we4DRR members in focus: Michaela Teich

Screenshot Michaela Teich

On February 1st, 2022, the third and final edition of our autumn webinar series we4DRR members in focus was held online. Michaela Teich from the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) gave insights about her career, research topics, and personal views on work and life.

Michaela is a forest scientist with a special interest in working in inter- and transdisciplinary teams, studying and managing protective forests, natural hazard risks, and ecosystem services. She completed her PhD on forest avalanche interactions at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF in Davos and ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and studied the snowpack in forests disturbed by bark beetles and fire in the United States at Utah State University. She is currently leading the Research Unit "Snow and Avalanches" at the Department of Natural Hazards of the BFW and coordinates the IUFRO “Snow and Avalanches” unit.


  • As a child I wanted to become: a potter, a restorer and landscape architect in that order
  • The three most important things on my office desk are: my big teacup, a notebook and my favourite pen
  • My perfect work day starts with: a 15 to 30-minute yoga session
  • I restore my energy by: also by yoga as well as by going outside, being in nature and cooking good food
  • My secret of success is: when you are enthusiastic about something the rest will follow and fall into place

On asking and breathing

On a tough workday Michaela recommends taking big, long breaths and go outside for five minutes to actively relax. She thinks it is important to ask questions and to not be afraid what other people think about you.

Networking is great for exchange and new ideas, but for Michaela it is also important to have great friendships. Success for her is if people want to work and collaborate with you and your team and enjoy working with you. For the beginning of a career, Michaela advises to not hesitate to ask questions and to believe in yourself.


More Info