Dr. med. Mathias Steinach

Center for Space Medicine Berlin

Charité Cross Over
Charitéplatz 1 
10117 Berlin

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+49 (0)30 450 528 517

Dr. Mathias Gunnar Thomas Steinach has been a research assistant of the group of Space Medicine and Extreme Environments since 2006. He has studied Human Medicine at the Charité Berlin, received his license to practice medicine and briefly worked in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (PD Dimeo) before eventually joining Prof. Gunga’s research group. Besides this he has also studied film and took part in numerous film- and TV-productions.

Since 2007 he has been incorporated into the long-term physiological research of overwinterers of the German Research Station Neumayer II and then it’s successor Neumayer III. He has made this research the topic of his doctoral thesis “Physiological long term changes in overwinterers in the Antarctic with particular consideration of activity parameters” where he studied the respective changes in overwinterers of the campaigns 2008 – 2011. He completed the evaluation of these long-term studies in 2012 and received his doctoral degree in February 2013.

Meanwhile he has worked on the group’s numerous research topics and contributed to many publications (see list below).

In February 2013 he engaged in a new study regarding “Physiological Changes in Participants of an Ultramarathon in Subarctic Climate” where participants of the extreme Yukon Arctic Ultramarathon (YAU) in north-west Canada travel 430 miles (690 km) by foot whilst in extremely cold conditions. These measurements were continued during the YAU-2015 and 2017 and are currently continued during the YAU 2019. See the Blog on how these measurements proceeded in 2015, 2017 and now in 2019.

In May 2014 he conducted a pilot-study regarding physiological changes in participants in a 24-hour long 100 km march where the participants walked with a relatively low speed of 4-5 km/h but for an extensive duration to cover the distance of 100 km. This has been developed into a full study in 2015.

His main interests are exercise physiology and extreme environments (and the combination thereof), circadian rhythm, isolation and thermo-physiology.

Privately, he engages in different kinds of sports such as strength and endurance training, sports climbing and various forms of martial arts (Jiu-Jitsu, Karate and Krav Maga). He also enjoys travelling and photography.


Kienast C, Biere K, Coker RH, Genov NN, Jörres M, Maggioni MA, Mascarell-Maricic L, Schalt A, Genov M, Gunga HC and Steinach M: “Adiponectin, leptin, cortisol, neuropeptide Y and profile of mood states in athletes participating in an ultramarathon during winter: An observational study” in Front.Physiol., 2022

Steinach M, Biere K, Coker RH, Gaul AL, Hoerl M, Jörres M, Kienast C, Mascarell-Maricic L, Schalt A, Gunga HC, Choukér A and Rehm M: “Influences on glycocalyx shedding during the Yukon Arctic Ultra: the longest and the coldest ultramarathon” in J.Appl.Physiol., 2022

Rabuffetti M, Steinach M, Lichti J, Gunga HC, Balcerek B, Becker PN, Fähling M, Merati G, Maggioni MA: “The Association of Fatigue With Decreasing Regularity of Locomotion During an Incremental Test in Trained and Untrained Healthy Adults” in Front.Bioeng.Biotech., 2021

Kienast C, Wypukol M, Grevers D, Steinach M, Maggioni MA, Opatz O, Gunga HC: “Hitzephysiologie und Konsequenzen für die Arbeitsmedizin” in Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, 2021

Mendt S, Brauns K, Friedl-Werner A, Belavy DL, Steinach M, Schlabs T, Werner A, Gunga HC, Stahn AC: “Long-Term Bed Rest Delays the Circadian Phase of Core Body Temperature in Front.Physiol., 2021

Jörres M, Gunga HC, Steinach M: “Physiological Changes, Activity, and Stress During a 100-km–24-h Walking-March” in Front.Physiol., 2021

Mendt S, Gunga HC, Felsenberg D, Belavy DL, Steinach M and Stahn AC: “Regular exercise counteracts circadian shifts in core body temperature during long-duration bed rest” in NPJ Microgravity, 2021

Balcerek B and Steinach M, Lichti J, Maggioni MA, Becker PN, Labes R, Gunga HC, Persson PB, Fähling M: “A Broad Diversity in Oxygen Affinity to Haemoglobin” in Sci.Rep., 2020

Maggioni MA, Rundfeldt LC, Gunga HC, Joerres M, Merati G, Steinach M: “The Advantage of Supine and Standing Heart Rate Variability Analysis to Assess Training Status and Performance in a Walking Ultramarathon” in Front.Physiol., 2020

Kienast C, Gunga HC, Steinach M: “Neuropeptide Y – Its role in human performance and extreme environments” in REACH – Reviews in Human Space Exploration, 2019

Steinach M, Lichti J, Maggioni MA, Fähling M: “A Fluid Shift for Endurance Exercise – Why Hydration Matters” in Acta.Physiol., 2019

Rundfeldt LC, Gunga HC, Steinach M: “Anabolic signaling and response in sarcopenia as a model for microgravity induced muscle deconditioning: A systematic review” in REACH – Reviews in Human Space Exploration, 2019

Schalt A, Johannsen M, Kim J, Chen R, Murphy CJ, Coker MS, Gunga HC, Coker RH, Steinach M: “Negative Energy Balance does not alter Fat Free Mass during the Yukon Arctic Ultra – the Longest and the Coldest Ultramarathon” in Front.Physiol., 2018

