Dr. Gertrude Saxinger

(formerly: Eilmsteiner)

Assistant Professor

Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
NIG, 4th floor
Room: C0412

T: +43-1-4277-49507
E-Mail: gertrude.saxinger@univie.ac.at
Homepage: http://www.polarresearch.at/faculty/group-eilmsteiner-saxinger/

Office Hours

individual student appointments via email:



Current Courses: u:find

Past Courses: u:find

Research Focus Areas

  • Natural resources and extractive industries
  • Community-resource industry relations
  • Remote regions, regional and urban development (sparsely populated areas, mono-industrial towns)
  • Infrastructure and the built environment, human-environment relations
  • HR/Labour studies, fly-in/fly out shift work, long-distance commuting (FIFO, LDC)
  • Mobility/multi-locality/migration studies, social spaces and places
  • Indigenous cultural revitalization and indigeneity
  • Cartographic storytelling for analysis and outreach
  • Post-socialism, gender and diversity studies, political economy

Short Biography

Dr. Gertrude Saxinger is Assistant Professor (“Universitätsassistentin”) at the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna and faculty member of the Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI). She is focusing on Arctic Studies (Russia and Canada), on remoteness and sparsely populated areas. This includes environmental anthropology, extractive industries studies, mobility studies (especially FIFO and long-distance commute work), infrastructures in remote regions as well as gender and intesectionality.

This entails interdisciplinary thinking; in particular she is related to Human and Economic 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. 

Currently she leads the research group "Social and Cultural Systems" at APRI which consists of geographers, anthropologists and, political scientists. www.polarresearch.at/faculty/group-eilmsteiner-saxinger/

Since 2014 Gertrude is also adjunct faculty member at the Yukon Research Centre/Yukon College, Whitehorse in Canada. 

She has done extensive field work in mono-industrial regions with indigenous and non-indigenous populations alike. A key method is community based research and she pursues collaborative research with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun in the Yukon Territory.

As a founding member of the Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI), IASSA Council member (International Arctic Social Sciences Association), co-spokesperson of the Working Group on Circumpolar and Siberian Studies/German Association of Anthropologists (DGV), as an Austrian representative at the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) she is actively promoting Arctic social sciences in non-Arctic countries. She also acts as policy advisor to the European Commission in the framework of the H2020 research project "EU-PolarNet". 

Gertrude is proponent of combining applied research and theory building in the Arctic social sciences and is dedicated to outreach to the general public. 

Selected Publications

Saxinger, Gertrude

  • 2019 together with Vera Kuklina (first author), Olga Povoroznyuk “Power of Rhythms – Trains and Work along the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in Siberia”, Polar Geography Journal.
  • 2018 together with First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun “Community Based Partcipatory Research as a Long-Term Process: Reflexions on Becoming Partners in Understanding Social Dimensions of Mining in the Yukon”, The Northern Review, 47, pp. 187–207.
  • 2017 “Infinite Travel: The Impact of Labor Conditions on Mobility Potential in the Northern Russian Petroleum Industry”. In: Laruelle, M. (ed) New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions, London: Routledge, pp. 85-103.
  • 2016 Unterwegs. Mobiles Leben in der Erdgas- und Erdölindustrie in Russlands Arktis /Mobil’nyy obraz zhizni vakhtovykh rabochikh neftegazovoy promyshlennosti na Russkom Kraynem Severe /Lives on the Move – Long-distance Commuting in the Northern Russian Petroleum Industry. With an extended summary in English and Russian. Wien, Weimar, Köln: Böhlau, pp. 206. Hardcover and Gold Open Access, publication grant by Austrian Science Fund [FWF] www.boehlau-verlag.com/download/164125/978-3-205-79694-7_OpenAccess.pdf
  • 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, pp. 50-59. DOI information: 10.1016/j.exis.2015.12.002
  • 2016 together with Petrov, A., Kuklina, V., Krasnostanova, N., Carson, D. “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.), Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 49-74.
  • 2016  together with Elena Nuykina and Elisabeth Öfner: “The Russian North Connected – The Role of Long-Distance Commute Work for Regional Integration”. In: Sustaining Russia´s Arctic Cities: Resource Politics, Migration, and Climate Change, Orttung, R. (ed.) London, New York: Berghahn, pp. 112-138.
  • 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”. In: Fennia- International Journal of Geography. 193:1, pp. 83–98. doi: 10.11143/45209

Grants and Projects


2010 Stand-alone proposal author and research team leader: Austrian Science Fund (FWF) [P 22066-G14] “Lives on the Move – Vakhtoviki in North Western Siberia, Republic of Komi and Republic of Bashkortostan”, project leader: Heinz Fassmann, AT (2010-2015), Department for Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna and Institute for Urban and Regional Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, AT

2010 12 months Ph.D. Research Stipend, University of Vienna, AT 

2014 Principal Investigator: SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) & Yukon Territory Government: “LACE – Labour mobility and community participation in the extractive industries – Yukon”, partners: University of Vienna, Lakehead University (ON) and Yukon College (YT), CAN (2014-2017), co-PI Chris Southcott 

2015 Co-author of grant proposal: Austrian Science Fund (FWF) [P 27625]: “CoRe – Configurations of Remoteness: Human entanglement with transport infrastructure”, project leader: Peter Schweitzer, AT (2015-2018)

2017 Principle Investigator: SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada): “The Mobile Workers Guide – a ReSDA community outreach activity” University of Vienna, Lakehead University (ON) and Yukon College (YT), CAN (2017-2018), co-PI Chris Southcott

Other project affiliations

Since 2015 HuSArctic – Human Security as a promotional tool for societal security in the Arctic”, Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi, Finland. Funded by the Academy of Finland, duration 2015-2018, project leader: Dr. Kamrul Hossain

Since 2015 EU PolarNet – Science for Society (Horizon 2020), duration 2015-2020, AWI, Alfred Wegener Institute, GER

Selected conference presentations, key-notes, invited lectures

2018 Living off the land and Working in the Mines in the Yukon Territory, Polar Talk #1 in the Museum of Natural History, Vienna

2017 together with Susanna Gartler, Labour Mobility and Community Participation in Mining in the Yukon Territory – Findings from the “ReSDA-LACE” Project, Brown Bag Seminar Speakers Series, Yukon College, Whitehorse, CAN

2017 The Mobile Workers Guide – FIFO and Rotational Shift Work in Mining. Yukon Experiences. ICASS IX, Umea, SE

2017 together with Christoph Fink, Olga Povoroznyuk, Peter Schweitzer, Sigrid Schiesser The Baikal-Amur Mainline and Mobility: Experiences and Expectations, AAG American Georgraphers Meeting, Boston, US

2016  Simultaneity and Separation: Understanding the Extractive Industries` Fifo Workers through the Multilocality-Lens, AAA American Anthropologist Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, US

2016 together with Christoph Fink and Sigrid Schiesser: GIS Mapping & Anthropology towards visual based analysis and dissemination, Qualitatives Conference, St. Cathrines, CAN

2016 Living in a worker´s camp: gated communities in the (Sub-)Arctic´s extractive industries – Yukon and Siberia, Conference of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), Vancouver, CAN

2016 Community participation in mining: a Mobility Companion Guide for early career workers, Western Regional Science Association Conference, Hawaii, US

2015 The Arctic Natural Resources Industry - selected aspects from Polar Social Sciences, key note, First Central European Polar Meeting, Vienna, AT