Heads of GIScience Lab

Professor for Geoinformatics | Deputy director Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS | Head GIScience Lab | Head Research Studio iSPACE

Integrating methods and domain knowledge into spatial analysis and GIS-based spatial decision support systems. Technically, I contribute to bridging object-based image analysis and Geographic Information Science (GIScience).

Associate Professor | Head GIScience Lab

Bernd Resch is an Associate Professor at University of Salzburg’s Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University (USA). Bernd Resch did his PhD in the area of “Live Geography” (real-time monitoring of environmental geo-processes) together with University of Salzburg and MIT. His research interest revolves around understanding cities as complex systems through analysing a variety of digital data sources, focusing on developing machine learning algorithms to analyse human-generated data like social media posts and physiological measurements from wearable sensors. The findings are relevant to a number of fields including urban research, disaster management, epidemiology, and others. Bernd received the Theodor Körner Award for his work on “Urban Emotions”. Amongst a variety of other functions, he is an Editorial Board Member of IJHG, IJGI and PLOS ONE, a scientific committee member of various international conferences (having chaired several conferences), an Associated Faculty Member of the doctoral college “GIScience”, and an Executive Board member of Spatial Services GmbH.

Scientific staff

Researcher / PhD candidate

Mona Bartling received a MSc in Applied Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg, Austria and is a PhD candidate since October 2017. Since April 2015 she is a researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia where she is part of the developer team of the participatory tool GeoCitizen. In her PhD she focuses on improving user experience of participatory tools and has a particular interest in intelligent user interfaces and gamification elements.

Researcher / PhD candidate

Alessandro graduated from Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) with a Bachelor’s degree (2015) and a Master’s degree (2017) in biomedical engineering. His research experience includes expertise in machine learning and advanced signal processing. His knowledge is mainly focused on data mining approaches and data processing tools, with a particular interest in deep neural networks. His Master thesis involved the use of deep neural networks (in particular LSTM) aimed at the detection of atrial fibrillation from physiological signals.

Maximilian Ehrhart

Study assistant

Maximilian Ehrhart is studying digitalization, innovation and society at the University of Salzburg because he sees interdisciplinary approaches as promising for the future. His main interests are in the field of Machine Learning and Data Science, which he wants to apply to solve Problems in daily life.

Omid Ghorbanzadeh

Researcher / PhD Candidate

Omid Ghorbanzadeh has been a PhD candidate at the University of Salzburg, Austria since 2017. He received his BSc. degree in mathematics and MSc. degree in Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing from University of Tabriz. In his PhD he focuses on Machine Learning methods and Geoinformatics.

Researcher / PhD candidate

Clemens Havas is a PhD student with a background in computer science at University of Salzburg’s Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS since 2017. His research interests lie in the fields of machine learning, social media and geospatial analysis. Besides doing his PhD programme, Clemens Havas has been working for various projects funded by international organisations/programmes (e.g. Horizon 2020) by using new data sources to assess the impact of disasters.

Researcher / PhD Candidate

Anna Kovács-Győri has been a PhD candidate at the University of Salzburg since 2015. She studied Geography with a specialization in GIS at the Department of Physical Geography and Geoinformatics, University of Szeged, Hungary. During her PhD studies, she investigates the quality of the person-environment relationship in the urban context. Her research focuses on livability assessment and the role of spatiality, mobility, human scale, and health in it to promote urban planning and decision-making.

Bernd Lackner


Bernd-Michael Lackner is currently enrolled in the Masters Program “Applied Geoinformatics” at Z_GIS. He did his Bachelor studies in the field of Geography at the University of Innsbruck with a focus on physical geography. Currently, he is in charge of creating, presenting and maintaining the IdeasLab modules, dealing with social media and human sensing, to guests from outside the department.

Researcher / PhD candidate

Emmanuel is a PhD candidate in Doctoral College GIScience at the University of Salzburg. He received his BSc. and MSc. degrees in Computer Science from University of Crete, conducting research on human-computer interaction and knowledge representation, respectively. His current research lies within the discipline of GIScience, emphasizing on the conceptualization and modelling of “Place-based GIS”. His main research interests include knowledge representation, reasoning, data visualization, Semantic Web, reality modeling, ontology engineering and machine learning.

Researcher / PhD Candidate

Andreas Petutschnig received his BEng in Cartography and Geomedia-technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany and his MSc in Applied Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg, Austria. His research interests include the analysis and visualisation of spatiotemporal data flows, spatial statistics, scaling issues of spatial data clusters, and reproducible research. His PhD work has a focus on spatiotemporal point pattern analysis. Specifically, this includes the detection of refugee camps in crisis regions based on traces of social media data.

Researcher / PhD candidate

Alina Ristea is a fully funded PhD student at the Doctoral College GIScience, and my research topic is “Integration and Evaluation of Social Media Data into Crime Prediction Models”, under the supervision of Professor Michael Leitner. My background studies are in Geography – Cartography-Cadastral Elements (Bachelor) and GIS (Master) from the University of Bucharest, Romania.

