Research Group Geoecology

Research of the Geoecology group focusses on past, present and potential future effects of environmental drivers on species, assemblages and ecosystems on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. We study topics as different as the ecology and biogeography of specialized species and organism-groups, such as aquatic macroinvertebrates inhabiting spring habitats, long-term ecosystem development and past and ongoing species distribution changes reconstructed from biotic indicators (e.g. diatoms, pollen, chironomids, cladocerans). The reconstruction of past climatic and other environmental changes based on biotic assemblages and stable isotope analyses of microfossils in natural archives is a further focus of our research group.

Our research is intrinsically interdisciplinary with close links to Palaeoecology and Ecology, Biogeography, Biogeosciences, Climate Change Research, and Quaternary Geology. Members of the Geoecology group teach in both Geosciences and Biology.


  • Oliver Heiri is invited to hold the honorary Thienemann Lecture at the 22nd Chironomid Symposium, June 17-19 2024, in Nîs, Serbia

  • Janis Polar (visual artist) with Dr. Sandra Brügger and their PolARTS tandem project Fire &(A)Ice – Exploring image-based aesthetics of microfossils in ice cores’.
  • New publication in the journal Nature with involvement of the Geoecology group. The article by Ngoepe et al. provides new information on the evolution of Cichlid fish in Lake Victoria, Africa.
  • New eDNA and palaeoecology paper in Nature Communications with major contributions from the Geoecology group. View Paper
  • Sandra Brügger received an SNF-Ambizione grant to join the Geoecology group – congratulations, Sandra! In her research Sandra will study pollen assemblages in ice core records, also exploring automated pollen identification procedures.
  • New short film on lake sediment coring and sediment processing in the KUMIT project ("Klima, Mensch und Umwelt im Thurgau"), a research collaboration with Archaeology, Canton of Thurgau. Amt für Archäologie, Thurgau
Team excursion to the Bergsee Bad Säckingen in June 2023
Klingelbergstrasse building

Secretariat Geoecology
University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 27, 1st floor
4056 Basel

Tel: +41 61 207 08 00