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Prof. Dr. Andreas Rigling



Visiting scientist


Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


Birmensdorf Bi HL D 25


Short Bio

My name is Andreas Rigling, born in 1964 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. I am a forest-ecologist, the head of the research unit “Forest Dynamics”, member of the directorate of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, and adjunct professor at ETH Zürich.

My research focus lies on forest ecosystems' resistance and resilience with respect to short- to long-term climate change, chronic biotic and abiotic stressors and natural disturbances and implications on forest management. The research unit is operating long-term monitoring networks, large-scale field experiments and laboratories. A special emphasis lies on system analyses in forest ecosystem research which require integrative approaches combining the advantages of different research concepts, e.g. by linking environmental monitoring, experimental ecology and modelling approaches.

I commit myself to science and to science-based outreach for professionals in practice, administration and policy as well as the broader public. Therefore, it is important to bridge natural sciences with socio-economy, integrating stakeholder knowledge into research concepts to foster implementation of research findings to application.

Research Focus - Keywords

Climate change impacts; dendroecology; drought ecology; extreme environments: lower and upper treeline; forest dynamics: germination, growth and mortality of trees; forest management; interdisciplinarity / transdisciplinarity; mortality ecology.


Education – Career stages

since 2016
Adjunct Professor, ETH Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich

since 2009
Member of the Board of Directors, WSL Birmensdorf

since 2006
Head Research Unit Forest Dynamics, WSL Birmensdorf

Project leader, WSL Birmensdorf

Dissertation, University of Basel, Institute of Botany, Basel
„Wood anatomical characteristics as indicators of biotic and abiotic stress factors – a dendroecological study in the Scots pine forest-steppe ecotone of Europe and Siberia“

Post-graduate diploma in applied statistics, ETH Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich

Field-Scientist Soil Monitoring, WSL Birmensdorf

Practice in Switzerland and Canada (Romont FR, Visp VS, Fort St. John British Columbia)

Study of Forest Sciences, ETH Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich

High-school (second educational pathway, KME, Zürich)

Apprenticeship as forester (Forstwart), Forest Service Schaffhausen


Further Information