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Prof. Dr. Niklaus Zimmermann



chef de groupe, senior scientist


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


Birmensdorf Bi HL E 22


Current positions

  • Group leader Dynamic Macroecology
  • Adjunct professor for Macroecology at ETH Zürich
  • Program leader Extremes



    Research Interests

    I am interested in macroecology, biodiversity, evolutionary and community ecology and I study taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic patterns from small to large spatial scales. I am also interested in community assembly and biotic interaction processes and in the abiotic drivers that lead to patterns at various spatial scales. I am mostly working with plants and vegetation data, and less often with animals and plant-animal interaction data.

    My research thus is embedded in the arena of evolutionary and functional community ecology and biodiversity dynamics. My research focuses strongly on statistical analyses, but uses also dynamic ecological models, combining species, traits and community data sampled across large landscapes to continents, and phylogenies derived for the taxa studied.


    Main research topics

    The main topics of my research are listed below. Check them out to learn details about my research in these topics.


    Biodiversity Dynamics

    Theoretical and applied analyses of patterns and the drivers of biodiversity and its dynamics.

    Bioclimate Data & Scaling

    Development of bioclimatic and environmental data for analysis and modelling.

    Global Change Impacts

    Assessing impacts on species, biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide.