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Master Research Unit Biodiversity & Ecosystems for Master's in Environment and Natural Resources

Is the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem performance important to you? Engage yourself in balanced use and protection concepts.

This specialisation (Master Research Unit MRU) examines and explores terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In terrestrial systems, the enhancement of biodiversity is becoming increasingly important. Knowledge of the factors affecting biodiversity and their interactions is in demand for the practical implementation of measures that form part of the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Switzerland.

Aquatic ecosystems are among the most vulnerable ecosystems. The sustainable development and revitalisation of bodies of water, as required by the Swiss Water Protection Act, requires a fundamental understanding of complex aquatic-terrestrial links.

The Biodiversity & Ecosystems MRU covers topics from the research groups for Soil Ecology, Open Space Management, Geoinformatics, Ecohydrology, Environmental Planning, Urban Ecosystems, Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology, Vegetation Analysis and Wildlife Management at the Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR).


As a Master of Science ZFH in Environment and Natural Resources specialising in Biodiversity & Ecosystems, you will ...

  • be able to examine complex questions concerning biodiversity using appropriate methods and to formulate scientific answers.
  • be able to quantify changes in key ecosystem processes and propose practical measures.
  • know how to apply the concept of ecosystem performance to issues in urban and rural areas.
  • be able to negotiate strategies for the development of biodiversity and ecosystems based on research results.

Master's thesis

As part of your Master's thesis, you will develop your own ideas and concepts to solve scientific problems. This enables you to tackle complex problems independently in your future professional activities. You will be able to apply and develop scientific methods, even in new and/or multidisciplinary contexts. You will write your Master's thesis as a member of a research group. This will place you in close contact with real-world practice. It will also give you the opportunity to establish contacts and build a professional network.

Your thesis can be written, in consultation with your supervisor, in a local language, English or another language.


As a MSc in ENR with a specialisation in Biodiversity & Ecosystems, attractive prospects in the labour market will be open to you. Following your Master's degree, you might work:

  • as a senior employee at a consultancy specialising in ecological projects.
  • as a research associate with a public authority
  • as a project manager in an NGO
  • as a PhD student at a university in Switzerland or abroad (see joint degree with the University of Ljubljana)
  • or you might become self-employed and set up a consultancy office.

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