I am a trained anthropologist and post-doctoral researcher/lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria, where I work in a research team on "Environments, Mobilities, Technologies" with Peter Schweitzer. As a founding member of the new Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI), and spokesperson of the Regional Group Circumpolar and Siberian Studies of the German Association of Anthropologists (DGV), I am actively promoting Arctic social sciences in non-Arctic countries. Serving on the IASSA Council means that not only represent scholars from these regions, but also to foster scientific collaboration among newly emerging research groups and established scholars and centers. Furthermore, I am active in the University of the Arctic's Extractive Industry Working Group and the Pan-Arctic Ph.D program on extractive industries.
Apart from my research with indigenous communities, I consider it critical to give more attention to non-indigenous residents of the Arctic. For the last five years, I was leading the research group "Lives on the move" focused on fly-in/fly-out petroleum workers in the Russian Far North at the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna and the ISR at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The key themes that interest me in the Arctic social sciences are mobility and multi-local livelihoods in the context of the extractive industries and - more broadly speaking - the material world. In this realm my approach is oriented toward the cross-cutting issues of politics, gender and power.
As part of my research, I am interested in exploring opportunities for community based research. I am a proponent of combining applied research and theory building in the Arctic social sciences. This endeavor is reflected in the new three years ReSDA research project in the Yukon "LACE-Labour Mobility and Community Participation in the Extractive Industries" where PhD student Susanna Gartler and I are studying with community based methodology the relation of working in mines and susistence activities.