Conservation biology

A key societal challenge is to halt biodiversity loss in a changing world. We aim at providing knowledge to guide biodiversity conservation in the face of climate and land-use changes. More specifically, we study how various facets of biodiversity affect ecosystem functioning and human well-being. We focus on forests and agroforestry systems in temperate and tropical regions from local to global scales. With our research, we try to reconcile biodiversity conservation and land uses such as agriculture and forestry.   

Our methodological approach relies on four major pillars including 1) ground-based studies such as tree diversity experiments and agroforestry sites; 2) remote sensing such as terrestrial laser scanner, drones, satellites; 3) statistical models and complex network approaches and, 4) interdisciplinary and intercultural collaborations.


  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
  • Ecosystem services and Nature’s contributions to people (NCP)
  • Forest-climate interactions
  • Remote sensing
  • Statistical modeling and complex system analysis



  • Land-use trajectories for sustainable land system transformations: Identifying leverage points in a global biodiversity hotspot
    Martin, DA; Andrianisaina, F; (...); Kreft, H
  • Bat point counts: A novel sampling method shines light on flying bat communities
    Darras, KFA; Yusti, E; (...); Wanger, TC
    Dec 2021 | Nov 2021 (Early Access) | ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION 11 (23) , pp.17179-17190   10.1002/ece3.8356
  • For the sake of resilience and multifunctionality, let's diversify planted forests!
    Messier, C; Bauhus, J; (...); Zemp, DC
    Jan 2022 | Jul 2021 (Early Access) | CONSERVATION LETTERS 15 (1) 10.1111/conl.12829
  • Microclimate and land surface temperature in a biodiversity enriched oil palm plantation
    Donfack, LS; Roll, A; (...); Zemp, DC
    Oct 1 2021 | Jul 2021 (Early Access) | FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 497 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119480
  • Global patterns and climatic controls of forest structural complexity
    Ehbrecht, M; Seidel, D; (...); Ammer, C
    Jan 22 2021 | NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 12 (1) 10.1038/s41467-020-20767-z
  • Legacy Effects Overshadow Tree Diversity Effects on Soil Fungal Communities in Oil Palm-Enrichment Plantations
    Ballauff, J; Zemp, DC; (...); Polle, A
    Oct 2020 | MICROORGANISMS 8 (10) 10.3390/microorganisms8101577
  • Mixed-species tree plantings enhance structural complexity in oil palm plantations
    Zemp, DC; Ehbrecht, M; (...); Kreft, H
    Nov 1 2019 | AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT 283, 10.1016/j.agee.2019.06.003 
Clara Delphine Zemp, Uni Neuchatel. Image: Bernard Léchot

Prof. Dr. Clara Zemp
University of Neuchâtel
Institute of Biology
2000 Neuchâtel

Phone:     +41 32 718 31 14

  • Climate change
  • Biodiversity
  • Land use and land cover change
  • Remote sensing
  • Sustainable forestry and agriculture