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PD Dr. Matthias Bürgi



capo dell'unità di ricerca


Istituto federale di Ricerca per la Foresta, la neve e il Paesaggio (WSL)
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


Birmensdorf Bi HL E 24


Current position

  • Head of Research Unit Land Change Science (since 2013)
  • Lecturer for historical ecology at ETH Zurich (Venia legendi 2006)
  • Lecturer for landscape history at University of Bern (Venia legendi 2018)

Research Interests

My primary research interest is combining approaches from landscape ecology, historical ecology, and environmental history to study the interrelationship of natural and anthropogenic driving forces of landscape changes. Current work focuses on landscape history and on forest dynamics in Switzerland and in Europe.

Teaching Activities

I am teaching a Master-level-class "Landschafts-und Landnutzungsgeschichte der Schweiz und Europas" at GIUB, University of Bern

I am co-teaching a Master-level-class "Advanced Landscape Research" at the Department of Environmental System Sciences (D-USYS) of the ETH Zurich

Education and work experience

1988-1993Environmental sciences ETH Zurich
1997PhD at ETH Zurich (awarded with the medal of ETHZ)
1998-1999Postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University
1999-2000Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
2000-2006Deputy head of the section nature protection, WSL
2000-2006Senior researcher at the professorship landscape and nature protection (Prof. Ewald), ETH Zurich
2006-2010Head of Land Use History Group, WSL
2011-2013Head of Landscape Ecology Group, WSL

Other Activities

Editorial board Landscape Ecology
Editorial board Ecosystems
Member of the Forum Biodiversität Schweiz
Member of the Fachgruppe Wissenschaft Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg
(Co-)Supervision of approx. 35 Master/Diploma theses and 12 PhD theses
My other life takes place at Weingut Rütihof.