Roland Psenner was born in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, in 1950. After his PhD in microbiology, limnology and biochemistry at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, he worked at the University of Innsbruck for international programmes focussed on environmental problems of lakes, as public officer for settlement planning in Italy, and with the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Since 1997, he is Professor of Limnology at the University of Innsbruck.
He is an expert in eutrophication and phosphorus cycling, biogeochemistry of acidification, global change effects on lakes, aquatic microbial food webs, and ice ecosystems. He worked on different aspects of UV radiation effects on aquatic microorganisms, with image analysis and flow cytometry methods and as paleo-ecologist with a focus on alpine ecosystems. He participated in several Framework Programs of the EU and has published 500 articles, more of 150 of them in peer-reviewed journals. His papers have been cited more than 13,000 times (Google Scholar, h=63), he belongs to the top two percent scientists worldwide (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pbio.3000918), has written more than 30 book chapters and edited a book series on mountain issues with 15 volumes up to now.
As president of the International Scientific Committee of Alpine Research (ISCAR, Berne, CH) in 2000-2002 and speaker of the Research Focus "Alpine Space – Man & Environment" of the University of Innsbruck he has become interested also in social and cultural problems of mountain regions. From 2013 to 2021 he was the president of the national committee “Global Change” of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. From 2008 to 2012 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Biology, from 2012 to 2015 he was Vice Rector of the University of Innsbruck and since July 2015 he is the president of Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen (Italy). Since 2018, when he became professor emeritus, he is vice president of the university council of BOKU, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
He is married to Barbara Golderer and has two sons.