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Dr Florian Zellweger

Dr Florian Zellweger

Florian Zellweger is available for consultancy.

Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EA


Professional Experience



Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK

Scientific modeller, Natural Capital Research Ltd., Oxford, UK

2016 - 2017

Postdoctoral Fellow, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zurich

2012 - 2013 

Scientific collaborator at Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zurich

2002 - 2006 

Claims Manager, Reinsurance Industry, SwissRe, Zurich

1999 - 2010 

Several short projects in mountain forest management and in the Swiss National Park (civil service)


2013 - 2016 

Ph.D., Ecology (Biodiversity and Remote Sensing), ETH Zurich 

2010 - 2012

M.S., Geography (GIScience, Biogeography, Forest and Landscape Management), University of Zurich

2006 - 2009 B.S., Geography, University of Zurich



Research Interests

My research uses high-resolution remote sensing and large field databases to understand how forests and biodiversity are responding to global change drivers such as climate and land management change. I am specialised in using georeferenced species occurrence data to model biodiversity dynamics in space and over time, and I use this information to contribute to the conservation of natural resources. My current research projects are centred on the role of microclimates in shaping the response of forest communities to climate change. In addition, I am collaborating with consultancy companies to develop cutting edge solutions for natural capital and biodiversity modelling and monitoring.

Key Publications

Zellweger, F., Frenne, P. De, Lenoir, J., Rocchini, D., & Coomes, D. (2019) Advances in microclimate ecology arising from remote sensing. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. doi:

De Frenne, P.*, Zellweger, F.*, Rodríguez-Sánchez, F., Scheffers, B., Hylander, K., Luoto, M., Vellend, M., Kris, V. & Lenoir, J.* (2019) Global buffering of temperatures under forest canopies. Nature Ecology & Evolution. *Equally contributing authors.

Zellweger, F., Roth, T., Bugmann, H. & Bollmann, K. (2017) Beta diversity of plants, birds and butterflies is closely associated with climate and habitat structure. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26, 898-906.

Milanesi, P., Holderegger, R., Bollmann, K., Gugerli, F. & Zellweger, F. (2017) Three-dimensional habitat structure and landscape genetics: a step forward in estimating functional connectivity. Ecology, 98, 393-402.

Zellweger, F., Baltensweiler, A., Ginzler, C., Roth, T., Braunisch, V., Bugmann, H. & Bollmann, K. (2016) Environmental predictors of species richness in forest landscapes: abiotic factors versus vegetation structure. Journal of Biogeography, 43, 1080-1090. 

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