Research interests

Modeling spatio-temporal effect of environmental changes on biodiversity across taxa (plants and animals), trophic guilds, biomes, and type of stressors (natural disturbance; urbanization; management regime) seeking for relationships between biodiversity, community functional traits, and ecosystem functioning.


2008 Research Associate, Numerical Ecology Lab, Montreal Univ., Quebec, CA
2004 Post-doc, School of GeoScience, University of Edinburgh, UK
2003 PhD, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
1991 Master in Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Postition and professional experiences

2014- Project leader at Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf-Zurich, Switzerland
2006-2013 Leader of the Insubric Ecosystems Research Group at the Community Ecology Unit, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Bellinzona, Switzerland
2002-2005 Research Associate, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Bellinzona, Switzerland
1993-2001 Co-director of the Ecological Consulting Office Maddalena & Moretti Sagl., Gordevio, Switzerland
1992-2001 Leader of the Bat Conservation Trust Ticino (Switzerland)

Research experience and ongoing projects

2013-2016 COST Action FP1204 "GreeUrbs". Task leader of “"Tree species

composition and characteristics" and "Urban biodiversity”.

2013-2015 Project “Biodiversity in chestnut orchard in Southern Switzerland – Birds, Bats, Insects, Lichens, Vegetation. Synthesis and perspectives”, Forest Section Ct. TIcino, PI, CHF 30’000
 2012-2013 Project “Animal Trait database”, WSL Project, PI, CHF 60’000
 2012-2013 Project “Role of functional components of biodiversity in understanding soil processes in stressed ecosystems”, Sciex Program, PI, CHF 140’000
 2011-2013 Project “BioDiVine-Biodiversity in vineyard ecosystems”, PI, Federal Office for the Environment, PI, CHF 100’000
2011-2013 Project “Biodiversity indicator of land-use processes and gradients (BIKORA)”, Federal Office for the Environment, Co-PI, CHF 180’000
2010-2012 Project “Effects of plant-herbivore functional diversity on grassland ecosystem function”, PI, CHF 140’000
2010-2011 Project “Urban Biodiversity”, Federal Office for the Environment, PI, CHF 100'000
2009-2012 Project CCES-ENHANCE, subproject “Connectivity in fragmented urban environment”, PI, CHF 180'000
2006-2010 EU project “FIRE PARADOX-An innovative and integrated approach to wildland fire management”, Subproject “Ecological effect of fire”, Co-PI, CHF 400'000
2005-2009 Project “BiodiverCity-Ecological and social value of urban nature: tools to identify, maintain and improve biodiversity and its acceptance in urban areas”, NRP 54, PI. CHF 360'000

Offene Masterarbeiten


Effects of an exotic palm species on arthropod diversity and ecosystem functioning in Ticino

Master thesis project in Invasion Biology and Invasion Ecology

Are novel ecosystems dominated by exotic plant species changing biodiversity and their effect on key ecological processes? A collaborative study between WSL Cadenazzo, WSL Birmensdorf and University of Arhus, DK.

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Effect of urban green connectivity on bird diversity and foraging activity

Master thesis project 2019 in Conservation Biology and Urban Ecology

How does the connectivity and configuration of urban green spaces influence bird community assemblages and predation success? A collaborative study across six European cities.

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