MRI News

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AfroMont, an online knowledge-sharing platform, was initiated in 2007 by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) in Switzerland to focus attention on the diverse issues and challenges facing the mountainous regions of Africa. The specific aim of Afromont is to showcase experiences from research, field projects and best practice in sustainable mountain development and climate change adaptation in African countries, which may be useful or implemented in other countries in the continent.  

A new thrust for 2018 will be to engage with African media to support the investigative reporting of a wide range of climate change, social, ecological and sustainable development issues in Africa as they relate to mountains.

AfroMont now has a Facebook page, see

Photo credit: December in the Central Berg area of the Drakensberg, South Africa (SJ Taylor)

Read more: Africa - February 2018

2018 publ waterfallThis article published in Ecohydrology identifies key knowledge gaps on vegetation distribution, functional traits, and ecohydrological processes and feedbacks in tropical montane ecosystems. 

Montane ecosystems are known for their high numbers of endemic species, unique climate conditions, and wide variety of ecosystem services such as water supply and carbon storage. Although many ecohydrological and climatic studies of montane environments have been carried out in temperate and boreal regions, few have been done in Neotropical regions. Hence, the objective of this review is to synthesize the existing literature on the main factors (biotic and abiotic) that influence vegetation distribution, functional traits, and ecohydrological processes and feedbacks in tropical montane ecosystems and to identify key knowledge gaps. Most of the literature used includes work conducted in Neotropical montane rainforests, cloud forests, and grass/scrublands (e.g., páramos, punas, and campos de altitude/rupestres).

Read more: New Publication | Ecohydrological drivers of Neotropical vegetation in montane ecosystems

2018 publ rainforest

This article published in Ecohydrology highlights the importance of studying ecohydrological in tropical systems. 

Tropical ecosystems offer a unique setting for understanding ecohydrological processes, but to date, such investigations have been limited. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of studying these processes—specifically, how they are being affected by the transformative changes taking place in the tropics—and to offer an agenda for future research.

Read more: New Publication | Advancing ecohydrology in the changing tropics: Perspectives from early career...

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A new award seeks to promote the work of early-career researchers into mountain areas and cryospheric processes. 

The Complutense University of Madrid's research group Physical Geography in High Mountains and the Guadarrama Monitoring Network have opened a call for applicants for the 'Young Researcher Innovation Award in Cryosphere Science and Mountain Areas.' 

Read more: Young Researcher Innovation Award: Cryosphere Science and Mountain Areas

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Taking place in Zurich in April this year, Swiss Polar Day is an opportunity for researchers to learn about current developments in international polar sciences, help define new priorities for Swiss polar research, and network with polar scientists.

On 4 April, the Swiss scientific community will come together at the ETH Zurich to listen to international keynote speakers active in the Arctic, Antarctic, and high-altitude regions. 

Read more: Swiss Polar Day 2018

clouds 1850045 640 smallThe Journal of Alpine Research has issued a call for papers looking at the responses of social actors to the various challenges faced by mountains today.

Proposed articles should make explicit reference to mountain territories as category or context, and proposals focusing on social innovations meeting needs specific to the inhabitants of mountain territories are of particular interest. Contributions bearing on examples located in mountain territories are also welcome. 

Read more: Call for Papers | Mountains in Crisis: What Responses by Social Innovation?

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Two grant programmes for early-career researchers wishing to attend the 2018 World Social Science Forum have been announced.

The World Social Science Forum (WSSF) aims to provide a platform for researchers, funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to debate topics of global significance and to determine future priorities for international social science. Under the theme 'Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures,' this year the WSSF will take place 25-28 September in Fukuoka, Japan.

Read more: WSSF Announces Grant Programmes for Early-Career Researchers