The Ecology research at the University of Zurich is now ranked fifth worldwide, according to the 2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). This achievement represents a significant leap from 11th to 5th place in the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, establishing Ecology as the leading discipline at the University of Zurich. This success is significantly due to the strong contributions from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies.
Our ecologists and evolutionary biologists are focused on understanding the interactions within biological populations and their relationship with the abiotic environment across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. We investigate factors that determine the abundance and distribution of species and how they are affected by environmental change. Additionally, we study how these relationships have evolved over Earth's history and how they currently shape the dynamics of our biosphere. Our research in ecology spans from individual behavior to population, community, and ecosystem dynamics, covering a diverse range of organisms, including microorganisms, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates from various geographic regions around the world.
Employing a range of approaches, such as field observations, field and lab experiments, theoretical analyses, and state-of-the-art methods in genetics / genomics, animal tracking, remote sensing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, we are committed to better understanding the complex web of ecological interactions. Our goal is to enhance our understanding of our biosphere and use this knowledge for biodiversity conservation, an increasingly crucial aspect of ecological research in the face of rapid global environmental change. This dedication strengthens the University of Zurich's reputation as a leading institution for ecological research and conservation.