Welcome to the Environment and Climate Research Hub!

Climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution are highly complex global challenges and require integrated and interdisciplinary collaboration. We are facing a triple global crisis that threatens our future. Solutions for these problems are urgently needed - and they lie in front of us: science and research are key enablers in displaying the interconnectedness of multiple crises and together highlight that tackling each crisis needs to be done from all angles and disciplines. To meet these challenges, the "Environment and Climate Research Hub" (ECH) bridges faculties and centres, considering disciplinary anchoring and existing high-class track records, to promote excellent research in the field of environment and climate.

The ECH delivers the versatile knowledge and understanding that is necessary to secure our common future.

We are motivated to deliver scientific research that contributes to the protection of our climate and environment. We work jointly in excellent cross-disciplinary teams beyond the border of each discipline on research ideas and collaborations.

© Barbara Mair/ECH

We focus on training, education and excellent qualification of our members. We constantly develop our knowledge and competencies further to develop innovative concepts and approaches for solutions in the areas of environment and climate.

© Barbara Mair/ECH

At the University of Vienna, one of the biggest and most renowned in Europe, we want to advance environmental research for society. We use the strength of networking excellent expertise of individual disciplines in our research hub.

© Markus Korenjak

We want to shape society – as an education institution, a hub and a partner for dialogue. For this reason, we educate students and early career scientists and enter active dialogues with civil society and decision-makers in government and society.

© Barbara Mair/ECH


12 million tonnes of plastic go into agriculture each year, some straight into the soil. With reference to the recent publication "Plastics can be used more sustainably in agriculture" by Thilo Hofmann and others, the question is: can we loosen plastic’s grip on farming?

Recent research uncovers the resilience of certain soil microorganisms in the face of increasing drought conditions. While many bacteria become inactive during dry spells, specific groups persist and even thrive. This study, conducted by the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science (CeMESS) at the University of Vienna, offers ground-breaking insights into bacterial activity during...

"Disruptive Innovation - Early Career Seed Money" is a joint funding programme of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) to facilitate the implementation of unconventional, innovative and maybe even very risky ideas of an uncertain outcome. Funding will be interdisciplinary and across thematic areas, with seed money being made available as flexible grants that...

It is impossible to imagine modern agriculture without plastics. 12 million tonnes are used every year. But what about the consequences for the environment? An international team of authors including ECH directors Sabine Pahl and Thilo Hofmann addresses this question in a recent study in Nature Communication Earth and Environment.

This year, the Wiener Klimateam of the City of Vienna started its 2nd round. For the districts of Mariahilf, Währing and Floridsdorf, all Viennese were called upon to contribute their ideas for climate protection. ECH co-director Thilo Hofmann has been selected for the citizens jury which will decide which projects are to be implemented by the City of Vienna.

Fungi carried by humans can cause great damage to our ecosystems. Biodiversity researchers Anna Schertler and Franz Essl are investigating the biological invasion of parasitic fungi in order to better assess their distribution pathways in the future.