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GEO Mountains Co-Lead
Mountain Research Initiative

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About

Carolina Adler, a dual national from Chile and Australia, is an Environmental Scientist and Geographer by background, with an international career spanning over 20 years in both research and practice in the public and private sectors. As the current Executive Director of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), she is tasked with overseeing the work of the MRI Coordination Office, as well as connecting, coordinating, and promoting global change research agendas and supporting regional and thematic networked collaborations in mountains worldwide.

Carolina Adler obtained her PhD at Monash University (Australia) in 2010, focusing on climate change adaptation and relevant policy processes for sustainable development in mountain regions, receiving the Harold D Lasswell Prize in 2010 for best thesis. Over the years, she has actively engaged with and contributed to numerous international networks and programs, such as the Society of Policy Scientists, the International Social Sciences Council and International Council for Science, now merged to form the International Science Council, as well as Future Earth through core projects such as the Earth Systems Governance Project. She is a current Lead Author for the High Mountains chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), due in September 2019, as well as Lead Author for the IPCC Working Group II on Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation and Co-Lead for the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). She is also Research Associate at the Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab), at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, conducting research on the transferability and uptake of knowledge stemming from inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations. Following a passion for mountaineering, she shares her environmental expertise as delegate to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (Union International des Associations d'Alpinisme - UIAA) Mountain Protection Commission, later in 2016 assuming the role of President. When not at her work desk, Carolina Adler is most likely to be found enjoying the great outdoors in the mountains.

Research Interests

Keywords: Social-Ecological Systems, Climate Change; Governance; Risk & Decision-Making; Evidence; Science-Policy Interface; Global Assessments; Monitoring & Evaluation; Transdisciplinary Research; Mountains.

Carolina Adler focuses on research activities related to the assessment and evaluation of inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations on questions related to sustainable development in mountains, as well as the use of scientific evidence in regional and global assessment efforts and uptake in policy and decision-making contexts.

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GEO Mountains Co-Lead
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, CNR

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Born in 1978 in Rimini, Elisa Palazzi received her Laurea degree in Physics in 2003 and her PhD in Atmospheric Physics with a focus on Physical Modelling for Environmental Protection in 2008, both from the University of Bologna.

She works as a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISAC) and as Professor at the University of Turin, where she has been teaching Physics of Climate since 2013.

Elisa is co-coordinator of the Collaborative Programme 'Changes in the Hydrological Cycle' of the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA) since 2015 and co-lead of GEO Mountains initiative with the Mountain Research Initiative. She is the reference person for Italy for the Collaborative Research Action 'Mountains as Sentinels of Change' of the Belmont Forum.

She has significant experience in science popularization addressed to students and to the general public through laboratory activities, seminars, and public conferences. She is co-author of an Italian book for children on climate and climate change entitled 'Perchè la Terra ha la Febbre?' ('Why Does the Earth Have a Fever?'), published in 2019.

Research Interests

Keywords: Mountain ecosystems, climate change, EDW, climate extremes, climate models, uncertainties, downscaling

Elisa works on the study of the climate system and Earth-System processes, with a special focus on the current and future evolution of the water cycle in mountain regions, in particular in the Italian Alps and in the Karakoram-Himalayas in Asia. Her research interests include the study of precipitation, snow, water resources and of elevation-dependent warming. The main objective of her studies is to understand how the mountain ecosystems might change under different climate change scenarios and what the consequences for downstream societies could be. Her activities are performed in collaboration with hydrological, impact, and assessment modellers, and within several national and international initiatives, including EU projects under the H2020 programme.

GEO Mountains Scientific Project Officer
Mountain Research Initiative

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James joined the Mountain Research Initiative in 2020 upon completion of his PhD in hydrogeology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. His doctoral research focussed on the interdisciplinary, physics-based numerical modelling of hydrological processes in complex Alpine terrain, and involved a wide range of datasets and computational tools.

Prior to that, James worked in the reinsurance sector, where he was responsible for leading the development of natural catastrophe models in order to quantify the risks associated with extreme events such as floods and tropical cyclones.

He is currently responsible for the coordination and implementation of GEO Mountains; a Initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) seeking to increase the availability and accessibility of a wide range of data pertaining to mountainous regions to benefit human societies and ecosystems globally.  

Research Focus

Keywords: Alpine hydrology; climate change; numerical modelling; 3D geological modelling; snow hydrology; inverse methods

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Technical Assistant (GEO Mountains)
Mountain Research Initiative

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Lia Franchini is a technical assistant at the Mountain Research Initiative and, at the same time, she is finishing her master’s degree in Geography at the University of Lausanne. She is currently working on a project for GEO Mountains, with the aim of increasing data discoverability, accessibility and usability in mountain regions. She is responsible for the creation and growth of the General Inventory.

Originally from Ticino (Switzerland), she moved to Lausanne to undergo her academic studies. She is writing her master thesis on the hydrology of a rock glacier in the Valais Alps. The goal is to understand how the hydrology of a rock glacier works.

Keywords: Permafrost, Hydrology, Alps, Climate Change, Alpine Hydrology. 

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