My research interests are in (1) conservation biology of lichens and plants, (2) population genetics and landscape ecology, and (3) biodiversity assessment and evaluation at the landscape level.

Academic education and positions

2006- Honorarprofessor at University of Berne
2011- Senior Scientist, WSL
2006-2010 Head a.i. Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation, WSL
2002-2006 Head Research Section Ecological Genetics, WSL
1999 - 2002 Head Research Group Genetic Diversity, WSL
1995 Habilitation at University of Berne: “Structure and function of fungal symbiosis”
1988 - 1999 Head Research group Scanning Electron Microscopy at WSL
1987 PhD at University of Berne: “Taxonomic revision of the lichen genus Buellia”
1982 Diploma at University of Berne: “Systematische Studien zur Krustenflechten Anzina carneonivea”

Academic affiliations and memberships

2004 - 2009 Secretary General International Union of Biological Sciences, IUBS (
2004 - 2008 Vice President International Association of Lichenology, IAL (
2004- 2009 Member SC DIVERSITAS (
2000-  Chair Lichen Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, SSC, IUCN (


 2008 -   Lecturer ETHZ: River Management
 2006 -   Honorary Professor at University of Berne: Lichen Biology
  2003 Guest Professor at University of Salzburg, Austria: Conservation Biology of Lichen forming fungi
2000 - 2004 Adjunct Professor at Memorial University, St.John’s, Newfoundland: Conservation Biology of Lichen forming fungi
1995 - Privatdozent at University of Berne: Lichen Biology and Conservation

Larger ongoing projects

2010 - 2014 CH-SNF: Biodiversity and Livelihood development in Land-use gradients in an Era of Climate Change. CHF 468’329.-

2009 - 2012 CH-SNF: Phylogeography of Dictyochloropsis reticulata, the photobiont of the lichen forming fungus Lobaria pulmonaria, their co-evolutionary processes and the implications for a global conservation strategy of a threatened mutualistic symbiosis. CHF 230’000.-

2008 - 2012 CH-BAFU/EAWAG: Auswirkungen lateraler und longitudinaler Vernetzung von Flussläufen auf den Genfluss naturschutzrelevanter, flussbegleitender Arten. CHF 600’000.-

2005 Can-INCO: Population dynamics of the boreal felt lichen Erioderma pedicellatum in Lockyer’s Waters Area (Central Avalon, Newfoundland) WP3: Develop and test a molecular probe to detect the free living photobiont of Erioderma pedicellatum, Scytonema sp. CHF 30’000.-

2005 - 2008 CH-BUWAL/Weleda: Conservation by Management: Sustainable harvest of the vulnerable epiphytic lichen Lobaria pulmonaria CHF 31565.-

2004 - 2006 CH-SNF: Phylogeography of the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria and its gene flow and clonality in different European land-use types. CHF 227'000.-

2002 - 2006 CH-BUWAL: Monitoring Flankierende Massnahmen: Biodiversitätserhebungen. CHF 660'000.-

2002 - 2004 CH-SNF: Genetic diversity, Population biology and Conservation status of an endangered primeval-forest lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria, in an East-West transect through Eurasia; CHF 60’000.-

2001 - 2004 EU/BBW: LACOPE Landscape Development, Biodiversity and Co-operative Livestock Systems in Europe. CHF 420'000.-

2001 CH-EU/BBW: European Platform for Biodiversity research Strategies. CHF 9600.-

2000 - 2004 CH-SNF (NCCR-Plant Survival, HIP of PS6): Pattern and long-term changes in pasture-woodlands: Complex plant-herbivore interactions in a traditional type of agro-forestry: CHF 1'400'000.-

2000 - 2003 CH-SNF: Genetic diversity, population biology and conservation status of an endangered primeval-forest lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria, in an East-West transect through Eurasia: CHF 60'000.-

1999 - 2002 CH-SNF: Genetic diversity, ecotype differentiation and mating types of a primeval-forest lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria, in fragmented and extended habitats: CHF 187’574.-

1998 - 2002 EU/BBW, Biodiversity Assessment Tools, CHF 618’615.-

1994 - 1998 EU/INTAS, Bioindication in Sverdlovsk region, CHF 160'000.-

1994 - 2002 CH-BUWAL, National Red List of Epiphytic Lichens, CHF 1'700'000.-

1991 - 1994 CH-SNF: Diversity, pattern and dynamics in lichen dominated epiphytic communities, CHF 130’000.-