Univ.-Ass. Getrude Saxinger, Mag. Dr. PD


Neues Institutsgebäude
Universitätsstr. 7/2nd floor
Room: D207
1010 Vienna
T: +43-1-4277-494 24
F: +43-1-4277-949 4
E-Mail: gertrude.saxinger@univie.ac.at
Website: Research Group at the Austrian Polar Research Institute APRI

Office Hours

To be arranged by email


You can find the courses on u:find

Research Interests

Qualitative, ethnographic and decolonial research methods, solidarity in times of a pandemic, social perspectives, in/justice and solidarity in the context of extractive industries and green transition, Russian and Canadian Arctic and Sub-Arctic


Gertrude Saxinger’s research focus at the Department of Political Science’s Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS) is ‘Mining in Solidarity’ and looks at social justice and global solidarity in times of increased mineral extraction for the ‘green transition’. Furthermore, she is member of the CeSCoS project ‘Solidarity in times of a pandemic: What do people do, and why?’

She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology, has completed the University of the Arctic’s PhD program in Pan-Arctic Extractive Industries Studies and is a founding faculty member (and board member) of the Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI). Currently she is also lecturing at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Between 2015 and 2020 Gertrude has been adjunct faculty member at the Yukon Research Centre/Yukon University in Whitehorse/Canada.

Gertrude has been working on social dimensions of natural resource extraction since 2007 in Siberia and in the Yukon Territory in Canada. This includes fly-in/fly-out operations (FIFO), labour mobility and labour relations as well as ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ aspects of Siberian transport infrastructures. Gertrude’s work includes political ecology, environmental, economic and political anthropology, critical sustainability research, spatial configurations in remote regions and urban development in mono-industrial towns as well as gender and intersectionality from a politico-economic and multiscalar perspective.

Since 2014, she has been collaborating with the First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun in the Yukon Territory in studying Indigenous long-term relations with the gold and silver mining industry on First Nations’ Traditional Territories. Gertrude 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 publications for and together with Indigenous rightsholders.

Currently she is coordinator of the IASSA working group on Gender in the Arctic and of the Regional Group Circumpolar Regions and Siberia/German Association of Cultural and Social Anthropologists, Austrian representative to the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and a member of the Horizon 2020 coordination action EU PolarNet, which has the mandate to develop and implement the EU Commission’s Polar Research Programme.

Media (selection)

Her personal YouTube Channel includes various videos from her fieldwork as well as the 15min length film “Mining on First Nation Land” that has been produced together with the First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun.

Life of BAM (Baikal Amur Mainline), cartographic storytelling in Sibiria

This is a guide, written by you... (Yukon Territory) (German)

University of Vienna Podcast Audimax 9: Kulturanthropologie (German)

Publications (selection)

For full publication list see Researchgate and Google Scholar and ORCHID (0000-0003-1428-2689).

Saxinger, Gertrude, Natalia Krasnoshtanova & Gertraud Illmeier (2021). "Neglected Transportation Infrastructure: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Russian State in a Small Siberian Oil Town", Sibirica, 20(3), 1-45. Open Access https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/sibirica/20/3/sib200302.xml 

Saxinger, Gertrude (2021) “Rootedness along the way: meaningful sociality in petroleum and mining mobile worker camps”, Mobilities, 16:2, 194-211. Open Access DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2021.1885844

Saxinger, Gertrude (2021) “Social Dimensions of Mining in Yukon Territory”, In The Economy of the North 2020, S. Glomsrød, I. Aslaksen, G. Duhaime (eds.) Oslo: Statistics Norway. 116-117. Open Access https://www.ssb.no/en/natur-og-miljo/artikler-og-publikasjoner/the-economy-of-the-north-econor-2020

Krasnoshtanova, N./ G. Illmeier/ G. Saxinger (2021) Tokma – malen’koe selo vladi ot bol’shikh dorog (Tokma – a small village off the big roads). Irkutsk: Russian Academy of Sciences. Open Access https://core.univie.ac.at/news/news/tokma-brochure-is-published/?tx_news_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=News&tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D=detail&cHash=d271a8b552164748bfb451265ceef010

