Titleimage: Conservation Biology

The division of conservation biology investigates the mechanisms involved in the degradation of ecosystems and in the decline of threatened species with the aim to propose sound conservation guidance for stopping biodiversity erosion, restoring wildlife populations and reinstating functional ecological communities and key ecological services. Our research activities are conceived with the underlying objective to bridge the long-identified gap that exists between research and practice in nature protection and biodiversity conservation. To that endeavour we mostly carry out use-inspired, i.e. practice-oriented and solution-driven research. A major focus is on threatened biodiversity of farmland, forest, river and mountain ecosystems. More recently, we have also started to work on mitigating the impacts of new energy technologies on wildlife, and on the effects of environmental change on Alpine biodiversity. The human dimensions of both biodiversity conservation and natural resources use remain key components of our research, which therefore covers a great variety of topics, from population biology of emblematic species of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates through community ecology of grasslands, forests and rivers, to ecosystem services and socio-economic aspects of biodiversity conservation and restoration. Various modern methods are applied to extract the essential information, such as resource selection functions, spatial modelling, population dynamical studies, genetic analyses, online questionnaires, etc. Controlled experiments are conducted under real natural conditions, for instance when testing the effects of different management options at the field scale. Results lead to tangible guidelines for conservation management. Joint ventures with practitioners 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


CB Research practical awarded

As part of the annual course evaluation procedure conducted by the Faculty of Science an event organised by the Conservation Biology Division has been rated as of “highest excellence” and got an ALL certificate:

The Research practical in Conservation Biology which is part of the master program in Ecology and Evolution and consists of an experimental field part in summer followed during the autumn semester by an analytical lab part. The main lecturers responsible for organization and implementation of the course are Prof. Dr. Raphaël Arlettaz, PD Dr. Jean-Yves Humbert and PD Dr. Veronika Braunisch.

Congratulations to the team members of the ConBio Division for such a precious achievement and the recognition for successful teaching!


Poster (PDF)
Alpine Grassland Project (Link)
Congrats for this fine achievement!


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).

(PDF, 294KB)
Dr Buri is the third member of our research group who has been considered for this award in the past eight years.

On March 17th 2016 at 17:15 the official awards ceremony will take place in Bern at the UniS building (Schanzeneckstrasse 1, main lecture hall).


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