Assoc. Professor

Michael Meyer

Innsbruck Quaternary Research Group

Research interests
Optical dating of paleoenvironmental processes and archaeological sites
OSL rock surface dating
Quaternary landscape evolution and environmental change
Human-environment interactions  
Glaciation and human occupation of central High Asia

Short CV
2021 Associated Professor
2021 Deputy Head U. Innsbruck Research Centre Geodynamics – Geomaterials
2019 Habilitation & Tenur Track Position Geochronology
2015-2021 Head U. Innsbruck Research Centre Geodynamics – Geomaterials
2011 Senior Scientist, head OSL laboratory Dept. of Geology, U. Innsbruck
2008-2011 Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow (ERC), U. Wollongong (Australia)
2007-2008 Erwin Schrödinger Postdoctoral Fellow (FWF), U. Wollongong (Australia)
2006-2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow U. Innsbruck
2006 PhD U. Innsbruck
2001 MSc. Centre for Earth Sciences, U. Vienna, Austria

2020    Lehreplus! Award for excellence in teaching
2017    Fürstentum Liechtenstein Prize
2011    Dr. Otto Seibert Prize
2011    Early Career Research Award, University Innsbruck
2008    Otto Ampferer Prize of the Austrian Geological Society
2004    Research Grant University-Jubilee-Foundation of the City of Vienna

European Research Council, Austrian Science Fund, Tyrolian Science Fund

Research expeditions & professional experiences
2013-2016    Scientific Leader of three Tibet Expeditions
2007-2008    Participation in international archaeological excavations in Africa
2003-2007    Scientific cave expeditions in the Austrian Alps
1999-2001    Quaternary geologist in Austrian–Bhutanese Cooperation Project, Bhutan-Himalaya

Science communication and public outreach (selected)
Popular-science movie about OSL research (link english) (link german)
Dating of oldest human traces on the Tibetan Plateau (Nature news)
News Article OSL lab in Die Presse (german)




Gliganic, L., McDonald, J., Meyer, M. (2024): Luminescence rock surface exposure and burial dating: a review of an innovative new method and its applications in archaeology. - Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 16, 17,

Gliganic, L.A., Slack, M., Meyer, M.C. (2023): Tending to tradition: Dating stone arrangement maintenance in northwest Australia using optical methods. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 49. 104053.

Gurgiser, W., Price, M.F., Juen, I.F., Körner, C., Bahn, M., Gems, B., Meyer, M.C., Nicolussi, K., Tappeiner, U., Mayr, S. (2022): Rising slopes—Bibliometrics of mountain research 1900–2019. PLOS ONE 17(8): e0273421.

Price, M.F., Gurgiser, W., Juen, I., Adler, C., Wymann, S., Bahn, M., Björnsen-Gurung, A., Dax, T., Duglio, S., Fischer, JT., Füreder, L, Kurmayer, R., Machold, I., Mailer, M., Marke, T., Marzeion, B., McDowell, G.M., Meyer, M.C., Neuburger, M., Nicholson, L., Nicolussi, K., Oedl-Wieser, T., Peters, M., Richter, K., Rotach, M., Rüdisser, J., Ruiz-Peyré, F., Rutzinger, M., Schermer, M., Schirpke, U., Schneiderbauer, S., Steiger, R., Stotten, R., Szarzynski, J., Tappeiner, U., Ueno, K., Wohlfahrt, G., Mayr, S. (2022): The International Mountain Conference, Innsbruck, Austria, September 2019 (IMC2019): A Synthesis with Recommendations for Research. Mountain Research and Development, 42 (1)

Wang, Z., Yin, J.J., Cheng, H., Ning, Y., Meyer, M.C. (2022). Climatic controls on travertine deposition in southern Tibet during the late Quaternary. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 110852.

Gliganic, L.A., Meyer, M.C., May, J.-H., M.S., A., Tropper, P., 2021. Direct dating of lithic surface artifacts using luminescence. Scientific Advances 7,


Silvestrini, S., Romandini, M., Marciani, G., Arrighi, S., Carrera, L., Fiorini, A., López-García, J.M., Lugli, F., Ranaldo, F., Slon, V., Tassoni, L., Higgins, O.A., Bortolini, E., Curci, A., Meyer, M., Meyer, M.C., Oxilia, G., Zerboni, A., Benazzi, S. and Spinapolice, E.E. (2021), Integrated multidisciplinary ecological analysis from the Uluzzian settlement at the Uluzzo C Rock Shelter, south-eastern Italy. Journal of Quaternary Science.

