Georg Grabherr was born on 30 April 1946 in Bregenz. His interest in nature started early and was encouraged by his family and even more so at boarding school during his training as a primary school teacher. He then studied biology and earth sciences at the University of Innsbruck, finishing with a summa cum laude grade doctorate. In Innsbruck he pioneered the research into the dynamics of alpine ecosystems and the knowledge of alpine vegetation types. He was the first to point out the great importance of clonality in original alpine meadows as well as their great age. To this day, the effects of climate change on the alpine low temperature limits are among his main themes. The GLORIA project, which he initiated and coordinated, is a leading monitoring project. Studies on the hemeroby of Austrian forests and the first complete mountain inventory of biotopes that should be protected made Grabherr an internationally sought expert. He knows how to combine the position of a top scientist with practical conservation work. In 2011 Georg Grabherr was awarded the Austrian Conservation Prize. In 2013 he received the Republic of Austria’s Cross of Honour, First Class, the ‘Vorarlberger Wissenschaftspreis’ and was voted ‘Austrian Scientist of the Year 2012’ by the club of Austrian journalists specializing in education and science.
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