Senior scientist

Gabriella Koltai

Innsbruck Quaternary Research Group

Research Interests
High-resolution climate proxies in speleothems
Cryogenic cave carbonates
Hypogene speleogenesis
Cave microclimate
Karst hydrogeochemistry

Short CV
2020- Postdoc at the University of Innsbruck (50% position)
2019- Senior scientist at the University of Innsbruck (50% position)
2020-2021 Postdoc at the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2017-2019 Postdoc at the University of Innsbruck
2013-2017 PhD student at the University of Innsbruck
2012-2013 Assistant research fellow, Hertelendi Laboratory for Environmental Studies, Inst. for Nuclear Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
2010-2012 PhD student, University of Szeged, Department of Climatology and Landscape Ecology
2003-2010 English (Diploma), University of Szeged
2003-2009 Geography (Diploma), University of Szeged

2021 Walther E. Petrascheck Award of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
2020 Förderungspreis des Landes Tirol für Wissenschaft
2020 BritInn Fellowship Grant
2018 Dr Otto Seiber Wissenschafts-Förderung Preis 
2018 Jenö Cholonoky Karst and Cave Research Award (3rd prize)
2009 Special prize, National scientific conference for university students (OTDK), (Hungary)

Projects (PI)
2022-       Photoluminescence of calcite: development of a potentially field-deployable tool for paleothermometry (funded by OeAD) 
2022        Fluid inclusion microthermometry of low-temperature hydrothermal calcite and barite minerals from  Tyuya Muyun Massif (Kirgiztsan), (funded by: Austrian Academy of Sciences)
2020-2021 Changing winter conditions in the Alps during the Younger Dryas cold period (funded by: Tiroler Wissenschaftsfond)
2018-2020 Looking at a "blind spot" in low-temperature geothermometry: towards an intercalibration of novel methods for calcite (funded by: University of Innsbruck)




Dublyansky, Y.V., Moseley, G.E., Koltai, G., Töchterle, P., Spötl, C. (2024): Cryogenic cave carbonates. – Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, Third Edition, Amsterdam (Elsevier),

Vieten, R., Warken, S.F., Zanchettin, D., Winter, A., Scholz, D., Black, D., Koltai, G., Spötl, C. (2024): Northeastern Caribbean rainfall variability linked to solar and volcanic forcing. – Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 39, e2023PA004720,


Koltai, G., Kluge, T., Krüger, Y., Spötl, C., Rinyu, L., Audra, P., Honiat, C., Leél-Őssy, S., Dublyansky, Y. (2024):  Geothermometry of calcite spar at 10-50°C. – Scientific Reports, 14:1553,

Spötl, C., Dublyansky, Y., Koltai, G., Racine, T., Plan, L. (2023): The Obir caves adjacent to the Periadriatic Fault in southern Austria: Uplifted hypogene caves formed by carbonic acid speleogenesis. – Geomorphology, 441, 108901,

Spötl, C., Koltai, G., Dublyansky, Y. (2023): Mode of formation of cryogenic cave carbonates: Experimental evidence from an Alpine ice cave. – Chemical Geology, 638, 121712,

Honiat, C., Koltai, G., Dublyansky, Y., Edwards, R.L., Zhang, H., Cheng, H., Spötl, C. (2023): A paleoprecipitation and paleotemperature reconstruction of the Last Interglacial in the southeastern Alps. – Climate of the Past, 19, 1177-1199.

Spötl, C., Jarosch, A., Saxer, A., Koltai, G., Zhang, H. (2023): Thermoelasticity of ice explains widespread damage in dripstone caves during glacial periods. – Scientific Reports (Nature), 13:7407,

Soleimani, M., Nadimi, A., Koltai, G., Dublyansky, Y., Carolin, S., Spötl, C. (2023): Stalagmite evidence of Last Glacial Maximum to early Holocene climate variability in southwestern Iran. – Journal of Quaternary Science, 38, 308-318.

Pisani, L., Koltai, G., Dublyansky, Y., Kleine, B.I., Whitehouse, M., Scrzypek, E., Carbone, C., Spötl, C., Antonellini, M., Bezerra, F.H., De Waele, J. (2023): Hydrothermal silicification and hypogene dissolution of an exhumed Neoproterozoic carbonate sequence in Brazil: Insights from fluid inclusion microthermometry and silicon-oxygen isotopes. – Basin Research, 35, 1102-1127.

Plan, L., Buchegger, G.,  Kaminsky, E., Koltai, G., Racine, T., Szczygieł, J. (2022):  Flow regime evolution of a major cave system in the Eastern Alps (Hirlatzhöhle, Dachstein). - International Journal of Speleology, 51, 181-191.

Plan, L., Kaminsky, E., Racine, T., Koltai, G. (2021): Genetische Interpretation der Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge). – Die Höhle, 72, 117-138.

