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Department of Geography

Spatial Genetics

Welcome to the Spatial Genetics group, which is affiliated with the Department of Geography and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Zurich. Together with Earth System Science, Remote Sensing, and Remote Sensing of Water Systems, we make up the Remote Sensing Laboratories, which have a long and successful history in Zurich.

We are part of the University Research Priority Program on Global Change and Biodiversity, partners in UPSCALE, collaborators of the Biology Integration Institute ASCEND, and contributors to sMile.

Pictures by A. Steppke, M. de la Harpe, M. Schuman

In Spatial Genetics, we want to know why plants are different, where it matters for ecology and for people. We investigate patterns of plant genetic diversity in managed and wild systems, and how these matter. Plant genetic variation can affect ecosystem function by influencing many specialized chemical mediators produced by plant metabolism, or more broadly conserved plant functional traits. Both kinds of traits are important for how plants interact with and function in their environment. Genetic variation is like a toolkit which can help plants express different traits in future environments. More underResearch

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University of Zurich

Department of Geography

Winterthurerstrasse 190

8057 Zürich


Phone: +41 44 635 51 61 

            +41 44 635 65 15

Secretary's office: Y25 J 52

Opening hours secretariat: Monday - Friday 09.00-12.00h


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SG News

  • Crossing boundaries

    Merry was highlighted by the faculty's Women in Science campaign. She presents our collaborative approach to transdisciplinary research in a short

  • Investigating plants genetic structure from above

    Advances in methods and interweaving of disciplines enable us to better understand what drives changes in biodiversity.

  • Spatial genetics for plant-based communities - and much more!

    You might be familiar with an increasingly common application of spatial genetics research: using people's DNA to identify their ancestry, for


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