Professor of Ecosystem Management

About us


OPAL is funded

Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes, a 6-yr research program spanning Indonesia, Cameroon and Colombia, is funded by SNF/SDC. Interdisciplinary & participatory, biodiversity & ecosystem services, livelihoods, policy, and development - we have it all! Starting in 2015, and recruiting soon.

New book

Forests: A Very Short Introduction
- pre-order now at OUP!

Sustainability Blog

The Future of Milk | 2 Sept 2014

Reforestation: a chance for farmers | 3 June 2014

Future farmers | 19 December 2013

Dark side of coffee | 11 November 2013

In the Media

Die Pflanze unseres Lebens (The plants of our lives) | NZZ am Sonntag | 23 February 2014 | Article on our oil palm work (in German).

New Publications

Born, J. et al. (2015) Differential responses of seedlings to microtopography. Biotropica, in press.

Born, J. et al. (2014) Differing life history characteristics support coexistence ... . Biotropica, 46, 58-68.

Braaker, S., et al. (2014) Habitat connectivity shapes urban arthropod communities... Ecology, 95, 1010-1021.

Finger, A. et al. (2014) Genetic connectivity of a moth pollinated tree in a fragmented habitat ... PLOS One. see here

Frei, E., et al. (2014) Plant population differentiation and climate change... Global Change Biology, 20, 441-455.

Ghazoul, J. (2014) Ecological dynamics in fragmented landscapes. Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology see here

Ismail, S.A., et al. (2014) Forest trees in human modified landscapes... PLOS One, 9, e89437.

Kaiser-Bunbury, C., et al. (2014) ... the structure of plant-pollinator networks. Ecology, in press.

Ecology and Ecosystems Seminar Series

What we do

We are motivated by a desire to understand the functioning of ecological processes in human dominated, and mainly forested, landscape mosaics—and its implications for land use and management at multiple spatial scales. Plant reproduction underlies almost all our research, from conservation genetics through to food security. Some of our interests relate to fundamental ecological questions such as “Why are there so many species in the tropics?”, while other interests address current human needs and concerns: How do we maximize crop production while minimizing impacts on environment, biodiversity and human livelihoods?

Our work involves us in fieldwork and laboratory work, and with computer-based landscape modeling. The breadth of our research requires us to work with many institutions and collaborators worldwide. Much of our work is interdisciplinary, and to this end we collaborate with economists and social scientists when necessary.

The geographic breadth of our work is pantropical, although with an Asian focus. We currently have projects in Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Seychelles, and Republic of Congo, as well as in Europe and Switzerland.

Find out more about our research and education.

Who we are

The group consists of Masters and PhD students, postdocs, oberassistants and associated staff. We have an international group from Europe, Asia and Latin America reflecting the geographic focus of our work. The working language of the group is English, although Swiss German, German, French, Spanish and Arabic are also spoken. Group members come from a variety of academic disciplines, including plant ecology, entomology, genetics, ecological modeling and social science.

Find out more about the people in this group.

Where we are

The Ecosystem Management professorship belongs to the Department of Environmental Systems Science, which is located in the CHN building at Universitaetstrasse 16, in the heart of Zurich, and only five minutes from the main train station. The nearest tram stop is "Haldenbach" for number 9 and 10 trams.

Map of ETH Zurich (Zentrum)

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Contact details

Mailing address

ETH Zurich
Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystems
Ecosystem Management
Universitaetstrasse 16
8092 Zurich

Office address

Ankara M. Chen
Ecosystem Management, CHN G73.1
Universitaetstrasse 16
8092 Zurich
ph.:: +41 (0) 44 63 28630
fax.: +41 (0) 44 63 21575

Tue. 8.30-12.30 &
Wed./Thu./Fr. 8.30-12.30 + 13.30-17.30


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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 19 September 2013