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Martin H. Gerzabek

Martin H. Gerzabek

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences


Martin H. Gerzabek was born on the 9th June 1961 in Vienna, Austria. He graduated at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Universität für Bodenkultur, “BOKU”) with his master thesis “Aluminium toxicity to Zea mays, influence of aluminium on growth and nutrient status” and Doctor thesis “The plant availability of magnesium”. He was appointed lecturer at BOKU for Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems in 1990, associate Professor at the Institute for Soil Research in 1993 and full Professor for “environmental toxicology and isotopic methods” in 2001. From 2003 to 2010 he was Vice President of Research, since 2009 he is rector of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU). BOKU is the only university in Austria focusing on agriculture, forestry, food- and biotechnology, landscape planning, hydrology and civil engineering – in this combination. BOKU ranks 35 in the QS world university ranking by subject 2017 (agriculture and forestry) and 6 in the world green metric university ranking. BOKU has ~ 13.000 students, 2550 staff and delivers 2300 publications per year (810 per year in SCI journals). 660 projects are ongoing – more than one fourth in cooperation with the private sector. During the first 15 years of his career, Martin has focussed mainly on radioecology. He has published numerous papers concerning the impact of the Chernobyl fallout in Austria with specific emphasis on sensitive ecosystems like forests and Alpine pastures. He contributed to the development of a large radioecological computer model to assess the ingestion dose response of the Austrian population. As radioecologist Gerzabek gained significant international recognition. Already from the very beginning in 1984 he has dealt additionally with soil organic matter research. He applied numerous methods of SOM characterization, like stable isotope techniques, FT-IR, humic substances characterizations after extraction and took an important part in developing a very well known method of gaining stable micro-aggregates, which are important for medium-to-long-term SOM stabilization. He specifically has focussed on long-term experiments and published a large number of papers concerning SOM characteristics, stabilization mechanisms and dynamics and the importance of soil microbes in humification and stabilization processes. More recently he focussed on chronosequence studies in the Danube floodplain, which allowed to quantify the soil organic matter accumulation with proceeding soil development. One of the respective papers was described as research highlight in nature.

Research Interest

agriculture, forestry, food- and biotechnology, landscape planning, hydrology