Titleimage: Conservation Biology

The division of conservation biology investigates major mechanisms involved in the degradation of ecosystems and in the decline of threatened species. The main objective is to propose sound conservation guidance for stopping biodiversity erosion, i.e. restoring ecosystems and populations. A further overarching objective is to bridge the wide gap that exists between research and practice, a major challenge of Conservation Biology. Research in our division is thus mostly practice-oriented and solution-driven, with a major focus on the ecology of threatened biodiversity in farmland, woodland and Alpine ecosystems. We also include analyses of the attitude of various stakeholders towards biodiversity and the use of natural resources. Our research thus consists of field observations and real-field experiments, covering a great variety of topics, from population biology of rare, emblematic species of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates to community ecology of grasslands, forests and river ecosystems, and even political issues around biodiversity. It typically combines community ecology approaches and species-specific approaches, which enables embracing the overall complexity of an ecosystem and its functionalities, from biomass productivity, population abundance and species diversity at the lower trophic levels, through functional groups and guilds of consumers at intermediate levels, up to emblematic apex predators. Various modern methods are applied to extract the essential information, such as resource selection, spatial modelling, population dynamical studies, genetic analyses, socio-ecological inquiries, etc. Results lead to tangible guidelines for conservation management. Joint ventures with practitioners and collaborations with stakeholders guarantee that the recommendations drawn from our research are effectively implemented to promote biodiversity, which certainly makes this division standing out from other conventional academic research units.

News and Events

Volz Prize 2016 awarded to Laura Bruppacher (MSc)

The 2016 edition of the Volz Prize for the best publication arising from a MSc thesis accomplished at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Bern University has been awarded to a former MSc student of Conservation Biology Division, Laura Bruppacher.
In her paper entitled „Simple modifications of mowing regime promote butterflies in extensively managed meadows: Evidence from field-scale experiments“ and published in Biological Conservation Laura Bruppacher presents the results from her MSc thesis where she was able to demonstrate positive effects on butterfly populations by the implementation of simple changes in the treatment of extensively managed meadows.
For more detailed informations please have a look at the publication: (PDF, 577 KB)
On December 13th 2016 at 16:15 the official awards ceremony will take place in Bern at the Haller Auditorium (Baltzerstrasse 1, 2nd floor).