Saxinger, Gertrude (2020) “Multilokalität als Normalisierungspraxis und synchrone Raumintegrationsleistung bei Fernpendelnden in der Erdöl- und Erdgasindustrie in Russlands Arktis” (Multilocality as practices of normalisation and synchronic spatial integration among long-distance commuters (FIFO workers) in the Arctic Russian oil and gas industry”. In Multilokale Lebensführung und räumliche Entwicklungen, Danielzyk, R. et al. (eds.) Hannover: ARL Academy for Spatial Research and Planning, 322-328. Open Access https://shop.arl-net.de/media/direct/pdf/fb/fb_013/44_saxinger.pdf

Elders of the First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun/Susanna Gartler/Joella Hogan/Gertrude Saxinger (2019) Dän Húnáy – Our People’s Story. First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun Elders’s Memories and Opinions on Mining. Publishers: Yukon College/ReSDA/First Nation of Nacho Nyäk Dun. 80pp. Open Access https://www.nndfn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/DAN-HUNAY-1-compressed.pdf

Kuklina, Vera/Saxinger, Gertrude/Povoroznyuk, Olga (2019) “Power of Rhythms – Trains and Work along the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in Siberia”, Polar Geography, 42(1), 18-33. Open Access DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2018.1564395

Saxinger, Gertrude and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (2018) “Community Based Participatory Research as a Long-Term Process: Reflexions on Becoming Partners in Understanding Social Dimensions of Mining in the Yukon”, The Northern Review, 47, 187–207. Open Access https://thenorthernreview.ca/index.php/nr/article/view/758

Saxinger, Gertrude/Gartler, Susanna (2018) Mobile Workers Guide: coping with FIFO and rotational shift work. Open Access https://fifo-guide.jimdofree.com/, 64 pp.

Saxinger, Gertrude (2017) “Infinite Travel: The Impact of Labor Conditions on Mobility Potentials in the Northern Russian Petroleum Industry”. In New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions, Laruelle, M. (ed.) London: Routledge, 85-103.

Saxinger, Gertrude (2016) “Lured by oil and gas: labour mobility, multi-locality and negotiating normality & extreme in the Russian Far North”, The Extractive Industries and Society Journal 3/1, 50-59. DOI 10.1016/j.exis.2015.12.002

Saxinger, Gertrude, E. Öfner, E. Shakirova, M. Ivanova, M. Yakolev, E. Gareyev (2016) “Ready to go! The next generation of mobile highly skilled workforce in the Russian petroleum industry”. The Extractive Industries and Society 3(3), 627-639. DOI 10.1016/j.exis.2016.06.005

Saxinger, Gertrude, A. Petrov, V. Kuklina, N.  Krasnostanova, D. Carson (2016) “Boom back or blow back? Growth strategies in mono-industrial resource towns – “east” & “west””. In Settlements at the Edge: Remote human settlements in developed nations. Taylor, A., Carson, D., Ensign, P., Huskey, L., Rasmussen, R. and Saxinger, G. (eds.) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 49-74.

Saxinger, Gertrude (2015) “’To you, to us, to oil and gas’ – The symbolic and socio-economic attachment of the workforce to oil, gas and its spaces of extraction in the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Districts in Russia”. Fennia- International Journal of Geography. 193:1, 83–98. Open Access DOI10.11143/45209

Projects (selection)

Lives on the Move: Long-distance commuting in the Petroleum Industry of the Russian Arctic (FWF Austrian Science Fund) 2010-2015

Labour Mobility and Community Participation in the Extractive Industries  – Yukon (SSHRC Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada/Yukon Government) 2014-2019

Configurations of Remoteness: Entanglements of Humans and Transportation Infrastructure in the Baykal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Region  (FWF Austrian Science Fund) 2015-2020

EU PolarNet (EU Horizon 2020) 2021-2023


2007    Dissertation Award in Migration Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences, AT

2014    Dissertation Recognition Award of the Dr. Maria Schaumayer Stiftung, AT