Florian Altermatt is assuming responsibility for the Biodiversity Forum at a crucial moment: In 2019, the World Biodiversity Council IPBES publishes its first global analysis, a milestone in the dialogue on biodiversity. Altermatt’s predecessor, Markus Fischer of the University of Bern, has chaired the Forum since 2011 and led the preparation of the IPBES report on Europe and Central Asia.
Florian Altermatt studies how animal and plant species occur in space and time, and how they interact. He is particularly interested in how natural communities are affected by dispersal and the spread of invasive species. He is also studying a new approach to biodiversity monitoring, in which the occurrence of aquatic organisms can be determined using environmental DNA extracted from water samples.
Altermatt has been on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biodiversity Forum since 2010, and a member of its decision-making body since 2013. The Forum is Switzerland’s scientific competence centre for biodiversity and ecosystem services. It supports research in this area and promotes dialogue between scientists and policymakers in the administration, industry and society.