I'm very lucky to say that my job is my hobby and my passion.
The path to this point was not always easy or straightforward, but now I'm doing what I love: research on anything that comes down a mountainside. Snow, rocks, debris, logs or even skiers ...
I first met geosciences in elementary school. I was lucky to have a geography teacher with a plotting board, where she had performed a number of demonstrations on hillside erosion, sand dune movements, stream dynamics and various other geomorphic processes. However instead of simply becoming a geoscientist I ended up on a slightly different path. I finished uni as a physics-engineer doing both my masters thesis and my PhD in computational nanosciences and quantum chemistry. During these years my passion for mountains was only fuelled by the numerous hikes and climbs, long distance walking trips and all other outdoor activities we have done all around Europe: in Hungary, in the Carphatian mountains, in the Alps, in the Pyrenees, on Corsica, in Granada, in Norway, in the Balkans, on the fells of the whole United Kingdom and pratically anywhere where there came a slope by. While everybody else was photographing the beautiful sunset from the ridge I was taking pictures of the rockslide below us, while everyone was annoyed of all the logs we had to climb through in a gully, I was struck by the complexity of the system they created, while everyone was dreading a day with avi danger 4, I loved it, cause I could just sit at the hut and look at the avalanches roaring down all around. It's a strange passion, I know. When you ask "why this?", I will have no answer. What I know is that anytime I see such a geomorhic phenomena I ask the same question: Why did this happen? Why did it go exactly the way it did? Why did it stop like that? Why is its dynamics like that? Why, why, why?
Once I realised that this is what I want to do, I had to find a way to do it. I was thinking about enrolling in a second MSc or doing a second PhD in geosciences, but I had nor the time, neither the money. However what I learnt throughout the years in science was, that sometimes one method used in one disciplines may be applicable in another, and I realised that for me this is indeed the case: both my molecular dynamics knowledge and my high performance computation experience could be used in granular physics, which may eventually bring me a step closer to hillslope geomorphology. I was lucky to end up with a group who did fundamental research on granular mechanics, both numerical and experimental. During these two years I have learnt a lot, granular physics, experiment design, image analysis, the discreet element method. Now was the time to take the leap. I applied for a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship on multiscale modelling of mass-waste events, and I was lucky enough to get it, so currently I'm a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vienna in the ENGAGE group led by Prof. Thomas Glade doing research on gravitational mass-movements with a focus on dry landslide events and snow avalanches. However my research interests are still as broad as ever: mudslides, erosion, stream evolution, log jamming, I'm still interested in it all. To also focus on my snow science side, I'm also a Management Committee member for Hungary in the COST Action HARMOSNOW together with my all time enthusiasm booster, Anna Seres, possibly Hungary's only avalanche scientist.
My future plans? Secret ;) But what I can already tell you that I believe in multidisciplinary and multiscale approaches, in merging theory, experiments and field work together and have a very deep interest in complex system, data science and multi-processes (I know, I know, they are just buzzwords, but not for me ;). I currently have a job till 2019, so I will see what the future brings ;)
I usually spend my free time outdoors with my husband, my friends and my camera. Then and there it doesn't matter what the exact art is: walking, running, skiing, cycling, paddling, climbing, swimming or sailing, what matters to me is the peace and calmness, the camaraderie and the solitude that being in the nature offers (and the fact that usually there is no internet ;). When I have started ski mountaineering I realised how difficult it is to find proper training options in hilly Hungary, this is why we have founded in 2016 the Hungarian Ski Mountaineering Association with my friends. The Association's main aims are to increase winter mountain awareness among Hungarians, increase partaking in ski touring and to support ski mountaineering competitioning. As always it's a slow growth at first, so far we have teamed up with the Slovakian Volunteer Mountain Rescue guys and did some avi courses with them, we are running a lecture series on avalanche safety, organised a number of sports events and in 2017 we have won an Erasmus+ proposal starting in 2018, where we will meet up with Icelandic and Slovenian clubs in order to do some networking and to learn from each other in the above fields.
Of course my life is not all mountains, I have a few other interests besides that (ok, not a few, but a lot). E.g. I used to like drawing with charcoal, I'm very much interested in occupational rescue, I nearly enrolled paramedic school in 2017, but then realised that it won't fit into my schedule yet :) And I like photography and reading and gardening and cooking (OK, more the experimental part of it) and music and folks dancing and wine and tackling stuff and organising trips and events and talking with all sorts of people and ... Oh, and did I mention photography? But no TV, strictly no TV.
So all in all I can honestly say that my jobs and hobbies slowly all build up to who I am, even if science can be very harsh Muse sometimes ;)