Current position

Scientific staff of the “Biodiversity” research group within the research unit “Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Responsible for the national data center “swissfungi”, which aims to provide distribution maps and ecological characteristics for all fungal species in Switzerland.

Academic education & positions

2013-2016 Postdoc at ETH Zurich, within the research group Forest Pathology and Dendrology
2010-2013 Doctor of Science in Biology ETH Zurich, within the research group “Forest Pathology and Dendrology”. Thesis: Reproduction system and population structure of Hymennoscyphus pseudoalbidus, causal agent of ash dieback
2009 Internship Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
2004-2009 Bachelor/ Master of Science in Biology, Plant Science, University of Zurich

Research interests

My main research interests circle around ecology, biodiversity and the conservation biology of fungi. To date we still know little about the distribution and ecology of most fungi – too little to establish efficient conservation measures for specific species or species groups. In addition, the taxonomy and phylogenetic position of fungi is often still based on morphology alone which has proven insufficient to resolve certain taxonomic groups.

Me and my colleagues main tool to increase the missing knowledge is a fungal records database for Switzerland including taxonomic, phenological and ecological data for each species. Using this database and making use of modern genetic and phylogenetic techniques I would like to answer questions like: Are morphological and genetic data congruent between certain fungal groups and if not, can we find and define new morphological characters to help amateur mycologists to cope with the outcome of genetic analyses? Which are the characteristic species of specific habitats (e.g. different forest-, grassland- or wetland types)? What determines the rarity of a species? What is the effect of climate change on fungal communities? Can we establish efficient conservation measures for certain species or species groups?