Helen Ngonidzashe Serere


Helen graduated from Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) with a BSc. in Surveying and Geomatics. She then pursued her MSc in Spatial Engineering at the University of Twente (Netherlands). During her MSc, Helen developed strong interests in spatiotemporal data analysis and visualisation, particularly for applications in risk analysis and reduction.

Dorian Arifi

Study assistant

Dorian Arifi is currently studying “Data Science” at the University of Salzburg with focus on machine learning and databases. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the LMU Munich, where he specialized in statistical analysis and behavioral economics. His main tasks are “Integrated Analysis of Geographic and Relational Space” and “The Embedding of Geographic Networks into Hyperbolic Space”.

Andreas Vitzthum

Study assistant

Andreas Vitzthum studied „Information Technologies &Systems Management“ at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (SUAS). After he finished his Bachelor’s degree (2018) in Network & Communication Technologies, he started to work as a Software Developer in the industrial and sale section. At the moment he enrolled in the Masters Program “Applied Geoinformatics” at Z_GIS. Since November 2019 he is supporting the research team with focus on software development in scientific projects.

Associated researchers

Lixia Chu

Researcher / PhD candidate

Lixia is a PhD student from China who has been awarded the 4-year-scholarship under the State Scholarship Fund. She got her master and bachelor degrees from China University of Geoscience.

Now she focuses on multidisciplinary data processing and assessment for mineral potential prediction based on GIS and Remote Sensing. In her research, machine learning will be also used for mineral potential prediction and assessment to target and delimit a study area for further exploration of mineral deposits in the future.

Christoph Erlacher

Researcher / PhD Candidate

Christoph Erlacher studied „Geoinformation“ (Diploma-Degree-Program) and „Spatial Decision Support Systems“ (Master-Degree-Program) at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS). He earned his master’s degree in 2008 and since 2008, he has been a lecturer and a research assistant at CUAS and has participated in various R&D projects. Christoph Erlacher is currently a PhD student at the University of Salzburg in the fields of Spatial Decision Support, Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis and Parallel and Distributed Computing.

Cornelia Ferner

Researcher / External PhD candidate

Cornelia Ferner studied „Information Technologies and Systems Management“ at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (SUAS). She earned her master’s degree in 2012 and is now a lecturer at SUAS, where she is also participating in research projects with the focus on Data Science and Analytics. Cornelia Ferner is currently an external PhD student at the University of Salzburg in the fields of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.

Peter Michael Jeremias

Infrastructural representative

Peter received his MSc in Applied Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg, Austria and is currently enrolled in the Master Program “Data Science”. In his Master thesis, he focussed on database concepts for humanitarian research at Z_GIS. He is non-scientific staff member at the University of Salzburg and is focussing on technical and infrastructural points at Z_GIS, including database management and workflow automation.

Jan Kinne

Researcher / PhD candidate

Jan Kinne studied geography with minors in computer science and economics at Heidelberg University, Germany. He is a researcher at the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany (Research Department “Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics”) since June 2016 and an external student in the Applied Geoinformatics PhD programme at the University of Salzburg. His research interests focus on innovation research using big spatial data and spatial data mining.

Jakob Neumayer

Research associate

Jakob Neumayer is currently studying Spanish and Geography at the University of Salzburg. His interest in geoinformatics and his enthusiasm for cycling in general led him to cooperate with Z_GIS. A field study from Z_GIS on cycling in Salzburg is the basis for his bachelor thesis.

Edhem Salihagić

Research associate

Edhem Salihagić holds a bachelor’s degree in “Regional and Spatial Planning” from the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He started his master’s degree studies in “Applied Geoinformatics” at Z_GIS in March 2019. Currently he is supporting the research group by working on different projects, mainly focusing on software development and its uses in spatial sciences.

Eva Maria Missoni Steinbacher


Eva is currently enrolled in the Masters Program “Applied Geoinformatics” at Z_GIS and received her Mag.phil. in “Applied Cultural Studies” at the University of Klagenfurt and BSc in “Spatial Planning” at the TU Vienna. She is particularly interested in science communication and new formats of EO*GI education and training. Eva is involved in creating content and graphic design tasks for the iDEAS:lab and training material development for the EO4GEO project.

Martin Treiblmayr

Research Scientist / PostDoc

Martin is postdoctoral researcher at ZGIS. His research interests focus on geovisualization methods and applying these methods to new domains. Prior to joining ZGIS, Martin worked for several years in engineering and business development roles at SAP and Garmin. Now he contributes to various research projects at ZGIS with his industry knowledge. In addition, he is exploring new ventures and has created a business. Martin holds a dual degree in international business and surveying engineering from Vienna University of Technology / Vienna University of Economics and Business and a PhD in geoinformatics from the University of Münster. While graduate student, he had scholarships to study at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Universitat Jaume I, Spain.

University of Salzburg | Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS
Techno-Z | Schillerstraße 30 | 5020 Salzburg, Austria

https://giscience.zgis.at see individuals below