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Dr. Florian Zellweger



collaborateur scientifique


Institut fédéral de recherches sur la forêt, la neige et le paysage WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


Birmensdorf Bi HP D 58



My research is centred on using high-resolution remote sensing data and large field databases to understand how forests and biodiversity are responding to climate change and land management. I am also collaborating with industry partners to develop evidence-based and innovative solutions for biodiversity and natural capital monitoring. We are currently developing globally applicable approaches to quantify carbon stocks and sequestration rates at a very high level of detail. My work builds upon strengthening the link between ecology and the digitalisation of natural resources, to help manage ecosystems sustainably and safeguard the provisioning of ecosystem services to future generations.


Education & Employment

11/2019 – presentSNF Ambizione Fellow & Scientific staff member WSL, Land Change Science, Birmensdorf
02/2019 – presentScientific Modeller, Natural Capital Research Ltd., Oxford, UK
09/2017 – 11/2019SNF Postdoc Mobility Fellow, University of Cambridge, Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge, UK, advisor: Prof. David Coomes
05/2016 – 08/2017Postdoc, WSL, Land Change Science, Birmensdorf
07/2013 - 03/2016Ph.D., Ecology (Biodiversity and Remote Sensing), ETH Zurich
2012 – 2013Scientific assistant, WSL, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Birmensdorf
2006 – 2012B.S. and M.S., Geography (GIScience, Biogeography, Forest and Landscape Management), University of Zurich
2002 – 2006Claims Manager, SwissRe, Division Property and Casualty, Zurich
1999 – 2010Several projects in mountain forest management and in the Swiss National Park (civil service)

Selected publications

Zellweger, F., De Frenne, P., Lenoir, J., Vangansbeke, P, Verheyen, K., Bernhardt-Römermann, M., ... Coomes, D. (2020). Forest microclimate dynamics drive plant responses to warming. Science, 368, 772–775. (link to pdf).

Zellweger, F., De Frenne, P., Lenoir, J., Rocchini, D., & Coomes, D. (2019). Advances in microclimate ecology arising from remote sensing. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 34(4), 327–341.

De Frenne, P., Zellweger, F., Rodríguez-Sánchez, F., Scheffers, B., Hylander, K., Luoto, M., … Lenoir, J. (2019). Global buffering of temperatures under forest canopies. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3, 744–749. 

Zellweger, F., Roth, T., Bugmann, H., & Bollmann, K. (2017). Beta diversity of plants, birds and butterflies is closely associated with climate and habitat structure. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26(8), 898–906.

Zellweger, F., Baltensweiler, A., Ginzler, C., Roth, T., Braunisch, V., Bugmann, H., & Bollmann, K. (2016). Environmental predictors of species richness in forest landscapes: abiotic factors versus vegetation structure. Journal of Biogeography, 43(6), 1080–1090.