o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dipl. Sc. Nat. Mathias Walter ROTACH

Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences (ACINN)
University of Innsbruck
Innrain 52f
6020 Innsbruck

Tel: +43-512-507-54452
E-mail: mathias.rotach(at)uibk.ac.at 


Professional Appointments

2011         Head of Institute for Meteorology and Geophysics. As of May 6, 2015 the name of the institute has changed to
                  become Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences.

2010         University of Innsbruck, full Professor for Dynamic Meteorology

2008         Swiss Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology Head Bio and Environmental Meteorology

2003         Swiss Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology: Head Research and Development

2002–03  Visiting Scientist at NCAR (National Centre for Atmospheric Research), Mesoscale and Microscale
                  Meteorology (MMM), Boulder CO (August to August).

2001         Visiting Professor, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, F, (June)/July.

2001–03  Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETHZ (new institute – merger from former ‘Climate Research’
                  and ‘Atmospheric Science’ institutes), Head of Boundary Layer Group, various research projects, supervision
                  of Ph.D. students and teaching activities

2000         Visiting Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Richland WA, July to August.

1999–01  Institute for Climate Research ETHZ (new institute name), Head of Boundary Layer Group, various research
                  projects, supervision of Ph.D. students and teaching activities

1996–99  Head of Boundary-Layer Group, various research projects, supervision of Ph.D. students and teaching activities

1994–95  Research Associate, ETHZ, Research project: Regional Climate Modeling in the framework of NFP 31/CLEAR.
                  Nesting of a mesoscale model (RegCM2) into global fields. Analysis of 'double CO2-scenarios'.

1993         Postdoctoral position at ETHZ: 'Lagrangian modeling of air pollutants in urban areas’ (ETH Project).

1992         Postdoctoral position at Risø National Laboratory, Denmark, Department of Meteorology and Wind Energy.
                  Project: 'Modellierung des Schadstoff-Transports in einer städtischen Umgebung', SNF fellowship.

1990/91   Participant of the ETH Greenland Expedition (5 months in total, of which 1 month as station manager).

1985         Research assistant and Ph.D. student with Prof. Ohmura. Topic: 'Turbulence structure over an urban surface'
                  (within the framework of the 'Zürich Urban Climate Program').

Grants held   

1992–2020: Grants held amounting to € 8’647’663.-, of which €3’463’628.- as PI.

Research related Professional Activities

Member of the ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Sciences)  Commission on Climate and Air Quality , 4/2019–3/2023

Member, KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) Advisory Board ‘Earth and Environment’. 2019–

Member of the Board of the Austrian Meteorological Society, 2017–

Member of the Senate, University of Innsbruck for the term 2016–2020

Speaker, Research Center ‘Climate: Cryosphere and Atmosphere’, University of Innsbruck, 2016–

Corresponding Member, Austrian Academy of Sciences, since April 2015

Member, Intl Commission on Dynamical Meteorology of IAMAS (International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science), 2015–

Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Helmholz Programme ‘Atmosphere and Climate‘, since Dec 2013–18.

Member, Austrian National IUGG Commission, IAMAS Correspondent, since fall 2012

Member, HPC Board, Research Platform on High Performance Computing, University of Innsbruck, since summer 2012

Member, International Advisory Board DRIHM (Distributed Research Infrastructure for Hydrometeorology, EU FP7), since summer 2011

Member, Scientific Advisory Board of the German Weather Service (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat des Deutschen Wetterdienstes), since summer 2011, deputy chairman 2015–

Chairman, Fakultätsbeirat Fakultät für Geo- und Atmosphärenwissenschaften (chairman, advisory Board, School for Geo and Atmospheric Sciences), March 2011–Feb 2014

Member, Program Council Hans-Ertel Centre for Weather related Research, since May 2010, co-chairman 2015–

Member, working group on Mesoscale Weather Forecasting, World Weather Research Programme (WWRP), 2007–2015.

