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


Animal and plant species introduced by humans displace native species, are responsible for crop failures in agriculture and forestry, and transmit diseases. An international research team with the participation of ECH member Franz Essl has now, for the first time, compared the costs of damage caused by invasive species with those of natural disasters.

Despite its negative effects, plastic is currently indispensable for agriculture. In this guest article, environmental geoscientist Thilo Hofmann explains how it could be avoided.

In the Kaiserschild Lectures 2023, scientists will discuss the topic of "Biodiversity in the City" and analyze the compatibility of species protection and urban development with practitioners.

Petra Pjevac, Holger Daims, Michael Wagner from the University of Vienna are researching how microbes function and interact. They could be the key to a "nitrogen revolution": a new solution to curb dangerous nitrogen losses in agriculture and feed the growing world population - without harming the planet.

Plants are the most basic energy currency for our ecosystem, says systems biologist and ECH member Wolfram Weckwerth. They have enormous potential to counter the food, energy and climate crisis. Humans should intervene in a regulating way, not destroy, but preserve.

Biodiversity researcher Franz Essl from the University of Vienna is Austria's Scientist of the Year 2022. The award recognizes above all the ability of researchers to communicate scientific content in an understandable way. In an interview, the biologist explains how this can work in the face of the acute issues of climate crisis and species extinction.