News Archive


1st November 2023

COST Plant Metals Logo


The Soil Science unit is part of the COST Action PLANTMETALS and in an effort to disseminate knowledge, a vulgarisation video was produced about the importance of trace elements in soils & plants and showcase which laboratory methods are used to analyse these trace elements. This 10 min videos is very helpful to understand some of the research conducted in the Soil Science Unit. Also, you will find some footage from the cLAB featuring our own Ms. Andrea Weber and Dr. Lorenz Gfeller at about 5:00 in the video.


28./29. Oktober 2023

Cover zum Science Film Festival 2023

5th Global Science Filmfestival in Bern

In collaboration with the Swiss Science Film Academy, the mLAB presents the 5th Global Science Film Festival.

World politics and science meet on the big screen. The festival will show international feature films, documentaries and short films that link social developments with current scientific debates. Following the film screenings, the topics will be explored in depth in moderated discussions between the audience, filmmakers and researchers.

Click here for the whole programme

27 October 2023


Phosphorous – too much in lakes, too little in the soil

Over-fertilised waterways, impoverished soils: the use of phosphorous in agriculture is creating a dilemma, and it all began thousands of years ago. This has been verified by an analysis funded by the SNSF. An international team led by Martin Grosjean has now made a reconstruction of how much phosphorous around the world has been washed from soils into lakes and stored there over the last few thousand years. Data from 108 lakes around the world enabled the researchers to make a global pojection of phosphorous entry into lakes for the first time.

1st October 2023

Prof. Dr. Christine Eriksen und Prof. Dr. Viginia Ruiz-Villanueva

Two new professors at GIUB

Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva has been recently appointed as an Assistant Professor Tenure Track in Geomorphology and Natural Hazards in August 2023. Virginia is a fluvial geomorphologist, and she has worked extensively on analyzing natural hazards and cascade processes in mountain areas, emphasizing flood dynamics, hillslope-channel coupling, and the feedback and interactions between flow-sediment-vegetation. Before joining GIUB, Virginia was part of the Geosciences and Environment Faculty at the University of Lausanne as a SNSF Eccellenza Professor, where she still has part of her team. In her work, Virginia combines a field approach with remote sensing, and numerical modelling. Her work aims at developing new methods for monitoring and modeling fluvial processes, helping design effective management strategies, and informing sustainable environmental policies.

Christine Eriksen is heading up a new Geographies of Disasters group at GIUB as part of her SNSF Consolidator Grant, “Building Wildfire Resilient Communities in Europe (FiRES)”. A human geographer by training, Christine worked at the University of Wollongong, Australia and the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zürich before joining GIUB in August 2023. Her widely published and award-winning research has for the past two decades examined how people’s capacity to cope with wildfires are shaped by local knowledge, cultural norms, political agendas, land use and climatic changes.

13 - 15 September 2023

Teilnehmende aus 14 verschiedenen Ländern

Successful IGU CDES Conference in Bern

From September 13 to 15, 2023, we hosted the IGU CDES conference entitled «Rethinking the Economic Geography of Smaller Urban Places: Transformation and Well-Being in Small and Medium-Sized Towns». 45 participants from 14 different countries in the Global North and South came to Bern to discuss their latest research. The conference took place in Bern and in Biel/Bienne, where we held sessions in the Volkshaus and undertook a field trip to places like Terrain Gurzelen and the Swiss Innovation Park.

The Unit Economic Geography thanks our co-organizers from the Anton Melik Geographical Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Eva Kiss, IGU CDES president & economic geographer at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

(Conference webpage)

12 May 2023

Heino Tooming Award 2023 for Jérôme Kopp

Jérôme Kopp (Climate Impact Research Group) has received the Heino Tooming Award 2023 by the ‹European Severe Storms Laboratory› (ESSL) for his work ‹Unique observational data from an automatic hail sensor network in Switzerland›. Congratulations!

8 March 2023


GIUB celebrates International Women`s Day

Since about 10 years, the GIUB celebrates International Women`s Day with a soup lunch and inputs related to topics such as equal opportunities, gender and diversity. This year, the overarching theme was “GIUB strikes”. Dr. Simona Isler from the Gosteli Foundation provided very interesting insights on the history of the women strike, which took place in 1991 for the first time and in 2019 for the second time.

International Women’s Day Soup Lunch (PDF, 368KB)