The Institute

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The sustainable use of land and natural resources relies on an informed understanding of the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems and how they respond to external forcings and management interventions. The Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems addresses this dynamics and its bearings on land use, ecosystem functions, environmental services and natural resource availability at global, regional and local scales, developing and disseminating new knowledge, methods, and tools to foster the sustainable use and adaptive management of terrestrial ecosystems with a particular focus on forests and forested landscapes.

Areas of interest include:

  • ecosystem services and conservation in temperate and tropical regions   
  • land use at the agriculture-forest nexus
  • the effects of climate and land-use changes on soil and water resources
  • natural hazards in mountain regions 

In cross-disciplinary collaboration with colleagues in D-USYS and WSL, notably in the areas of climate change, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles, ITES offers an innovative educational programme for students at the BSc and MSc level. ITES students and researchers also benefit from interactions with Swiss federal and cantonal agencies, and to international research, policy and development agencies, and from an extensive network of international collaborations in Asia, Africa, and North and South America.

ITES comprises seven professorships and three affiliated group:


Groups Website
Ecosystem Management
Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul
Forest Ecology
Prof. Harald Bugmann
Land Use Engineering
Prof. Hansruedi Heinimann
Landscape Dynamics
Prof. Felix Kienast
Landscape Ecology
Prof. Loïc Pellissier
Physics of Environmental Systems
Prof. James Kirchner
Soil Protection
Prof. Rainer Schulin
Associated groups Website
Forest Management and Development
Dr. Claude Garcia
Forest Management
Dr. Peter Rotach
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