Palcsu, L., Gessert, A., Túri, M., Kovács, A., Futó, I., Orsovszki, J., Puskás-Preszner, A., Temowski, M., Koltai, G. (2021): Long-term time series of environmental tracers reveal recharge and discharge conditions in shallow karst aquifers in Hungary and Slovakia. – Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 36, 100858.

Koltai, G., Spötl, C., Jarosch, A., Cheng, H. (2021): Cryogenic cave carbonates in the Dolomites (northern Italy): insights into Younger Dryas cooling and seasonal precipitation. - Climate of the Past, 17, 775–789.

Spötl, C., Dublyansky, Y., Koltai, G., Honiat, C., Plan, L., Angerer, T. (2021): Stable isotope imprint of hypogene speleogenesis: Lessons from Austrian caves. – Chemical Geology, 572, 120209,

Spötl, C., Koltai, G., Jarosch, A., Cheng, H. (2021): Increased autumn and winter precipitation during the Last Glacial Maximum in the European Alps. – Nature Communications, 12:1839,

Spötl, C., Dublyansky, Y., Koltai, G., Cheng, H. (2021): Hypogene speleogenesis and paragenesis in the Dolomites. – Geomorphology, 382, 107667.

Demény, A., Rinyu, L., Kern, Z., Hatvani, I.G., Czuppon, Gy., Surányi, G., Leél-Őssy, Sz., Shen, C.-C., Koltai, G. (2021): Paleotemperature reconstructions using speleothem fluid inclusion analyses from Hungary - Chemical Geology, 536, 120051.

Columbu, A., Audra, P., Gázquez, F., D'Angeli, I.M., Bigot, J.-Y., Koltai, G., Chiesa, R., Yu, T.-L., Hu, H.-M., Shen, C.-C., Carbone, C., Heresanu, V., Nobécourt, J.-C., De Waele, J. (2021): Hypogenic speleogenesis, late stage epigenic overprinting and condensation-corrosion in a complex cave system in relation to landscape evolution (Toirano, Liguria, Italy). - Geomorphology, 376, 107561.

Spötl, C., Koltai, G., Racine, T. (2020): Einblicke in Vereisungsgeschichte der Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge). – Die Höhle, 71, 45-61.

Comas-Bru, L., Harrison, S. P., Werner, M., Rehfeld, K., Scroxton, N., Veiga-Pires, C., and SISAL working group members including Carolin, S., Koltai, G., Luetscher, M., Moseley, G.E. (2019): Evaluating model outputs using integrated global speleothem records of climate change since the last glacial, - Climate of the Past, 15, 1557–1579.

Koltai, G., Ostermann, M., Cheng, H. & Spötl, C. (2018): Can vein-filling speleothems constrain the timing of deep-seated gravitational slope deformation? A case study from the Vinschgau (Italian Alps). – Landslides, 15, 2243-2254.

Atsawawaranunt, K., Comas-Bru, L., Amirnezhad Mozhdehi, S., et al and SISAL Working Group Members including Carolin, S., Koltai, G., Luetscher, M., Moseley, G.E. 2018.: The SISAL database: a global resource to document oxygen and carbon isotope records from speleothems. Earth System Science Data, 10:1687-1713. DOI: 10.5194/essd-10-1687-2018

Palcsu, L., Morgenstern, U., Sültenfuss, J., Koltai, G., László, E., Temovski, M., Major, Z., Nagy, J.T., Papp, L., Varlam, C., Faurescu, I., Túri, M., Rinyu, L., Czuppon, G., Bottyán, E. & Jull, A.J.T. (2018): Modulation of cosmogenic Tritium in meteoric precipitation by the 11-year cycle of solar magnetic field activity. – Scientific Reports (Nature), 8:12813, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-31208-9.

Dublyansky, Y.Moseley, G.E., Liakhnitsky, Y., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Scholz, D., Koltai, G. Spötl, C. (2018): Late Palaeolithic cave art and permafrost in the Southern Ural. – Scientific Reports (Nature), 8:12080, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-30049-w.

Koltai, G., Cheng, H., Spötl, C. (2018): Palaeoclimate significance of speleothems in crystalline rocks: a test case from the Late Glacial and early Holocene (Vinschgau, northern Italy). – Climate of the Past, 14, 369-381.

Koltai, G., Spötl, C., Luetscher, M., Cheng, H., Barrett, S.J., Müller, W. (2017): The nature of annual lamination in flowstones from non-karstic fractures, Vinschgau (northern Italy). – Chemical Geology, 457, 1-14.

Koltai, G., Spötl, C., Shen, C.-C., Wu, C.-C., Rao, Z., Palcsu, L., Kele, S., Surányi, G., Bárány-Kevei, I. (2017): A penultimate glacial climate record from southern Hungary. – Journal of Quaternary Science, 32, 946-956.