Spinapolice, E.E., Zerboni, A., Meyer, M.C., Talamo, S., Mariani, G.S., Gliganic, L.A., Buti, L., Fusco, M., Maiorano, M.P., Silvestrini, S. and Sorrentino, R., 2021. Back to Uluzzo–archaeological, palaeoenvironmental and chronological context of the Mid–Upper Palaeolithic sequence at Uluzzo C Rock Shelter (Apulia, southern Italy). Journal of Quaternary Science. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.3349

Wilkins, J., Schoville, B.J., Pickering, R., Gliganic, L., Collins, B., Brown, K.S., von der Meden, J., Khumalo, W., Meyer, M.C., Maape, S., 2021. Innovative Homo sapiens behaviours 105,000 years ago in a wetter Kalahari. Nature 592, 248-252.

Carobene, D., Meyer, M.C., Spötl, C., Roetzel, R., Göhlich, U.B., Mandic, O., Harzhauser, M., Wimmer-Frey, I., Reimer, P.J., Auer, F. (2020): An interdisciplinary study of a mammoth-bearing Late Pleistocene sediment succession in lower Austria. – Quaternary International, 542, 15-29.

Meyer, M.C., Gliganic, L.A., May, J.H., Merchel, S., Rugel, G., Schlütz, F., Aldenderfer, M.S. and Krainer, K., (2020): Landscape dynamics and human-environment interactions in the northern foothills of Cho Oyu and Mount Everest (southern Tibet) during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. - Quaternary Science Reviews, 229, p.106127.

Spinapolice, E., Zerboni, A., Meyer, M.C., Usai, D. (2018): Early human occupation at al-Jamrab (White Nile region, central Sudan): a contribution to the understanding of the MSA of Eastern Africa.  Journal of African Archaeology 16, 1-14.

Gliganic, L.A.Meyer, M.C., Sohbati, R., Jain, M., Barrett, S. (2018): OSL surface exposure dating of a lithic quarry in Tibet: laboratory validation and application. Quaternary Geochronology, doi: 10.1016/j.quageo.2018.04.012.

Meyer, M.C.Gliganic, L.A., Jain, M., Sohbati, R., Schmidmair, D. (2018): Lithological controls on light penetration into rock surfaces – implications for OSL and IRSL surface exposure dating. Radiation Measurements,

Cohen, T.J., Meyer, M.C., May, J.-H. (2018): Identifying extreme pluvials in the last millennia using optical dating of single grains of quartz from shorelines on Australia’s largest lake. – The Holocene, 28, 150-165.

Gliganic, L.A., Cohen, T.J., Meyer, M.C., Molenaar, A. (2017): Variations in luminescence properties of quartz and feldspar from modern fluvial sediments in three rivers. - Quaternary Geochronology, 41, 70-82.

Haas, W.R., Aldenderfer, M.S., Meyer, M.C. (2017): Response to Comment on "Permanent human occupation of the central Tibetan Plateau in the early Holocene". Science, 357 (6351).

Meyer, M.C., Aldenderfer, M.S., Wang, Z., Hoffmann, D.L., Dahl, J.A., Degering, D., Haas, W.R., Schlütz, F. (2017): Permanent human occupation of the central Tibetan Plateau in the early Holocene. – Science, 355, doi: 10.1126/science.aag0357.

Meyer, M.C., Hoffmann, D.L., Aldenderfer, M.S., Haas, W.R., Dahl, J.A., Wang, Z., Degering, D., Schlütz, F. (2017): Response to Comment on "Permanent human occupation of the central Tibetan Plateau in the early Holocene". Science, 357 (6351).

Slack, M., Connell, K., Davis, A., Gliganic, L.A., Law, W.B., Meyer, M.C. (2017): Post-last glacial maximum settlement of the West Angelas region in the inland Hamersley Plateau, Western Australia. Australian Archaeology, DOI: 10.1080/03122417.2017.1404548

Wang, Z., Meyer, M.C., Hoffmann, D.L. (2016): Sedimentology, petrography and early diagenesis of a travertine-colluvium succession from Chusang (southern Tibet). - Sedimentary Geology, 342, 218-236.

Zerboni A., Usai D., Meyer, M.C., (2016). The Middle Palaeolithic/Middle Stone Age site of Al Jamrab in central Sudan. Antiquity 90, issue 351, Antiquity Project Gallery,

Meyer, M.C., Austin, P., Tropper, P. (2013): Quantitative evaluation of mineral grains using automated SEM-EDS analysis and its application potential in optically stimulated luminescence dating. - Radiation Measurements 58, 1-11.

Dibble, H.L, Aldeiasd, V., Alvarez-Fernándeze, E., Blackwellf, B., Hallett-Desguezc, E., Jacobs, Z., Goldbergh, P., Moralai, A., Meyer, M.C., Olzsewskia, D.I., Reed, K., Reedk, D., Steeleb, T.E., Richter, D., Roberts, R.G., Sandgathe, D., Schurmans, U., Skinner, A., El-Hajraou, M. (2012): New Excavations at the Site of Contrebandiers Cave, Morocco. Paleoanthropology, 145-201.

