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Dr. Caroline Heiri - Personal Homepage

Caroline Heiri
Organisational unit Forest Resources and Management
Stand Dynamics and Silviculture
Address Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf

Room Bi HP D 63
Contact Phone: +41 44 739 2464
Fax: +41 44 7392 215
Web / E-Mail

Research Scientist, Group Leader a.i. Stand Dynamics and Silviculture


2005-2009 Dissertation at ETH Zurich, forest ecology group, under the direction of Prof. Harald Bugmann, Co-referees Dr. Annett Wolf (ETH Zurich) and Dr. Richard Busing (US Geological Survey, Corvallis USA)
Stand dynamics in Swiss forest reserves: an analysis based on long-term forest reserve data and dynamic modeling

2002 Diploma Thesis at ETH Zurich, mountain forest ecology group, under supervision of Prof. Harald Bugmann (ETH Zurich) und Dr. Andi Rigling (WSL)
Dynamik und Wachstum von Lärchen-Fichten Beständen entlang eines Höhengradienten in Davos” (dendroecological study)

1996-2002 Study of Forest Science at ETH Zurich, specialization in Forest ecosystem management

1991-1996 Wirtschaftsmatura Typus E at Kantonsschule Hottingen, Zurich

Professional Experience

Group Leader a.i. of Stand Dynamics and Silviculture, WSL Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Research Scientist, WSL Birmensdorf, Switzerland
2004-2009 Research Assistant in forest ecology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2002-2004 Research Assistant in mountain forest ecology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2000 Internship at the district forestry office Wetzikon/ZH, Switzerland
Internship at the Amt für Wald und Landschaft Obwalden, Switzerland
Internship at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest of ‘University of British Columbia’ in Vancouver, Canada

Research Interests

My key interests include investigating patterns and drivers of natural forest dynamics in different forest types, with special emphasis on demographic processes, species co-existence and the influence of disturbances in general and the changing climate as a special impact on forest ecosystems. Thereby, linking stand structural features to biodiversity, comparing unmanaged with managed forests, and drawing conclusions from natural dynamics for forest management are important aspects of my preferred research questions. I enjoy tackling these questions by reconstructing past forest stand developments using different methods such as long-term forest monitoring data, dendrochronology, palaeoecology and simulation studies, and transferring relevant new findings to stakeholders and forest managers.

Research Projects

Swiss forest reserve network

Adaptive genetic variation of Norway spruce, silver fir and European beech (ADAPT). A project within the research program forests and climate change of FOEN and WSL.

"Understanding transient and enduring changes of Alpine treeline vegetation in response to changing climate and land use". A project of the Swiss case studies (HITE-CH) within the frame work of the IGBP initiative HITE (Human Impact on Terrestrial Ecosystems)


2007, Best Poster Award, LATSIS Symposium ETH Zurich, Switzerland