04.2007 – 07.2010

PhD at the botanical institute of the University of Basel, Switzerland
"Infra-red thermometry in alpine terrain", supervised by Prof. Ch. Körner (Project Ecochange)

10.2005 – 03.2007

Master of Science in Ecology, University of  Basel, Switzerland
"Local extinction risk, colonisation probability and spatial spread of the alpine Geum reptans on a glacier foreland in the Swiss Alps", supervised by Prof. J. Stöcklin

10.2002 –09.2005

Bachelor of Science in organismic biology, University of Basel, Switzerland

Professional experience

since 01.2019

Scientific staff member at the WSL (Group Disturbance Ecology
Swiss-wide spatial and temporal modelling of forest associations and forest recruitment. (Vorprojekt zu Veg2021)

10.2013 – 09.2018

PostDoc / Junior Lecturer at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (Group ECOSPAT)
Scientific research in the fields of biogeography, community ecology and spatial modelling. Teaching of courses at graduate and undergraduate level.

07.2011 – 09.2013

Travelling the World (AUS, NZ, SE-Asia, Russia, Mongolia)
Practical experience with different ecosystems and improvement of language skills.

05.2011 –06.2011

Civil service at the Museum-BL, Switzerland
Development and implementation of a taxonomic backbone for the natural history collection of the museum.

08.2010 –04.2011

PostDoc at the University of Basel, Switzerland
Drought-sensitivity of deciduous tree species. (Projekt MatchTree).

04.2007 –07.2010

PhD Candidate at the University of Basel, Switzerland
Infra-red thermometry of alpine and arctic landscapes (Projekt Ecochange).

Reseach interests

I am an ecologist working in multiple fields including ecophysiology, bioinformatics and climatology. During my PhD I studied the influence of micro-climate on the spatial distribution of artic/alpine plant species and their expected reaction to global warming. Further research projects included the effect of drought on deciduous tree species, various technical as well as applied aspects of species distribution modelling and community ecology.

Reseachgate       Google Scholar        ReseacherID: K-3416-2013


Additional Publications


Scherrer, D. & Guisan, A. (2019) Ecological indicator values reveal missing predictors of species distributions. Scientific Reports9, 3061

Scherrer, D., Mod, H.K., Pottier, J., Litsios-Dubuis, A., Pellisser, L., P., V., Götzenberger, L., Zobel, M. & Guisan, A. (2019) Disentangling the processes driving plant assemblages in mountain grasslands across spatial scales and environmental gradients. Journal of Ecology107, 265-278

Scherrer, D., Christe, P. & Guisan, A. (2019) Modelling habitat suitability of bats in the Prealps: from data collection to ensemble of small models, Diversity and Distributions25, 770-782

Fernandes, R.F., Scherrer, D. & Guisan, A. (2019) Effects of simulated observation errors on the performance of species distribution models. Diversity and Distributions25, 400-413


Scherrer, D., D'Amen, M., Mateo, R.G., Fernandes, R.F. & Guisan, A. (2018) How to best threshold and validate stacked species assemblages? Community optimisation might hold the answer. Methods in Ecology and Evolution9, 2155-2166

Juha, A., Scherrer, D., Lenoir, J., Guisan, A. & Luoto, M. (2018) Biogeophysical controls on soil-atmosphere thermal differences: implications on warming Arctic ecosystems. Environmental Research Letters13, 074003

Fernandes, R.F., Scherrer, D. & Guisan, A. (2018) How much should one sample to accurately predict the distribution of species assemblages? A test with virtual species. Ecological Informatics48


Scherrer, D., Massy, S., Meier, S., Vittoz, P. & Guisan, A. (2017) Assessing and predicting shifts in mountain forest composition across 25 years of climate change. Diversity and Distributions23, 517-528.

Scherrer, D., Stoll, P. & Stöcklin, J. (2017) Colonization dynamics of a clonal pioneer plant on a glacier foreland inferred from spatially explicit and size-structured matrix models. Folia Geobotanica52, 353-366.


Scherrer, D., Mod, H.K.,  Luoto, M. & Guisan, A. (2016) What we use is not what we know: environmental predictors in plant distribution models. Journal of Vegetation Science27, 1308-1322.


Scherrer, D. & Körner, C. (2011) Topographically controlled thermal-habitat differentiation buffers alpine plant diversity against climate warming. Journal of Biogeography38, 406-416.

Scherrer, D., Bader, M.K.-F. & Körner, C. (2011) Drought-sensitivity ranking of deciduous tree species based on thermal imaging of forest canopies. Agricultural and forest meteorology151, 1632-1640.

Scherrer, D., Schmid, S. & Körner, C. (2011) Elevational species shifts in a warmer climate are overestimated when based on weather station data. International Journal of Biometeorology55, 645-654.

Scherrer, D., de Witte, L.C.  & Stöcklin, J. (2011) Genet longevity and population age structure of the clonal pioneer species Geum reptans based on demographic field data and projection matrix modelling. Preslia83, 371-386.


Scherrer, D. & Körner, C. (2010) Infra-red thermometry of alpine landscapes challenges climatic warming projections. Global Change Biology16, 2602-2613.