PhD student

Maria Vorkauf
Totengässlein 3
4051 Basel

Phone: +41 (0) 61 207 35 06





Research Interest

Alpine Plant Ecology
Physiological Plant Ecology
Snow cover
Summer drought
Climate change


Alpine grassland provides many important ecosystem services such as erosion control or forage production. In an alpine snow cover manipulation experiment combined with simulated summer drought I investigate the reaction of alpine grassland and the provided ecosystem services to a change in snowmelt dates and summer precipitation. I assess changes in plant phenology, biomass production and biodiversity as well as in nutrient cycles on the ecosystem level. In addition I explore the socio-economic impact of snow cover duration for the currently expanding Ski Arena Andermatt Sedrun.


08/2016 – ongoing: PhD Student in the Sustainable Land Use group, University of Basel, Switzerland
09/2012 – 09/2015: M.Sc. in Environmental Science, Major in Forest and Landscape Management, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Thesis title: “Modeling the influence of moulins and temperate firn on the vertical temperature profile of the Greenland Ice Sheet”.
09/2009 – 02/2014: B.Sc. in Environmental Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland