Research interests

I investigate the effects of habitat structure, composition and configuration on the distribution, abundance and diversity of birds, mammals and insects. Since habitat quality is strongly affected by land use and climate change, the main objective of my research is to contribute evidence for practical guidance in biodiversity conservation and wildlife management. I apply and combine different methods for data collection and analysis, such as field sampling, remote-sensing techniques, modeling approaches and genetic analysis. The focus of my studies is on

(1) abiotic and biotic predictors of forest species richness,

(2) the effects of climate and land-use change on biodiversity,

(3) ecological concepts of nature, species and biodiversity conservation.

Current position


Group leader "Conservation biology" at the Research unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Previous position

2000−2006 Module leader and Postdoc within WSL program Forest-Wildlife-Landscape at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
1995−2000 Scientific collaborator and deputy director of SVS/BirdLife Switzerland
1990−1995 PhD „The mating system of the alpine water pipit in a variable environment: ecological, demographic and fitness aspects“ at the Zoological Institute, University of Zürich (Prof. H.-U. Reyer; Prof. N. Davies, Univ. of Cambridge)
1988−1990 Scientific assistant of the Research commission of the Swiss National Park
1989 Diploma thesis „Bestand, Populationsstruktur, Standortwahl und Aktivitätsmuster der Bezoar­ziege (Capra aegagrus blythi) im Kirthar Nationalpark, Sind, Pakistan“ at the Zoological Institute, University of Zürich

Professional affiliations

  • Expert panel "OForest", WSL and European Forest Institute EFI (2018–2020)
  • Expert panel "Integrate", EFI (2013–2018)
  • Expert panel "Biodiversity conservation in Swiss forests", BAFU (2013–2015)
  • Expert panel "Forest nature conservation", Baden-Württemberg (2011–2012, 2022)
  • Swiss Society of Wildlife Biology (Chairman 2001–2008, board member 1989–2000)
  • Member of the IUCN/SSC group: Grouse (since 2002)
  • Member of the IUCN/SSC group: Caprinae (1990–2000)
  • Member of the Federal Panel for Ecological Compensation (1998–2001)

Scientific commissions and foundation boards

  • Foundation board of the Swiss Ornithological Institute (2004–2008, since 2017; president since 2021)
  • Scientific commission of the Swiss Ornithological Institute (since 2004–2021)

Editorial board

  • European Journal of Wildlife Research (Subject Editor 2004–2011)

Reviews (Journals)

Acta Oecologica; Allgemeine Forst- und Jagdzeitung; Annales Zoologici Fennici; Avian Biology; Biodiversity and Conservation; Biological Conservation; Bird Studies; Conservation Biology; Der Ornithologische Beobachter; Diversity and Distributions; Ecography; Ecological Bulletin; Ecological Modelling; Ecology and Evolution; Ecosphere; European Journal of Wildlife Research; Forest Ecology and Management; Global Change Biology; Ibis; Journal of Applied Ecology; Landscape Ecology; Oikos; PlosOne; Population Ecology; Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Forstwesen; Waldökologie, Landschaftsforschung und Naturschutz; Wildlife Biology.


Conservation biology, Forest biodiversity, Species-habitat relationships, Wildlife ecology and management