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Commission of Mountain Studies' Steering Committee


  • Chair: Fausto O. Sarmiento, Ph.D.

Full Professor.  Director, Neotropical Montology Collaboratory. Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.  UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ECUADOR

Research topics: socioecological mountain ecosystems, mountainscape transformation and dynamics of land cover/land use, biocultural diversity conservation, critical biogeography and political ecology of microrefugia in neotropical mountains. E-mail:

  • Vice Chair: Alexey Gunya, Ph.D.

Full Professor.  Department of Physical Geography. Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, RUSSIA.

Research topics: Land use change, mountain development, landscape ecology, sustainable development, society and environment, governance, political ecology.  E-mail:

  • Co-Vice Chair: Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, Ph.D.

Full Professor. Department of Physical Geography. Institute of Geography, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), MEXICO

Research topics: integrated disaster risk research, disaster risk reduction and management, mountain governance, mass movement processes, risk perception and risk communication.  E-mail:

  • Secretary and website node: Pankaj Kumar, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor.  Dept. of Geography
Delhi School of Economics. University of Delhi.  Delhi-110017, INDIA

Research Topics: Mountain Geography, Hazard and Disaster, Snow Cover Dynamics , Remote Sensing and GIS, Soil and Water Assessment.  E-mail:

  • Social media communications: Neslihan Dal, Ph.D.

Mountain Geographer. Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, TÜRKIYE

Research Topics: Mountain geomorphometry, Landform classification, Mountain in climate, Geospatial ontology and GIS, Turkish mountain regions. E-mail:



  • Marten Geertsema, Ph.D., Pag, Pgeo

Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations / Adjunct Professor. Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. University of Northern British Columbia, CANADA

Research topics: natural hazards and terrain analysis; influence of landslides on biophysical diversity; effects of climate change on natural hazards, and studies past and present hazard regimes.   E-mail:

  • Matthias Schmidt, Ph.D.

Professor Doctor. Institute of Geography. University of Augsburg, GERMANY

Research topics: Natural resource management, political ecology and environmental planning, mountain geography, landscape transformation, regional specialization in central and South Asian mountains.  E-mail:

  • Bob Nakileza, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer. Department of Environmental Management, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. Makerere University, Kampala, UGANDA

Research Topics:  Mountain hydrology, glacial recession, orographic precipitation, climate change.  Email:

  • Sean Fitzsimons, Ph.D.

School of Geography/ Te Ihowhenua. University of Otago/ Te Whare Wananga o Otago.  PO Box 56 , Dunedin.  Te Wai Pounamu, NEW ZEALAND

Research topics:  Mountain geomorphology. Otageo geodynamics, GeoParks, Mountain conservation. E-mail: 

  • Sebastién Boillat, Ph.D.

Research Associate. Sustainable Land Management. Institute of Geography. University of Bern, SWITZERLAND

Research topics:   Environmental management, BioCultural Conservation, Sustainable development, sustainability science, environmental impact assessment, mountain perceptions, spatial analyses.   E-mail:

  • Dunlian Qiu, Ph.D.

Professor. Institute of Mountain Hazards and the Environment. Executive Editor in Chief, Journal of Mountain Science, Chinese Academy of Science, Chengdun, CHINA

Research topics: Science communication, mountain studies, hazards and risk assessment.  Mountain Partnership focal point.  Capacity development, science publications and mountain promotions.  E-mail:

  • Suneetha Subramanian, Ph.D.

Research associate. Institute for Global Environmental Sustainability, University of the United Nations, INDIA

Research topics: Transdisciplinary research. Complex systems and resilience.  Socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes.  Benefits of Nature to People. E-mail:

  • Tomás Ibarra, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor. Center UC of local development, education and intercultural studies. Center of Intercultural and Indigenous Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Villarrica, CHILE

Research topics: Transdisciplinary approaches and mix methods for complex adagtive systems, mainly forests, agroforestry, mountains and small-scale agricultural practices.  Taxonomic and functional biodiversity in socioecological systems. Ecological resilience and sustainability of southern Andean highlands. E-mail:

  • Rachid Cheddadi, Ph.D

Doctor. Institute of Evolutionary Sciences (ISEM), CNRS, University of Montpellier, FRANCE

Research Topics:  past environmental change on tree species’ distributions ine Europe and the Mediterranean from the last glacial period and the Holocene. Fossil records to identify glacial refugia and adaptations to Holocene ranges, speed of migration and perspective scenarios over the next century.  E-mail:

  • Lynn Resler, Ph.D.

Professor of Geography. Department of Geography. Virginia Tech, Charleston, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Research Topics: Ecological biogeography, Coupled biogeographic-geomorphic systems, Mountain ecotones, especially alpine treelines, Invasive species, foundation and keystone species, Field experiences. E-mail:

  • Kenichi Ueno, Ph.D.

Associate Professor. Climatology and Meteorology. Faculty of Life and Environmental Science. University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, JAPAN

Research Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, bi­odiversity protection, orographic rainfall, mountain ecosystems.   E-mail:

  • María José Vizcaíno, M.Sc.

Technical Secretary, former director. Pan American Institute of Geography and History (IPGH). Quito, ECUADOR / MEXICO

Research Topics:  Andean geography, rural landscape dynamics, biodiversity conservation, environmental planning, governance, resource management, mountain sustainable development.  E-­­­­mail:

  • Andreas Haller, Ph.D.

Research Associate. Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research. Austrian Academy of Science. Technikerstrasse 21ª.  6020 Innsbruck, AUSTRIA /PERU

Research Topics:  Human Mountain Geography, Socioecological System, Urban and Periurban dynamics in mountain rural systems.  Environmental services.  E-mail:

  • Anand Malik, Ph.D.

Associate Professor. Department of Geography. SSN College. University of Delhi. Alipur, New Delhi- 110036.  INDIA

Research Topics: slope hazards, process based dynamic modeling: run out modeling of snow avalanche, debris flows and landslides. Flood modeling. Risk and vulnerability assessment. Quantitative geomorphology. Visualization techniques. Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing. Email: 

  • Barbaros Gönençgil, PhD.

Full Professor of Geography.  Head, Department of Geography, Istanbul, University. TÜRKIYE.

Research Topics: Mountains in climate. Long-term trends of climate change in Turkey. Temperature-driven dynamics of Turkish mountain regions. E-mail:



Prof. Dr. Jack D. Ives, emeritus, Carleton University, Canada.

Prof. Dr. Axel Borsdorf, emeritus, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Interdisciplnary Mountain Research, Austria.

Prof. Dr. Yuri Badenkov, emeritus, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography, Russia

Prof. Dr. Christoph Stadel, emeritus, University of Salzburg, Austria.