Member, COST Domain Committee ESSEM (Earth System Science and Environmental Management): 2006–2008.

Member, Global Atmosphere Watch – Switzerland: Grant review organization and attribution committee 2006:

Chairman, International Steering Committee MAP D-PHASE (Forecast Demonstration Project of World Weather Research Programme): 2007–2013

Member, International Scientific Steering Committee, COPS (Convective Orographic Precipitation Study): 2006–2012

Member, Editorial Board Boundary-Layer Meteorology, since summer 2004

Chairman, Steering Committee COSMO (Consortium on Small Scale numerical Modeling) 2005-2008 (member 2003–2008)

Representative of MeteoSwiss, IKAR-GMES, 2003–2005

Member, AMS Committee on Mountain Meteorology, for the term 2002–2005

Member Management Committee, COST 715 (Meteorology Applied to Urban air Pollution Problems)

Member, MAP Steering Committee (MSC), Mesoscale Alpine Programme (chairman working group on Planetary Boundary Layers)

Member, Scientific Committee Leonhard Euler Centre (Swiss Pilot Centre of ERCOFTAC)

Member, scientific steering committee TRAPOS (Optimisation of modelling methods for TRAffic POllution in Streets): 1997–2001

Member, scientific steering committee BAT (Biosphere-Atmosphere-Transfer): EUROTRAC-II project, 1996–2000


Supervision of Diploma (DA), MSc and Ph.D. theses

> Ph.D. 27 (ongoing and completed) as main (or co-) supervisor,  26 as external reviewer

> MSc / Diploma theses 39 as main supervisor

> BSc theses 19 as main supervisor


Most relevant recent peer reviewed publications (2015–2019)

Babic K, Rotach MW: 2018, Turbulence kinetic energy budget in the stable boundary layer over a heterogeneous surface, Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc, 144, 1045–1062, doi:10.1002/qj.3274.

Chen X, Skerlak B, Rotach MW, Anel JA, Su Z, Ma Y: 2016, Why does the Tibetan Plateau support the highest planetary boundary layer? J Atmos Sci, 73, 2021–2038, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0148.1.

Goger B, Rotach MW, Gohm A, Stiperski I, Fuhrer O, de Morsier G: 2019, A New Horizontal Length Scale for a Three-dimensional Turbulence Parameterization in Meso-scale Atmospheric Modeling over Highly Complex Terrain, J Appl Meteorolo Climatol, 58, 2087–2102, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0328.1.

Lehner M, Rotach MW: 2018, Current Challenges in Understanding and Predicting Transport and Exchange in the Atmosphere over Mountainous Terrain, Atmosphere, 9, 276; doi:10.3390/atmos9070276.

Leukauf D, Gohm A, Rotach MW: 2017, Towards generalizing the impact of surface heating, stratification and terrain geometry on the daytime heat export from an idealized valley, J Appl Meteor Climatol, 56, (10), 2711–2727, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0378.1.

Leukauf D, Gohm A, Rotach MW: 2016, Quantifying horizontal and vertical tracer mass fluxes of a daytime valley boundary layer, Atmos Chem Phys, 16, 13049–13066, doi:10.5194/acp-16-13049-2016.

Rotach MW, Wohlfahrt G, Hansel A, Reif M, Wagner J, GohmA:2014, The world is not flat – implications for the global carbon balance, Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 95, 1021–1028, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00109.1.

Rotach MW, Gohm A, Lang MN, Leukauf D, Stiperski I, Wagner JS: 2015, On the vertical exchange of heat, mass and momentum over complex, mountainous terrain, Front. Earth Sci. 3: 76, doi:10.3389/feart.2015.00076.

Rotach MW, Stiperski I, Fuhrer O, Goger B., Gohm A, Obleitner F, Rau G, Sfyri E, Vergeiner J: 2017, Investigating Exchange Processes over Complex Topography: the Innsbruck-Box (i-Box), Bull Amer Meteorol Soc, 98, No 4, 787–805, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00246.1.

