Dr. Gertrude Saxinger, PhD in social anthropology, is faculty and board member of the Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI). Currently she leads her interdisciplinary research group in the field of “Social and Cultural Systems” at APRI. As APRI member, Gerti is affiliated to the EU Horizon 2020 coordination project EU PolarNet (2020-2024). Her research focus at the Department of Political Science’s Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS) is on mining for critical minerals relevant for the “green” transition. In the context of the European Green Deal she looks at social justice and global solidarity in Artic and global resources extraction and supply chain ethics.
She is proponent of combining applied research and theory building in the Arctic social sciences and is dedicated to outreach to the public, also as member of the APRI media team.
Furthermore, she is actively promoting and lobbying for transdisciplinary research approaches in the field of decolonial co-creation of knowledge by Indigenous rightsholders and researchers in social and natural sciences.
Since 2014, she has been collaborating with the First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun in the Yukon Territory/Canada in studying Indigenous long-term relations with the gold and silver mining industry on First Nations’ Traditional Territories. Gerti is a strong advocate for solidaristic, decolonial research methodologies in Arctic sciences and for co-creation of knowledge that bridges Indigenous knowledge and interests with academic research through true partnership. One of her key methods is ‘community based participatory research’ which reflects her passion for popular science and for publication together with Indigenous rightsholders.
Her regional focus in Arctic Studies is Russia/Siberia and Canada/Yukon Territory. Gerti’s work includes environmental anthropology, critical sustainability research, extractive industries studies, corporate social responsibility, solidarity, mobility and labour studies (e.g., FIFO and long-distance commute work), transport infrastructures in remote regions as well as gender, queer and intersectionality from a politico-economic and multiscalar perspective. She has done extensive fieldwork in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of mineral extraction with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. Gerti’s work entails interdisciplinary thinking; in particular she is related to political science and human geography. In the past, she worked with the Austrian Academy of Sciences/ Department for Urban and Regional Research as well as with the Department for Geography/Uni Vienna. She served as assistant professor at the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology/Uni Vienna until 2019. Between 2015 and 2020 Gertrude has been adjunct faculty member at the Yukon Research Centre/Yukon University in Whitehorse/Canada. 2020-2021 she has been working with the Department for Social Anthropology at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Currently she is researcher and lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna.
As a founding member of the Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI), former IASSA Council member (International Arctic Social Sciences Association), co-spokesperson of the Working Group on Circumpolar and Siberian Studies/German Association of Anthropologists (DGSKA), as a former Austrian representative to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and coordinator of the IASSA Working Group Gender in the Arctic, she is actively promoting Arctic social sciences, interdisciplinary collaboration of social and natural sciences and the humanities and not least, decolonial collaborative research with Indigenous communities. 2015-2020 she has acted as policy advisor to the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon 2020 research project EU-PolarNet.