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Gesa von Hirschheydt



PhD student


Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


Birmensdorf Bi MG D 45


Research interests

My main interest is in conservation biology, in particular biodiversity, biogeography and ecology. Since October 2018, I am working at WSL for the new Red List of epiphytic and terricolous lichen species of Switzerland.

For my PhD thesis, I study the detection probability of epiphytic lichens. Using so called occupancy models I estimate how often lichen species were not detected during the inventory for the Red List of epiphytic lichens (2002), although they were present. Certainty about a species' presence at a site can only be obtained if the species was detected and correctly identified at least once. Detection probability on the other hand can only be estimated if the site is inventoried at least twice. For these inventories to be independent of each other, the observer should differ between the two. I work with the dataset from the Red List 2002 and with the dataset of the Revision of the Red List which is being collected at the moment. I want to estimate the extent of imperfect detection (the probability of missing a species despite its presence) and find factors that correlate with it in order to estimate also the detection probability of species that were not present in the dataset.



2018 - 2020   Scientific assistant in the Biodiversity Research Group, WSL

2015 - 2018   MSc in Ecology and Conservation at the University of Uppsala, Sweden

2011 - 2014   BSc in Biology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland