Associate Professor

Paula Hilger

Field of work

I’m a landslide geologist, fascinated by all kinds of landslides: from rock avalanches to rockfall; through rockslides, shallow landslides, debris flows and unstable slopes.

Large parts of my teaching are focused on landslides and other natural hazards, with courses in the master program Climate Change Management, the bachelor program Geology and Geohazards, and in the international semester program Geohazards and Climate Change.

I thrive on working in the field and I enjoy getting out into nature with my students, because nature is the best teacher. When seeing real unstable rock slopes or landslide deposits, it is easy to grasp the impressive effect and impact these processes have, and the challenges they create for land-use planning.

The most important tools for a landslide geologist are mapping, geographical information systems (GIS) and modelling tools. Applying these is fun and knowledge about them is essential for many jobs in geosciences.

My research interests include:

  • Surface exposure dating using cosmogenic nuclides, finding the failure time of specific landslide events. Is it a recent landslide or did this event happen thousands of years ago?
  • Landscape development and landslide activity in alpine terrain. How are landforms affected by landslide processes? How active is an unstable slope?
  • Drivers and triggers for landslides. In which ways do weather, climate and permafrost affect landslide processes, and how will landslide activity change with a changing climate?

You can find a selection of my publications below and on For a complete list please check CRISTin (find the link to the right).


Courses taught

  • GE4-302 Natural hazards for land-use planning
  • GE413 Cartography and GIS
  • GE488 Natural hazards
  • GE491 Bachelor Thesis in Geology
  • GE483 Past and present climate

Research areas

  • Landslides
  • Geomorphology
  • Cosmogenic nuclide dating
  • Quaternary Geology

Research groups

Selected publications