Issue assesses the role of mountain forests in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. After an Introductory Essay, papers cover gender issues in agroforestry (Ethiopia) and community forests (Nepal), small-scale mountain farm forestry (Austria), rubber and the rural economy (China), a throughfall-exclusion experiment (Bhutan), mountain forest resilience (India), Andean forest landscape research, US federal forest productivity, rangeland property rights (Bhutan), and urban spatial growth modelling (China).
Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment Mountain Portal V2.0
The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) and Map of Life (MOL) launch the Mountain Portal V2.0, now with more data and an improved user experience to the mountain biodiversity science community.
Natural Assets Definition Workshop Video
A video of the Future Earth Natural Assets Definition Workshop held in Bern, 12-13 September 2017 is now available online.
GMBA featured in the University of Bern UniPress magazine
UniPress, the academic magazine of the University of Bern, published today a reportage on GMBA. On two pages, Ivo Schmucki from the University of Bern corporate communication team discusses the importance of mountain biodiversity, the challenges to preserve it, and GMBA’s history, mission, goals, as well as past and current activities. Read the full reportage (German only)…
Natural Assets Definition Workshop
The first of a series of Future Earth Natural Assets Knowledge Action Network (KAN) workshops was held September 12-13, 2017, at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Read more...
GMBA wins PeGASuS grant
GMBA and PI Markus Fischer were awarded one of the five highly competitive one-year research grants of the Program for Early-stage Grants Advancing Sustainability Science (PEGASuS) jointly managed by Future Earth and Colorado State University's Global Biodiversity Center. PEGASuS seeks to bring together researchers from different scientific disciplines to explore areas critical to the health of humans and the planet.
The GMBA project entitled “Toward biodiversity-related opportunities for sustainable development: a global social-ecological mountain comparison” is a social-ecological research project that will compare mountain ranges all over the world to identify regionally adequate opportunities for sustainable development related to mountain biodiversity.
The 90 ways to describe plant temperature
In a recent publication in Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Christian Körner and Erika Hiltbrunner from the University of Basel remind us of the challenges of selecting the appropriate measure of temperature for an ecologically meaningful description of habitat conditions and for a mechanistic understanding of responses of plants. As the authors explain, the difficulty becomes even greater at elevations above the climatic tree limit, where plant stature, topography, and seasonal snow cover interact in producing temperature conditions that largely deviate from weather station records.
Mountain Research and Development Vol 37, No 2 available online and open access
Articles in MRD often relate to the climate change debate at the core of the IPCC process currently gearing up for the 6th Assessment Report. Two papers in this open issue offer contrasting positions: one is critical and advocates a stronger local perspective (on mismanagement of irrigation water and landslips in Pakistan), the other uses the global perspective to discover patterns (in a review of climate change impacts on ecosystem services). Other papers deal with maize diversity and poverty reduction in Guatemala, offer a new approach to assessing tap water recharge in Japan, present a method for measuring bark biomass in Nepal, and assess the habitat ecology of a profitable but endemic resource in Tibet.
Fresh out of the press: Plant diversity in the Central Great Caucasus: a quantitative assessment
This book co-edited by Christian Körner and Eva Spehn among others presents the first assessment of the high-elevation flora of the Central Caucasus with a community ecology emphasis. Following a geostatistical-climatological description of the region, it describes the montane, alpine and nival plant assemblages on the basis of an ecological approach that combines moisture, soils, and local habitat peculiarities. The book offers a unique guide to the plant species diversity of this mountain range, and a valuable resource for comparative ecology and biodiversity assessments of warm temperate mountain systems.
Effects of Alpine land-use changes: Soil macrofauna community revisited
In this study Steinwandter and colleagues take a look at soil invertebrates and at their community composition in managed and abandoned alpine pasturelands in Austria, 14 years after a first assessment. Results show clear shifts and increased diversity after abandonment and contribute to improving the currently limited understanding of spatio-temporal biodiversity patterns of Alpine soil communities.
New Certificate of Advanced Studies on Geomatics for a Sustainable Environment
As part of its continuing education program, the University of Geneva proposes a new Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) called «Geomatics for a Sustainable Environment» in English. The instructor-led teachings will take place as a Geneva summer school from 4 to 15 September 2017. Several tools, thematics and hands-on exercises covering GIS, Remote Sensing, Spatial Data Infrastructures, Geoprocessing, Geostatistics, Species Distribution Modeling, Soil and Water Assessment as well as Ecosystem Services Assessment will be presented, giving attendees an expertise or consolidated knowledge in geomatics and environmental fields.
Emblematic alpine plants: Towards a better understanding of their fundamental climatic requirements
A study is being carried out by the University of Lausanne on the conservation of alpine plants in botanic gardens. If you have alpine plants in your collection and would be interested in collaborating in the study, join in!
Long- term monitoring of tropical alpine habitat change, Andean anurans, and chytrid fungus in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru: Results from a decade of study
In this study, Seimon and co-authors report results from over an decade of monitoring of three anuran species in the Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru, their habitat, and their Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) infection status. Despite the rapid and dynamic changes in habitat under a warming climate, continued presence of Bd in the environment for over a decade, and a reduction in one of three anuran species, Seimon et al. document that these anurans continue to breed and survive in this high Andean environment. The publication is available in open access.
Alpandino - Free online course on the principles of alpine plant ecology and treeline ecology
Alpandino (https://www.alpandino.org) is an e-learning course on alpine ecology developed by the University of Basel. The course contains lectures on various aspects of alpine ecology, including climate, microclimate, water issues, and soils, and also offers a photo-excursion to alpine habitats and treeline locations around the globe.
This course is a great entry point for a diverse audience, ranging from alpine zoologists and microbiologists to conservation experts and nature reserve managers. It serves also as an ideal preparation for field excursions or field weeks with students.
The course is available in English and Spanish.