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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

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

I am interested in the spatial and temporal dynamics of forest biodiversity and how species distributions and habitat use are affected by 3-D habitat structure. In my postdoc here at UCAM, we are investigating how forest microclimate affects plant biodiversity dynamics and how we can quantify and map forest microclimate with remote sensing tools.

We use field-based methods as well as airborne laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy to model below-canopy microclimate as a function of forest structure and composition and apply these models to study temperate forest biodiversity dynamics across the globe. This will further our understanding how local phenomena contribute to and interact with global change drivers, such as climate change and forest management, to shape the response of ecosystems in a changing world. 

Key Publications

Froidevaux, J.S.P.*, Zellweger, F.*, Bollmann, K., Jones, G. & Obrist, M.K. (2016) From field surveys to LiDAR: Shining a light on how bats respond to forest structure. Remote Sensing of Environment, 175, 242-250. *Equally contributing authors.

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.

Zellweger, F., Braunisch, V., Baltensweiler, A. & Bollmann, K. (2013) Remotely sensed forest structural complexity predicts multi species occurrence at the landscape scale. Forest Ecology and Management, 307, 303-312.

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.

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