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Birgit Ottmer



Head of Support Unit, Member of Directors Board


WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Flüelastrasse 11
7260 Davos Dorf
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


Davos Bi HL B 31, Da B 2 16


Tasks at WSL

As Head of WSL's Communication Unit, the dialogue between WSL and the public, politicians, authorities, practitioners and the scientific community is particularly important to me. The exchange between WSL staff, WSL management and employees and across sites is also close to my heart.

The fields of activity of our support unit include internal communication, PR, science in dialogue, knowledge transfer/marketing, knowledge dissemination, technical-methodological support, communication consulting and multimedia production (e.g. web videos).

In 2020/21 I was also interim head of WSL's Planning and Logistics Division, i.e. the non-research departments Human Resources, Finance and Support, IT, Communication, Operations Birmensdorf and Operations Davos. Research is the core mission of WSL - but without the work of these support units, the researchers would not be able to fulfil their task. That is why I consider our highly qualified and motivated employees in the support units to be central to WSL's success.


1980-1993Primary, Secundary, and Highschool in Kreuzlingen

Matur Typus B


Studies in Environmental Science at ETH Zurich

Dipl. Umwelt-Natw. ETH (equals a Master Degree)

2004-2006Postgraduate studies in integrated corporate communications, FH Nordwestschweiz

Executive Master of Corporate Communication Management

2020-2021CAS Rhetorik und Moderation am MAZ - Die Schweizer Journalistenschule

Professional career

since 2022Member of the Directorate WSL
2020/21Head of Planning and Logistics WSL (ad interim), Member of Directorate WSL (ad interim)
since 2009Head of Communications WSL
2006-2009Head of Knowledge Managment and Deputy Head of Communications WSL
2001-2006Groupe Leader Outreach and Project Leader Internatianal Year of Mountains at SLF
2000-2001Project Leader Public Relations at Institut für Baubiologie SIB
1999-2000Public Relations Officer at the Swiss Ornithological Station Sempach
1987-1999Internships and side jobs:
Nationalpark Hainich (D)
Naturpark Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal
Institut für Experimentelle Ökologie ETHZ
Alterszentrum Kreuzlingen

When I'm not working..

...I still have enough to do:

  • I like to be out in the mountains, e.g. hiking, ski touring, cross-country skiing or gardening - preferably together with my husband and/or children.
  • I follow the birds with binoculars and telescopes. I am a field ornithologist and excursion leader SVS/ZVS and have worked on the breeding bird atlas 2013-2016 of the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach.
  • I am a foundation board member of the Swiss Research Institute for High Altitude Climate and Medicine Davos, the governing body of the SIAF and PMOD-WRC research institutes. There I represent the Davos Natural Sciences Society NGD, on whose board I am.
  • I am active on the board of Pro Natura Graubünden..


My place of residence, Filisur, is in Parc Ela. It is very important to me that this regional nature park of national importance is a success.