Rolf Holderegger becomes new WSL Director

Bern, 14.06.2024 - On 14 June, the Federal Council appointed Rolf Holderegger as the new director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). He is currently head of the Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Research Unit at WSL and titular professor at ETH Zurich. The 59-year-old will take up his new post on 1 October.

Rolf Holderegger is taking over the management of WSL from deputy director Christoph Hegg, who has led the institution ad interim since July 2023. Rolf Holderegger studied biology at the University of Zurich, completing his doctorate in 1997. He then worked for two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He also worked part-time as a secondary school teacher and as a nature conservation consultant. In 2001 he took up a position as deputy head of the Ecological Genetics section at the WSL, going on to head the Ecological Genetics and Evolution research unit from 2006. In 2009 he was appointed titular professor at the Department of Environmental Systems Sciences at ETH Zurich. Since 2011 he has headed the Biodiversity and Conservation Biology research unit at WSL. Rolf was a member of the WSL senior management from 2011 to 2023.

The research unit set up and headed by Rolf Holderegger is one of the largest research units at the WSL, with over 60 employees and above-average activities in research application and outreach. The unit investigates the diversity of life in its various forms, from genetic diversity to the diversity of species and habitats and their interactions. In collaboration with partners such as the federal government, cantons and communes, Rolf and his research unit develop scientific foundations for management strategies to protect biodiversity and natural resources in Switzerland and internationally. His research projects have been funded by the European Union, the SNSF, Innosuisse, the FOEN, the cantons and communes, the ETH Domain and several foundations.

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