Stéphanie Vuichard | MSc Student

Co-supervised by Dr. Benedikt Schmidt (IEU Group LeaderSwiss Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Program) and Dr. Jasmin Winkler.

stephanieI’m interested in animals and their interaction with their environment. I’m concerned about the loss of biodiversity, which motivates me to learn more about ecology and conservation biology and explore what can be done to prevent it. My aim is to do conservation management in the future. As I was born and still live in Switzerland, my focus is on Swiss species. For a term paper during my Bachelor’s degree, I looked at survival  of Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) breeding on flat roofs. My Bachelor’s thesis was about the Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca) and its temperature and sunlight duration preferences.

My Master’s thesis is on amphibian conservation biology. I investigate which environmental factors influence colonisation of ponds by amphibians.The study site is in Emmental (Canton of Bern), where dozens of ponds were built in the last 30 years. I’m looking at different variables from each pond and their surroundings. I compare the ponds where amphibians occur, where they reproduce, and where no amphibians were detected. The target species for the pond building project in Emmental is the Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans). However, I’m also looking at the other amphibian species in these ponds, namely the Common Toad (Bufo bufo), Common Frog (Rana temporaria), Alpine Newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris) and the Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus).

MSc in Environmental Sciences, University of Zurich
2013 -2014 Internship at the Canton of Zug – office of forest and wildlife (Amt für Wald und Wild)
2010-2013 BSc in Natural Resource Sciences, ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Science), Wädenswil
2010 Internship at an ecological research office (Büro für ökologische Optimierungen GmbH)