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Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Maja Weilenmann

Research interests

The focus of my scientific work lies in the handling, analysis and presentation of data. My research interests are rather broad, ranging from biodiversity experiments in grasslands and forests over the moving patterns of leopards and house mice to the feeding behaviour of minke whales and the communication in orcas.


Education and professional positions

2013 - present Assistant, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, Group Owen Petchey, University of Zurich, Switzerland (50%)
2013 - present Fachreferentin (SAP Campus), Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland (26%)
2010 - 2015 Research assistant, ORES- The Ocean Research and Education Society, Solothurn, Switzerland (10%)
2004 - 2013 Assistant, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, Group Andy Hector, University of Zurich, Switzerland (60%)
2009 - 2014 Research assistant, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, Group Barbara König and Anna Lindholm, University of Zurich, Switzerland (15%), Data base management
2005 - 2010 Research assistant, Project Leopard Ecology & Conservation and Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, Animal Behaviour, University of Zurich, Switzerland (20%), Home range analysis
2004 - 2004 Research assistant in the lab of the Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich Switzerland (30%)
2002 - 2005 Content Manager, WWF Switzerland (20%)
2001 M.Sc. in Zoology, main subject: Animal Behaviour, Thesis: 'Informationstheorie: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen in ihrer Anwendung bei interspezifischen Interaktionen' (human-domestic cat communication), minor subject: Psychology (Cognition)

Selected publications

  • Tuck SL., O'Brien MJ., Philipson CD., Saner P., Tanadini M., Dzulkifli D., Godfray CJ., Godoong E., Nilus R., Ong RC., Schmid B., Sinun W., Snaddon JL., Snoep M., Tangki H., Tay J., Ulok P., Wai YS., Weilenmann M., Reynolds G., Hector A. (2016). The value of biodiversity for the functioning of tropical forests: insurance effects during the first decade of the Sabah biodiversity experiment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 283(1844):20161451. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1451
  • Petchey O., Pontarp M., Massie TM., Kéfi S., Ozgul A., Weilenmann M., Palamara GM., Altermatt F., Matthews B., Levine JM., Childs DZ., McGill BJ., Schaepman ME., Schmid B., Spaak P., Beckerman AP., Pennekamp F., Pearse I. (2015). The ecological forecast horizon, and examples of its uses and determinants. Ecology Letters, 18(7):597-611. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12443
  • Hector, A., von Felten S., Hautier Y., Weilenmann M., Bruelheide H. (2012) Effects of dominance and diversity on productivity along Ellenberg's experimental water table gradients. PloS one 7, e43358. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043358
  • Hector A., Philipson C., Saner P., Chamagne J., Dzulkifli D., O'Brien M., Snaddon JL., Ulok P., Weilenmann M., Reynolds G., Godfray HCJ. (2011). The Sabah Biodiversity Experiment: a long-term test of the role of tree diversity in restoring tropical forest structure and functioning. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1582):3303-3315. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0094
  • Weilenmann M., Gusset M., Mills DR., Gabanapelo T., Schiess-Meier M. (2010) Is translocation of stock-raiding leopards into a protected area with resident conspecifics an effective management tool? Wildlife Research, 37(8):702-707. DOI: 10.1071/WR10013
  • Hector A., Hautier Y., Saner P., Wacker L., Bagchi R., Joshi J., Scherer-Lorenzen M., Spehn EM., Bazeley-White E., Weilenmann M., Caldeira MC., Dimitrakopoulos PG., Finn JA., Huss-Danell K., Jumpponen A., Mulder CPH., Palmborg C., Pereira JS., Siamantziouras ASD., Terry AC., Troumbis AY., Schmid B., Loreau M. (2010). General stabilizing effects of plant diversity on grassland productivity at multiple sites through population asynchrony and overyielding. Ecology, 91(8):2213-2220. DOI: 10.1890/09-1162.1
  • Hector A., Joshi J., Scherer-Lorenzen M., Schmid B., Spehn EM., Wacker L., Weilenmann M., Bazeley-White E., Beierkuhnlein C., Caldeira MC., Dimitrakopoulos PG., Finn JA., Huss-Danell K., Jumpponen A., Leadley PW., Loreau M., Mulder CPH., Nesshoover C., Palmborg C., Read DJ., Siamantziouras ASD., Terry AC., Troumbis AY. (2007). Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: reconciling the results of experimental and observational studies. Functional Ecology 21(5):998-1002. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2007.01308.x

Scientific communications

  • Tscherter U., Weilenmann M. (2003) Minke whales respond to food stress in a main feeding ground. Presented at the ECS in Las Palmas. (Poster)

Weiterführende Informationen

Maja Weilenmann

Maja Weilenmann

Research assistant

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

Office: Y38-M-16
Phone: +41 44 635 6124