| Institute of Geography and Sustainability (IGD) | Institute of Earth's Surface Dynamics (IDYST) | Institute of Earth Sciences (ISTE)

Research at the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment is conducted in three institutes:


Institute of Geography and Sustainability (IGD)

Composed of about 100 members, the Institute of Geography and Sustainability (IGD) is an interdisciplinary institute that combines competences of various fields of human and social sciences (geography, economy, philosophy, anthropology, political sciences), cartography and statistics, as well as physical geography. The focus is on research on sustainability with six priority objectives:

Each researcher is attached to one or more of these poles of research. In addition, the institute offers competences in certain methodological fields, in particular cartography, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods in the fields of geography and social sciences.

Institute of Geography and Sustainability (IGD) website


Institute of Earth's Surface Dynamics (IDYST)

It is an unprecedented time in Earth’s history. Changes in climate, biodiversity, and the degradation of soil and water ecosystems are major environmental issues facing society. The Institute of Earth Surface dynamics (IDYST) investigates the fundamental processes that underlie these major challenges. Our research is guided by two key questions :

  1. What is the impact of climate on landscape evolution, the cryosphere, and soil and water ecosystems ?
  2. How do humans impact the natural environment through resource use, land use, and pollutant mobilization ?

The strengths of IDYST are in its ability to study processes using a multi-disciplinary approach, with a strong focus on gaining a mechanistic understanding of environmental processes through fundamental physical, chemical, ecological investigations and methodological innovation.

Keywords :  Elemental cycles, climate (past, present, and future), minerals, ecosystems, soils, ice, vegetation, land-use, mechanistic processes, reactivity, isotopes, geochemistry, geocomputing, geostatistics, remote sensing, geochronology.

The institute currently includes 11 professors, five lecturers and senior lecturers and 15 research collaborators and research associates. The principle research topics are spearheaded by a number of research groups with distinct acronyms (LAKES, ALPWISE, ICE, ISOLAB, LGE, GAIA, BIOGEOSCIENCES, SPATIAL ECOLOGY, SE) but the research groups rely on strong collaborative interactions amongst all groups.

Institute of Earth's Surface Dynamics (IDYST) website


Institute of Earth Sciences (ISTE)

The research at ISTE covers a large spectrum of the Earth Sciences, including Geophysics. The principal themes are:

  • environmental geophysics and stochastic modeling;
  • landslides, mechanics and analysis of rocks and risk modeling;
  • sedimentology, micropaleontology and land disasters;
  • structural geology, tectonics and geodynamics modeling;
  • igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry and thermodynamics;
  • alpine geology (at the crossroads of all of the above-mentioned approaches).

The ISTE also comprises laboratories involved in research at national and international level, the cutting edge research in the geosciences: updating and developing these laboratories are one of ISTE’s main priorities. Members of ISTE support the CASA platform uniting research in the FGSE with EPFL laboratories.

Institute of Earth Sciences (ISTE) website


Suivez nous:    

For further information

Information platform for UNIL researchers

FSGE Research Policies (in french)
A word from the Vice Dean for Research

PhD Code of Ethics
Code of practice for the Doctoral studies at UNIL

Doctoral Schools
List of Doctoral Schools the GSE Faculty is part of/linked to

Doctoral Theses (in french)
Synopses of defended doctoral theses in the Geoblog

Interdisciplinary ethics policies