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

In the Ecosystem Management group we are interested in ecological processes relevant to plant reproduction and conservation, particularly in the context of land use change in forested landscape mosaics. Our research encompasses plant-pollinator and plant-mycorrhizal interactions, conservation genetics and habitat fragmentation, management of ecosystem services in forest and agroforest systems, and plant responses to climate change. We are also interested in exploring the economic, social and policy implications of our ecological research.

Our research has a tropical emphasis, with most projects being conducted in tropical rain forest regions of India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Seychelles, with a few other projects in central Africa and Latin America. We are particularly interested in the ecology of the Dipterocarpaceae, the dominant canopy trees of many Asian rain forests.

Our tropical research activities can be summarised as follows:

Other work on plant responses to climate change, diversity and ecosystem function, and urban ecology is underway in Switzerland and Germany.

We use a variety of tools and approaches, including ecological field studies, field experiments, greenhouse and common garden studies, as well as lab-based ecological and genetic work.

Much of our basic ecological research is used as a foundation for applied research that addresses the environmental constraints and opportunities that people face in managing natural resources. The broad conceptual framework within which we work is that sound ecological understanding facilitates effective environmental management.

The three main areas of research within the group are:

Plant ecology and conservation


Land use and ecosystem services


Ecological and genetic responses to climate change


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