Meyer, M.C., Spötl, C., Mangini, A., Tessadri, R. (2012): Speleothem deposition at the glaciation threshold - An attempt to constrain the age and paleoenvironmental significance of a detrital-rich flowstone sequence from Entrische Kirche Cave (Austria). - Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 319-320, 93-106.

Jacobs, Z., Meyer, M.C., Roberts, R.G., Aldeias, V., Dibble, H., El Hajraoui, M.A. (2011): Single-grain OSL dating at La Grotte des Contrebandiers (‘Smugglers’ Cave’), Morocco: improved Marine Isotope Stage 5 age constraints for the Middle Paleolithic levels. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38, 3631-3643.

Meyer, M.C., Cliff, R.A. & Spötl, C. (2011): Speleothems and mountain uplift. – Geology, 39, 447-450.

Brown, K.S., Marean, C.W., Herries, A.I.R., Jacobs, Z., Tribolo, Ch., Braun, D., Roberts, D.L., Meyer, M.C., Bernatchez, J. (2009): Fire as an engineering tool of early modern humans. Science, 325, 859-862.

Meyer, M.C., Wiesmayr, G., Brauner, M., Häusler, H. & Wangda, D. (2006a): Active Tectonics in Eastern Lunana (NW-Bhutan): Implications for the seismic and glacial hazard potential of the Bhutan-Himalaya. Tectonics, TC 3001, doi: 10.1029/2005TC001858.

Meyer, M.C., Cliff, R.A., Spötl, C., Knipping, M. & Mangini, A. (2009): Speleothems from the earliest Quaternary: Snapshots of paleoclimate and landscape evolution at the northern rim of the Alps. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28, 1374-1391.

Leber, D., Häusler, H., Brauner, M., Skuk, S., Meyer, M.C., Payer, T., Platzer, K., Schwarz, P., Friedrich, M., & Wiesmayr, G. (2000): Technical Report of Luggye Tsho Outburst Flood Mitigation Project, Lunana, Bhutan, Phase III. Inst. of Geology, U. Vienna, pp. 71.

Häusler, H., Leber, D., Schreilechner, M., Morawetz, R., Lentz, H., Skuk, S., Meyer, M.C., Janda, Ch., & Burgschwaiger, E. (2000): Technical Report - Raphstreng Tsho Outburst Flood Mitigatory Project (Lunana; NW Bhutan), Phase II. Institute of Geology, U. Vienna, pp. 100

Meyer, M.C. (2002): Quaternary Geologic and Geomorphologic investigations in the upper Pho Chhu Catchment Area and Implications for the Geohazard Risk Assessment and Hazarde Zonation Planning. in: Leber, D., Häusler, H., Brauner, M. & Wangda, D. Final report of the Glacier Lake Outburst Flood Mitigation Project, Eastern Lunana (Bhutan), Inst. of Geology, U. Vienna, p. 32 – 41.

Spötl, C., Dublyansky, Y., Meyer, M. & Mangini, A. (2009): Identifying low-temperature hydrothermal karst and palaeowaters using stable isotopes: a case study from an alpine cave, Entrische Kirche, Austria. – International Journal of Earth Sciences, 98, 665-676.

Meyer, M.C., Hofmann, C., Gemmell, A.M.D., Haslinger, E., Häusler, H., Wangda, D. (2009): Holocene glacier fluctuations and migration of Neolithic yak pastoralists into the high valleys of northwest Bhutan. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28, 1217-1237.

Meyer, M., Spötl, C. & Mangini, A. (2008): The demise of the Last Interglacial recorded in isotopically dated speleothems from the Alps. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, 476-496.

Spötl, C., Offenbecher, K.-H., Boch, R., Meyer, M., Mangini, A., Kramers, J. & Pavuza, R. (2007): Tropfstein-Forschung in österreichischen Höhlen – ein Überblick. – Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt (Festschrift H.-P. Schönlaub), 147, 117-167.

Meyer, M., Faber, R. & Spötl, C. (2006): The WinGeol Lamination Tool: new software for rapid, semi-automated analysis of laminated climate archives. – The Holocene, 16, 753-761.

Wiesmayr, G., Edwards, M.A., Meyer, M.C., Kidd, W.S.F., Leber, D., Häusler, H. &. Wangda, D. (2002): Evidence for steady fault accommodated strain in the High Himalaya; progressive fault rotation of the southern Tibet detachment system in NW-Bhutan. From: De Meer, S., Drury, M. R., De Bresser, J. H. P. & Pennock G. M. (eds). Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Current Status and Future Perspectives. Geol. Soc. London, Special Publications, 200, 371 - 386.