Pohl is director of the Institut für Mittelalterforschung (Institute for Middle Ages Research) () of the Austrian Academy of Sciences as well as a university professor of history of the Middle Ages and historical subsidiary sciences at the historical-culture-scientific faculty at the University of Vienna. In the year 2004 he was awarded the Wittgenstein-Preis. Since the summer 2002 he is an Austrian representative in the Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation (ESF) as well as delegates in the general assembly of the ESF.
His main areas of research include (among other things):
- Conversion of the Roman world and the realms of the early Middle Ages (see Late Antiquity)
- Ethnic processes and identities between ancient and the Middle Ages
- The Migration Period and other migrations.
- Early medieval law books
- History of the steppe peoples
- History and culture history of Italy until around 1000
He has written many encyclopedia articles in German and English.
Works in English translation. For a complete list see publications.
- Die Awaren. Ein Steppenvolk in Mitteleuropa 567 - 822 n. Chr. (2002). English translation in conjunction with Cornell forthcoming.
- Kingdoms of the Empire: The Integration of Barbarians in Late Antiquity (1997).
- Strategies of Distinction: The Construction of Ethnic Communities, 300-800 (1998).
- The Transformation of Frontiers: From Late Antiquity to the Carolingians (2000).
- Regna and Gentes: The Relationship Between Late Antique and Early Medieval Peoples and Kingdoms in the Transformation of the Roman World (2003).
- Conceptions of ethnicity in early medieval studies (1991) PDF