Professor of Ecosystem Management



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

Our Doctoral Programme aims to produce first class professional scientists who are equally effective in communicating and disseminating the products of their research to managers, decision makers and the general public. As such we provide many opportunities for interaction with international researchers through our diverse collaborations with institutes across the world. Doctoral Studies within the group offer training in plant ecology and ecological processes at local and landscape scales using field experiments, genetic markers, microscopy and modeling.

At Bachelor and Masters courses are set within the department's Environmental Sciences programme. Our courses provide an informal learning environment for students, and make full use of discussion sessions, group work, role playing games, field excursions and visiting scientists and practitioners. Our courses include numerous case studies and draw upon the extensive research experience available within the group.

Bachelor courses

Tropical Rain Forest Ecology

Course coordinator: Jaboury Ghazoul

Tropical rain forests contain most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity as well as immense carbon stores, and support the livelihoods of 1.5 billion people. This course addresses the ecology and management of tropical rain forests with a view to understanding the impact of land use change on their biodiversity, as well as food security, carbon storage, poverty alleviation and climate change.

Naturschutz / Conservation Biology

Course coordinator: Florian Knaus

In this course, the students explore theoretical foundations, conceptual models and practical implementations of conservation activities both in Switzerland and abroad. Based on case studies, they are introduced to different views, values and ideals inherent in these activities.

Masters courses

Foundations of Ecosystem Management

Course coordinator: Jaboury Ghazoul

Failure of traditional management has stimulated ecosystem management approaches that emphasise functionality of human-dominated systems, ecological processes and services, diverse spatial and temporal scales, and multiple stakeholder interests. This course explores ecosystem approaches to management and asks: is it realistic, how can it be achieved, and what are the barriers to its uptake?

Applied Ecosystem Management (Fieldcourse in Serbia)

Course coordinator: Florian Knaus

This course introduces students to an unfamiliar socio-ecological system that combines high depopulation rates and corruption with extraordinary cultural and biological diversity under high threat of loss. This system is explored with local stakeholders and in the field, analysed and measures identified that support both conservation and development goals.

Resilience of Ecological Systems

Course coordinator: Chris Kettle

The objective of this course is to consider how to manage populations, communities, landscapes and socio-economic as well as institutional systems in order to provide maximum resistance and resilience. This includes systems ability to absorb, cope with and adapt to environmental change, be it discrete perturbations or more chronic change.

Ecological Assessment and Evaluation

Course coordinator: Florian Knaus

The course provides methods and tools for ecological evaluations in nature conservation and landscape planning. It deals with census methods, sampling designs, ecological indices and criteria evaluating ecological data. Objectivty and accuracy of vailable methods and tools are critically appraised. Birds and plants are used as main example guiding through different case studies.

Readings in Environmental Thinking

Course coordinator: Jaboury Ghazoul

The rise of the environmental sciences, and the increasing importance of the environment in society and governance, has been dramatic and rapid. Issues in the environmental sciences are now so broad and important that they reach into all aspects of society, from food and land use, to water management, energy use, economics, culture and health. With such breadth it is easy to lose sight of the foundational ideas, texts, people and movements that pushed the environment up the social and political agenda. The course provides students with opportunities to read, discuss, evaluate and interpret key texts that have shaped the environmental movement and, more specifically, the environmental sciences.


PhD courses

TropFor: Exploring the challenges and opportunities for resilient tropical forest landscapes Sabah, Borneo (trial version 2015)

Course coordinator: Chris Kettle

This course aims to provide a highly interactive teaching experience with real world exposure to the challenges associated with conservation, management and restoration of tropical forest systems.

Conservation Management Field Course, Scotland

Course coordinator: Jaboury Ghazoul

This course offered through the Plant Science Center allows PhD students to learn about ecology, conservation and management issues in a unique landscape. Each day excursions focus on specific important issues relating to conservation management in the area. Excursions are led by local experts representing science, management and policy, each of whom will explore with the students the complexities of the chosen topics. Topics encompass species, habitats and landscapes from economic, ecological and cultural perspectives across various spatial and temporal scales.


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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 25 November 2014