Georg Grabherr is one of the most influential conservation biologists in Austria and beyond and emeritus professor of the University of Vienna. He is chairman of the MAB (Man and Biosphere/UNESCO) National Committee of Austria. He studied biology and earth sciences at the University of Innsbruck, finishing with a summa cum laude grade doctorate. In Innsbruck he pioneered research into the dynamics of alpine ecosystems and the knowledge of alpine vegetation types. He was the first to point out the great importance of clonality in original alpine meadows as well as their great age. The GLORIA project, which he initiated and coordinates, is a leading global monitoring project. Studies on the hemeroby of Austrian forests and the first complete mountain inventory of biotopes in need of protection made Grabherr an internationally sought expert. His research findings have been published in leading scientific journals like Nature and Science. He knows how to combine the position of a top scientist with practical conservation work. In 2011, Georg Grabherr was awarded the Austrian Conservation Prize. In 2013 he received the Republic of Austria's Cross of Honour, First Class, the 'Vorarlberger Wissenschaftspreis' and was voted 'Austrian Scientist of the Year 2012' by the club of Austrian journalists specialising in education and science.