Serafin S, Adler B, Cuxart J, De Wekker SFJ, Gohm A, Grisogono B, Kalthoff N, Kirshbaum DJ, Rotach MW, Schmidli J, Stiperski I, Vecenaj Ž, Zardi D:  2018, Exchange Processes in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Over Mountainous Terrain, Atmosphere, 9, 102 doi:10.3390/atmos9030102.

Sfyri E, Rotach MW, Stiperski I, Bosveld FC, Obleitner F, Lehner M: 2018, Scalar flux similarity in the layer near the surface over mountainous terrain, Boundary-Layer Meteorol, 169 (1), 11–46, doi:10.1007/s10546-018-0341-y.

Stiperski I, Rotach MW: 2016, On the measurement of turbulent fluxes over complex mountainous topography, Boundary-Layer Meteorol, 159, 97–121, doi:10.1007/s10546-015-0103-z.

Stiperski I, Calaf M, Rotach MW: 2019, Scaling, anisotropy and complexity in near-surface atmospheric turbulence, JGR Atmosphere, 124, doi: 10.1029/2018JD029383.

Wagner JS, Gohm A, Rotach MW: 2015, Influence of along-valley terrain heterogeneity on exchange processes over idealized valleys, Atmos Chem Phys, 15, 6589–6603 15, 415–451, doi:10.5194/acp-15-6589-2015.

Wagner JS, Gohm A, Rotach MW: 2015, The impact of valley geometry on daytime thermally driven flows and vertical transport processes, Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc, 141 (690), 1780–1794, part: A, doi:10.1002/qj.2481.


Most cited older publications (> 50 citations Web of Science, 5/2020)

Baklanov AA, Grisogono B, Bornstein R, Mahrt L, Zilitinkevich SS, Taylor P, Larsen  SE, Rotach MW, Fernando, HJS, 2011: The Nature, Theory, and Modeling of Atmospheric Planetary Boundary Layers, Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 92, 123–128, doi: 0.1175/2010BAMS2797.1.

Chow FK, Weigel AP, Street RL, Rotach MW and Xue M: 2006, High-resolution large-eddy simulations of flow in a steep Alpine valley. Part I: Methodology, verification, and sensitivity studies, J Appl Meteorol Climatol, 45 (1), 63-86.

de Haan P, Rotach, MW: 1998, A Novel Approach to Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling: The Puff-Particle Model, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 124, 2771–2792.

Forrer J, Rotach MW: 1997, On the Turbulence Structure in the Stable Boundary Layer over the Greenland Ice Sheet, Boundary-Layer Meteorol., 85, 111–136.

Kastner-Klein P, Fedorovich E, Rotach MW: 2001, A wind tunnel study of organised and turbulent air motions in urban street canyons, J. Wind Engineering Industrial Aerodynamics, 98,No 9, 849–861.

Kastner-Klein, P Rotach, M.W.: 2004, Mean Flow and Turbulence Characteristics in an Urban Roughenss Sublayer, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 111, 55–84.

Kljun N, Rotach MW, Schmid HP: 2002, A 3D Backward Lagrangian Footprint Model for a Wide Range of Boundary Layer Stratifications, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 103, 205–226.

Kljun N, Calanca P, Rotach MW, Schmid HP: 2015, A simple two-dimensional parameterisation for Flux Footprint Prediction (FFP), Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 3695-3713, doi:10.5194/gmd-8-3695-2015.

Martilli A, Clappier A, Rotach MW: 2002, An urban surface exchange parameterisation for mesoscale models, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 104, 261–304.

Martilli A, Roulet YA, Jeunier M, Kirchner F, Rotach MW, Clappier A: 2003, On the impact of urban surface exchange parameterisations on air quality simulations: the Athens case, Atmospheric Environ., 37,4217–4231.

