Earth System Science

Earth System Science

The Spatial Ecology and Remote Sensing group of the University of Zurich uses remote sensing to improve the understanding of the role of the biosphere in the Earth system. We apply spectral signatures obtained from field spectrometers, drones, and satellites, ranging from leaf optical properties to landscape reflectance, to assess interactions of global change drivers with the biosphere. We track temporal variations and relate them to changes in the biosphere, from adaptations of individual plant strategies, to species and community turnover. To fundamentally advance our knowledge of the interaction of radiation with plants, we apply radiative transfer theory and observations to quantify the effect of plant functional traits and their diversity on surface energy fluxes. Ecological systems we are working on range from subtropical islands to our main study system, the Arctic. Through our experiments, observations, and modelling we contribute to fundamental research, but we are equally interested in providing scientific information for conservation efforts and policies in support of sustainable development and transformative change of the current human interaction with the Earth system to halt the rapid loss of biodiversity.


Gabriela Schaepmann


Prof. Gabriela Schaepman-Strub
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich
Tel: +41 44 635 4806