Maggioni MA, Castiglioni P, Merati G, Brauns K, Gunga HC, Mendt S, Opatz OS, Rundfeldt LC, Steinach M, Werner A, Stahn AC: “High-Intensity Exercise Mitigates Cardiovascular Deconditioning During Long-Duration Bed Rest” in Front.Physiol., 2018

Opatz O, Nordine M, Habazettl H, Ganse B, Petricek J, Dosel P, Stahn A, Steinach M, Gunga HC, Maggioni MA: “Limb Skin Temperature as a Tool to Predict Orthostatic Instability” in Front.Physiol., 2018

Rundfeldt LC, Maggioni MA, Coker RH, Gunga HC, Riveros-Rivera A, Schalt A, Steinach M: “Cardiac Autonomic Modulations and Psychological Correlates in the Yukon Arctic Ultra: The Longest and the Coldest Ultramarathon” in Front.Physiol., 2018

Stahn A, Werner A, Opatz O, Maggioni MA, Steinach M, Weller von Ahlefeld V, Moore A, Crucian BE, Smith SM, Zwart SR, Schlabs T, Mendt S, Trippel T, Koralewski E, Koch J, Choukèr A, Reitz G, Shang P, Röcker L, Kirsch KA, Gunga HC: “Increased core body temperature in astronauts during long-duration space missions” in Sci.Rep., 2017

Boening D, Maassen N, Steinach M: “The Efficiency of Muscular Exercise” in Deut.Z.Sportmed., 2017

Mendt S, Maggioni MA, Nordine M, Steinach M, Opatz O, Belavý D, Felsenberg D, Koch J, Shang P, Gunga HC, Stahn A: “Circadian rhythms in bed rest: Monitoring core body temperature via heat-flux approach is superior to skin surface temperature” in Chronobiol.Int., 2016

Coker RH, Weaver AN, Coker MS, Murphy CJ, Gunga HC, Steinach M: “Metabolic Responses to the Yukon Arctic Ultra: Longest and Coldest in the World” in Med.Sci.Sports.Exerc., 2016

Steinach M, Kohlberg E, Maggioni MA, Mendt S, Opatz O, Stahn A, Gunga HC: “Sleep Quality Changes during Overwintering at the German Antarctic Stations Neumayer II and III: The Gender Factor” in PloS One, 2016

Steinach M, Kohlberg E, Maggioni MA, Mendt S, Opatz O, Stahn A, Tiedemann J, Gunga HC: “Changes of 25-OH-Vitamin D during Overwintering at the German Antarctic Stations Neumayer II and III” in PloS One, 2015

Mathias Steinach: “Yukon Arctic Ultra – Betrachtungen aus physiologischer Sicht” in “Medical Sports Network”, Succidia AG-Verlag, 2015

Mathias Steinach and Hanns-Christian Gunga: Chapter 6 “Cold Environments” in “Human Physiology in Extreme Environments”, Academic Press – Elsevier, 2015

Mathias Steinach and Hanns-Christian Gunga: Chapter 3 “Exercise Physiology” in “Human Physiology in Extreme Environments”, Academic Press – Elsevier, 2015

Opatz O, Trippel T, Lochner A, Werner A, Stahn A, Steinach M, Lenk J, Kuppe H, Gunga HC: “Temporal and spatial dispersion of human body temperature during deep hypothermia” in Br.J.Anaesth., 2013

Mathias Steinach: “Circadianer Rhythmus – ein Review” in “Jahrbuch 2012”, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Alpin- und Höhenmedizin, 2012

Mathias Steinach: Chapter 4.1 “Zirkadiane Rhythmik” in “Lichttherapie”, Springer-Verlag, 2012

Mathias Steinach and Hanns-Christian Gunga: Chapter 7 “Circadian Rhythm and Stress” in “Stress Challenges and Immunity in Space”, Springer-Verlag, 2012

Hanns-Christian Gunga, Mathias Steinach, Karl Kirsch, Alexander Stahn and Andreas Werner: Chapter 7.6 “Weltraummedizin und -biologie” in “Handbuch der Raumfahrttechnik”, Carl-Hanser-Verlag, 2011

Gunga HC, Werner A, Stahn A, Steinach M, Schlabs T, Koralewski E, Kunz D, Belavý DL, Felsenberg D, Sattler F, Koch J: “The Double Sensor-A non-invasive device to continuously monitor core temperature in humans on earth and in space” in Respir.Physiol.Neurobiol., 2009

Hanns-Christian Gunga, Mathias Steinach, Karl August Kirsch and Andreas Werner: Chapter 7.6 “Space Medicine and Biology” in “Handbook of Space Technology”, Wiley & Sons, 2009

Boldt LH, Fraszl W, Röcker L, Schefold JC, Steinach M, Noack T, Gunga HC: “Changes in the haemostatic system after thermoneutral and hyperthermic water immersion” in Eur.J.Appl.Physio., 2008

Gunga HC, Kirsch KA, Roecker L, Kohlberg E, Tiedemann J, Steinach M, Schobersberger W: “Erythropoietin regulations in humans under different environmental and experimental conditions” in Respir.Physiol.Neurobiol., 2007

Debus NP, Steinach M, Stibenz D, Hofmann B, Sydow S, Buehrer C, Nifant’ev NE, Bovin NY, Semmler W: “Surface plasmon measurements of L-selectin binding” in Glycobiology, 1999