Bruno Studer – New ETH Zurich Professor of Molecular Plant Breeding in Partnership with Agroscope

Zurich, 27.05.2016 - ETH Zurich is appointing Bruno Studer Associate Professor of Molecular Plant Breeding, i.e. joint holder of the newly created Chair for Molecular Plant Breeding. The new professorship will be shared between Agroscope and ETH Zurich with a view to strengthening plant breeding in Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Bruno Studer, born in 1977, has been Assistant Professor of Forage Crop Genetics at the ETH Zurich since 2012 as part of a professorship funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Recently, the Swiss researcher was appointed Associate Professor of Molecular Plant Breeding.

To date, Bruno Studer’s research has focused on developing breeding techniques for plants used in forage production, in order to improve breeding performance and efficiency. His findings facilitate the more environmentally friendly and economic manufacture of products of animal origin at the interface between feed and food production.

ETH Zurich and Agroscope: Joint professorship – networked team

With the appointment of Bruno Studer, the Department of Environmental Systems Sciences at the ETH Zurich strengthens its research focus in the field of food security. Prof. Studer will be attached to the Institute for Agricultural Sciences, where he will aim to further the development of molecular plant-breeding techniques for various plant systems.

The professorship has close links with Agroscope, the Swiss federal centre of excellence for research in the agriculture and food sector, allowing Agroscope to strengthen its institutional cooperation with the ETH Zurich. Bruno Studer will be based at the ETH and work with two groups at Agroscope in Reckenholz and Wädenswil, respectively, with the aim of facilitating close cooperation with the Agroscope breeding projects for sustainably cultivable forage plants and fruit crops. However, he also intends to carry out his fundamental work in close cooperation with additional breeding projects on other sites.

High-profile research work on ryegrasses

Bruno Studer studied Agricultural Sciences at the ETH Zurich from 1997 to 2002, earning his doctorate from the University of Zurich in 2006. From 2006 to 2012 he held a postdoctoral position in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University in Denmark. During this time he authored a number of highly respected papers on genetics, genomics, and molecular markers in ryegrasses.

The breeding methods developed by Bruno Studer contain classic applications of functional molecular markers, as well as new genomic selection concepts. He has also refined hybrid-breeding approaches, such as those established for crop plants like maize or rye, for use in forage-growing systems.  His work in this field will not only help to increase the amount of plant biomass produced in future, but will also help to boost resource efficiency and improve the quality of the product.

Research prize and numerous prestigious publications

To date, Bruno Studer has published over 30 articles in scientific journals. In spring 2016 he was awarded the research prize of the Günter & Anna Wricke Foundation, which aims to promote science and research in applied genetics and plant breeding.

He has made a name for himself in academia through his supervision of numerous degree- and doctoral theses, and through his lectures, primarily on the subjects of molecular genetics and plant breeding.

Address for enquiries

Michael Gysi, Head of Agroscope
Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
+41 58 463 81 12

Lukas Bertschinger, Deputy Head of the Institute for Plant Production Sciences
Schloss 1, Postfach, 8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland
+41 58 460 62 02

Michael Winzeler, Deputy Head of the Institute for Sustainability Sciences
Reckenholzstrasse 191, 8046 Zurich, Switzerland
+41 58 468 73 75