Julia Cerutti

Table of contents

Link to Research Group page (Dr. Gabriela Schaepman-Strub)

Research Interests

Originally from France, I am fascinated by impacts of climate change on ecosystems. After an academic exchange in Australia and a research field trip on the Great Barrier Reef, I developed a strong interest in marine ecosystems and in particular coral reefs. Ecologically and economically invaluable, coral reef ecosystems are considered as the most diverse ecosystem on Earth. These natural jewels are increasingly threatened by both natural and anthropogenic disturbances, which may act in synergy. Some scientists believe coral reefs worldwide may be extinct by 2050. Given the expected increasing frequency and severity of coral reef bleaching events and the variable susceptibility among coral species, the community structure on coral reefs is very likely to change in the coming decades. If coral reefs were to disappear or switch to an algal dominance state, hundreds of millions of people, industries and tourism would be severely impacted. In coordination with the Seychelles Islands Foundation and as part of my master thesis, I work on coral bleaching on Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the southern Seychelles. The objective is to evaluate the impacts on the community structure of the 2015-2016 super El-Niño event, which caused 93% of the Great Barrier Reef to bleach. The remoteness and protection of Aldabra Atoll offer the possibility to explore “natural” environmental mechanisms in a semi-pristine ecosystem, decoupled from direct human-induced impacts.


Education and Professional Positions

2016 - present M.Sc. student at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2015 Academic exchange student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia at the faculty of Science (focus on environmental sciences, conservation ecology and Australian marine environment)
2012 - 2015 B.Sc. student in Environmental Sciences at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland at the faculty of Geosciences and Environment