In my PhD I try to understand the effects of vineyard management practices and the consequent fragmentation effects on the habitat-use of the red-listed Woodlark and its’ arthropod prey abundance and diversity. Different studies and my Master thesis have shown that Woodlarks prefer habitats with a patchy ground vegetation, thus in the vineyards, they choose parcels with some vegetation cover between the vine rows. In my study area (Valais) vineyards are the predominant landscape feature and are mostly managed very intensively (i.e. high use of pesticides) such that only a minor part of all vineyard parcels have ground vegetation cover.

One focus of the project lies on the link between vineyard management (ground cover, vegetation structure and composition), spatial configuration of vineyards and arthropod abundance and diversity. It has been shown that arthropods are more abundant and diverse in parcels with more ground vegetation and as a consequence, these parcels are more often visited by Woodlarks than other, less green parcels. As arthropods are much less mobile than higher taxa such as birds, the scattered distribution of "green" parcels in the landscape may disconnect arthropod populations from each other, resulting in lower abundances and diversities in isolated vegetated parcels. This fragmentation may then indirectly affect the ground-foraging, insectivorous Woodlark such that the birds will show a preference for areas with more and better connected vegetated parcels and will possibly have higher reproductive success in such habitats.

Curriculum Vitae

Year Description
2014 - present PhD student at University of Bern, Conservation Biology
2012 - 2014 Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution - with special qualification in Animal Ecology and Conservation, University of Bern
MSc Thesis: The Effects of Ground Vegetation Cover on Vineyard Habitat Use by the Woodlark and its Arthropod Prey
2009 - 2012
Bachelor of Science in Biology at University of Bern
2007 - 2009
Fachhochschule Physiotherapie BZG, Basel
2003 - 2006
High school at Gymnasium Thun-Schadau


Buehler R., Bosco L., Arlettaz R., Jacot A. 2017. Nest site preferences of the Woodlark (Lullula arborea) and its association with artificial nest predation. Acta Oecologica, 78: 41-46. ISSN 1146-609X,


Year Description
2016 Oral presentation at Biology16, University of Lausanne, CH
2015 3 Minute Thesis Presentation at SeeDS Symposium of Ecology and Evolution Doctoral Students,  Lausanne
2015 Oral presentation at ICCB-ECCB International and European Conference on Conservation Biology,  Montpellier FR
2014 Co-Organization and Poster presentation at PACE The symposium on Plant and Animal Conservation  Biology, Eawag Dübendorf
2014 Poster at the 26th International Ornithological  Congress IOC, Tokyo JP
2014 Oral presentation at "Workshop: Biodiversity and Rural Development in the Alpine Arc", Trento Italia
2014 SWIFCOB 14 Swiss Froum on Conservation Biology, Bern
2014 PACE The symposium on Plant and Animal Conservation Ecology, Geneva
2013 Poster at the 9th Conference of the European Ornithologists' Union EOU, Norwich UK
2013 PACE The symposium on Plant and Animal Conservation Ecology, Basel