Main research interests

  • Macroecology - large-scale analyzes of spatial patterns, ecology and dynamics of biodiversity (focus on Switzerland and vascular plants but also including analyzes from landscape to global scales)
  • Trait analyses - relationships between biological traits and the environment
  • Biological invasions - distribution and dynamics of non-native vascular plants in Switzerland

Current and previous positions

since 2011 Research group «Dynamic Macroecology» (project leader & deputy head), research unit «Landscape Dynamics» (M. Bürgi, until 2013 N. Zimmermann)
2006-2010 Head of the research group «Spatial ecology», research unit «Biodiversity and Conservation Biology» (C. Scheidegger)
2001-2006 Scientist at the Swiss Federal Research Institut WSL, research unit «Landscape Dynamics and Spatial Development» (F. Kienast)
1999-2001 Scientific assistant, University of Darmstadt, Institute of Botany (A. Schwabe-Kratochwil)
1995-1999 PhD, University of Freiburg, Germany (O. Wilmanns)

Scientific commissions & Editorial boards

  • Info Flora: Member of the scientific commission since 2012. Prior to this member of the Swiss Commission of Wild Plant Conservation CPS/SKEW (2006-2011) - one of the two predecessor of Info Flora. Collaboration on the revision of the Black & Watch-List of non-native invasive plants since 2006.
  • FloZ: Commission of the citizen-science project for the floristic mapping of the canton of Zurich.
  • Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS), editorial board: VCS is an international, peer-reviewed journal on plant community ecology published on behalf of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS).


  • KISSMig. A simple model to simulate species migration and range dynamics for the free software environment R.

Supervised theses


  • Rai K.S. (2022) Ecological modelling of vascular plant diversity under different climate and land use change scenarios in Nepal Himalaya, co-supervisor, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Ch. Scheidegger/WSL, Prof. Dr. K. Shresta/Tribhuvan University Kathmandu
  • Breiner F. (2015) Revision of the Red List of fern and vascular plants - evaluation and application of statistical methods, co-supervisor with Dr A. Bergamini/WSL and Prof Dr A. Guisan/UNIL
  • Brose H. (2011) Analyzing distributions and dynamics of vascular plant species richness at the landscape scale in Switzerland. A study based on the deconstructive approach to biodiversity. University of Bern, Prof Dr M. Fischer; Committee Prof Dr Ch. Scheidegger/WSL, Univ. Bern, Dr M.P. Nobis/WSL, Dr I. Kühn/UFZ, M. Plattner/Hintermann & Weber AG). A research cooperation with the Swiss Biodiversity Monitoring program (BDM)
  • Schlup M.B. (2009) Assessing the functional connectivity of calcareous grassland plant communities. Examiner Prof Dr H. Bugmann/ETHZ, Co-examiners Prof H.H. Wagner/University of Toronto, Prof Dr P.J. Edwards/ETHZ, Dr M.P. Nobis/WSL


  • Rieben L. (2022) Analysis of urban wall typologies in Zurich: Evaluation of their suitability to host spontaneous vascular plants, Master Thesis, in cooperation with Dr C. Catalano/ZHAW.
  • Federer C. (2015) Distribution of Senecio inaequidens in Zurich from 1985 to 2015, Master Thesis, in cooperation with PD Dr S. Güsewell/ETHZ
  • Haag S. (2013) Neophyten an revitalisierten Gewässern in der Schweiz, Master Thesis, in cooperation with Dr B. Krüsi/ZHAW
  • Gasser M. (2010)Vergleich von Neophytenvorkommen in siedlungsnahen und -fernen Waldrändern der "S5-Stadt" zwischen Zürich und Rapperswil, Matura Thesis, in cooperation with Dr T. Rauch-Schwegler/ETHZ