Summer School: Blue-green biodiversity. Research and practice at the interface of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems



31. August 2024, 12:00


Davos, Hotel Shima

Organisiert von:

WSL Biodiversity Center, WSL






PhD students, MSc students in their last year, PostDocs and practitioners

The WSL Biodiversity Center and the Blue-Green Biodiversity Research Initiative are pleased to announce their upcoming second “Summer school: Blue-green biodiversity. Research and practice and the interface of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems”. The summer school will take place in August 2024 in Davos, Switzerland. 

Freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems are closely interconnected, but they are often studied in isolation from each other. In the context of global change, it is urgent to understand how blue (water) and green (land) ecosystems are similar or different in terms of biodiversity patterns, ecological and evolutionary processes, and their responses to global drivers. Evidence-based understanding of blue-green biodiversity is necessary to inform policies and action to halt and reverse nature loss that threatens human well-being.

The goal of the “Summer School: Blue-green biodiversity. Research and practice and the interface of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems” is to provide an in-depth understanding of the linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and the interdependencies between social and ecological systems. While focusing on Swiss habitats, we will highlight how an integrated approach that considers the ecological, evolutionary, and social dimensions of blue and green ecosystems benefits the conservation, maintenance, and restoration of biodiversity. 


The program consists of lectures, field excursions, and group work led by WSL and Eawag researchers and invited speakers. State-of-the-art knowledge and approaches will be presented and discussed considering the expectations of current and future blue and green ecosystems from scientific, nature conservation, management, and socio-economic perspectives. The participants will reflect on their own scientific work with respect to other disciplinary methods and discuss possible benefits of interdisciplinary approaches in their field.

The preliminary program is available here.


After successfully participating in the summer school, Ph.D. students enrolled at ETH can obtain 2 ECTS points (see ETH catalog here). Students enrolled at other institutions will receive a confirmation of successful participation. However, the crediting of ECTS is subject to the home university (ECTS: European Credit Transfer System; 1 ECTS credit equals approximately 25-​30 hours of work).  


  • The Summer School is open to PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and practitioners working on biodiversity and related disciplines. We also welcome applications from Master students (in their last year) if their background and motivation letter show a strong commitment to blue and/or green biodiversity research.
  • Registration is now open. You can submit your application on our Conftool webpage (please check the instructions "How to apply" here). 
  • Application deadline:  15 May 2024.
  • To apply to the Summer School, please send your CV, a motivation letter (one A4 page), and your Ph.D. thesis abstract.
  • All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by the end of May.
  • Before applying to the summer school, please obtain information on travel requirements and insurance. Switzerland is part of the Schengen area, and you can check the requirements in terms of identification documents and visas here. Students coming from non-EU/EFTA countries should contact the Swiss consulate or embassy in their home country to find out whether entry permits and visas are required as well as visa processing times.


  • Fees: 700 Swiss Francs (exclusive of VAT). This includes accommodation (in shared rooms) at the Hotel Shima, meals during the Summer School, course materials, and excursions. Accepted participants are expected to bear travel costs to Davos.  
  • Reduced fees: 175 Swiss Francs. This reduction is available for qualified participants affiliated to/working for an institution located in a Low- Income (LIC), Lower-Middle Income (LMIC) or Upper-Middle Income Country (UMIC) as per the current World Bank Country Classification. The financial support does not cover travel or visa costs. Funds are limited, so please only request a fee reduction if you don't have funding from your institution.
  • If you have serious and genuine difficulties paying the regular fees, please contact us. Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

  • We encourage and welcome the participation of applicants from different backgrounds in terms of gender, origin, religion and values, gender identity or sexual orientation, age, or impairment. We aim to promote a culture of respect and inclusion among all participants in our Summer School.
  • Students are expected to stay in shared rooms. However, if you have a need for specific hotel accommodations (due to health reasons), please contact us. Each request will be evaluated on case-by-case basis.


Hotel Shima
Dischmastrasse 63
7260 Davos Dorf
Tel. +41 81 410 12 00

Davos ist approx. 2.5 hours away from Zurich Airport (see map).