Matzinger N, Andretta M, van Gorsel E, Vogt R, Ohmura A, Rotach MW: 2003, Surface Radiation Budget in an Alpine Valley, Quarterly J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 129,877–895.

Rotach, MW: 1993, Turbulence Close to a Rough Urban Surface Part I: Reynolds Stress, Boundary-Layer Meteorol., 65, 1–28.

Rotach MW: 1993, Turbulence Close to a Rough Urban Surface Part II: Variances and Gradients, Boundary-Layer Meteorol., 66, 75–92.

Rotach MW: 1995, Profiles of Turbulence Statistics in and Above an Urban Street Canyon, Atmospheric Environ., 29, 1473-1486.

Rotach MW: 1994, Determination of the Zero Plane Displacement in an Urban Environment, Boundary-Layer Meteorol., 67,187–193.

Rotach MW, Gryning SE; Tassone C: 1996, A Two-Dimensional Stochastic Lagrangian Dispersion Model for Daytime Conditions, Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 122, 367–389.

Rotach MW: 1999, On the Influence of the Urban Roughness Sublayer on Turbulence and Dispersion, Atmospheric Environ.,33, 4001–4008.

Rotach MW, Vogt R, et al.: 2005, BUBBLE – an Urban Boundary Layer Project, Theoretical Appl Climatol81(3-4), 231–261, doi:10.1007/s00704-004-0117-9.

Rotach MW and Zardi D: 2007,On the boundary layer structure over highly complex terrain: key findings from MAP, Quarterly J Roy Meteorol Soc, 133, 937–948, doi:10.1002/qj.71.

Rotach MW, Ambrosetti P, Ament F, et al.: 2009, MAP D-PHASE: Real-time Demonstration of Weather Forecast Quality in the Alpine Region,Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 90 (9), 1321–1336, doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2776.1.

Vogt R, Christen A, Rotach MW, Roth M and Satyanarayana ANV: 2006, Temporal dynamics of CO2 fluxes and profiles over a Central European city, Theor Appl Clim, 84 (1-3), 117–126, doi: 10.1007/s00704-005-0149-9.

Weigel AP, Chow FK, Rotach MW, Street RL and Xue M: 2006, High-resolution large-eddy simulations of flow in a steep Alpine valley. Part II: Flow Structure and Heat Budgets, J Appl Meteorol Climatol, 45 (1), 87–107.

Weigel AP, Rotach MW: 2004, Flow structure and turbulence characteristics of the daytime atmosphere in a steep and narrow Alpine valley, Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc, 130, 2605–2627.

Weusthoff T, Ament F, Arpagaus M and Rotach MW: 2010, Assessing the benefits of convection permitting models by Neighborhood Verification - examples from MAP D-PHASE, Mon Wea Rev, 138 (9), 3418–3433. doi:10.1175/2010 MWR3380.1.

Wulfmeyer V, Behrendt, A, Kottmeier C, … Rotach MW, …: 2011, The Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS): the scientific strategy, the field phase, and research highlights, Quarterly J Roy Meteorol Soc., 137, 3–30, doi: 10.1002/qj.752
(‘New hot paper in Geosciences’, Thomson Reuters Sept 2011).

Wulfmeyer V, Behrendt A, … Rotach MW, …: 2008, The Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study: A Research and Development Project of the World Weather Research Program for improving quantitative precipitation forecasting in low-mountain regions. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. *89*(10), 1477–1486, doi:10.1175/2008BAMS2367.1.

Zappa M, Rotach MW, Arpagaus M, Dorninger M, Hegg C, Montani A, Ranzi R, Ament F, Germann U, Grossi G, Jaun S, Rossa A, Vogt S, Walser A, Wehrhan J and Wunram C: 2008, MAP D-PHASE: real-time demonstration of hydrological ensemble prediction systems, Atmos. Sci. Let., 2, 80–87, doi:10.1002/asl.183.





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