The partnership


Seychelles Ministry of Environment and Energy

The Seychelles Ministry of Environment has been a key partner throughout the history of the research partnership. It was pivotal for the establishment of the partnership, hosted Christoph Kueffer and Eva Schumacher from 2002 to 2005 as members of the Forestry and National Park section during a phase of rapid expansion of the collaboration, and has been involved in most projects. Among many former or current members of the Ministry, the following former of current employees of the Ministry were or are particularly engaged in the partnership: Jacques Barreau, Didier Dogley (in his former roles as director of Botanic Gardens and Director General / Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Environment), Simon Dogley, Damien Doudee, Ronley Fanchette, Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, Joseph Francois, Marc Jean-Baptiste, Victorin Laboudallon, Walter Mangroo, John Nevill, Rolph Payet, Justin Prosper, Selby Remie, Andy Roucou, Michel Vielle, Pierre Vos, and the current members of the Seychelles National Park Authorities (formerly National Park unit, see below).

Seychelles National Park Authorities (SNPA)

Formerly part of the Ministry of Environment, SNPA now supports as independent body all work in the National Parks. The former and current members of SNPA were pivotal in designing and implementing most research and applied management projects in the field; in particular: Denis Matatiken, James Mougal, Steven Azemia, Hansel Simara, and Terence Valentin.

Seychelles Botanic Gardens

Seychelles Botanic Gardens, and in particular the team of the Barbarons Biodiversity Center under the (former) supervision of Damien Doudee contributes essential expertise and facilities in plant taxonomy, species distribution and growing endemic plants to research and applied projects.

Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Transport

Facilitated by seed sustainability, seven student projects on sustainable ecotourism were implemented in collaboration with Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and further partners (esp. Seychelles Tourism Board and many private hotels) (see Ecotourism). The main contact for these projects at the ministry was Frauke Fleischer-Dogley.

Governmental organisations (including government-affiliated bodies)

The Seychelles-ETH partnership builds on close collaboration between a few instrumental people at ETH and former affiliates (especially Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury) and many partners in Seychelles. Some partners have been key pillars of the partnership over many years, others have contributed to particular projects. While some collaborators were formal partners of projects many more contributed equally important support through informal roles and friendship. This site acknowledges the many collaborators that were involved in the partnership over the years, although we certainly missed some contributions. Colleagues have moved from one institution to another over the years and are therefore listed more than once.

Plant Conservation Action group (PCA)

Since its formation in 2002 the Plant Conservation Action group (PCA) has been a key partner of most projects and co-supervisor of many student projects. PCA and ETH also co-edit the Plant Conservation Magazine, Kapisen. All members contribute substantially to our collaborative projects, in particular: Lindsay Chong-Seng, Bruno Senterre, Charles Morel, Ian Charlette, Marie-Therese Purvis, Nathachia Pierre, Hugh Watts, and Alistair Griffiths.

Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF)

The Seychelles Islands Foundation is responsible for the protection and management of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Seychelles: Aldabra Atoll and the Vallee de Mai. The latter is home to the famous coco de mer palm (more information), and SIF is the main driver behind evidence-based management of coco de mer in Seychelles. SIF has a strong in-house science team, which leads coco de mer and other plant-related research at the two UNESCO sites with support of Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury and Peter Edwards. Close collaborators in the organisation include, among others, Wilna Accouche, Nancy Bunbury, Frauke Fleischer-Dogley and Marc Jean-Baptiste.

Nature Seychelles

ETH Zurich developed together with Nature Seychelles a vegetation monitoring system for Cousin Island nature reserve.

Island Conservation Society (ICS)

ETH Zurich developed together with ICS a vegetation monitoring system for Aride island nature reserve, and in 2007 we run together a plant conservation training course.

Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles (NPTS)

Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles (NPTS), and in particular Justin and Ron Gerlach, facilitated for many years our fieldwork on Silhouette island.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

North Island Resort

Together with PCA, ETH Zurich assisted North Island Resort through several student projects with their habitat restoration programme (see Novel Ecosystems).

Coco de Mer Hotel

Coco de Mer Hotel and in particular its owner, Matthieu LaBuschagne kindly supported several research projects on Praslin and in the nature conservation area of the hotel.

Cousine Island Resort

ETH Zurich developed together with Cousine Island Resort a vegetation monitoring system for Cousine island.

Jardin du Roi

An ETH student, Tabea Kropf, developed together with PCA and Jardin du Roi ecotourism site an exhibition on nature conservation in Seychelles.

And many more hotel businesses that were involved in the seed sustainable tourism project on sustainable ecotourism.

Private industry

University of Seychelles

With the formation of the University of Seychelles (UniSey) increasingly also UniSey students profit from the co-supervision that is enabled through the research partnership. Karl Fleischmann and Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury are currently lecturers at the university.

Darmstadt University of Technology (TU Darmstadt)

Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury heads the Applied Network Ecology and Island Conservation section in the Ecological Network Group at the TU Darmstadt. The working group is ideally placed at TU Darmstadt to draw on the technical expertise across different disciplines required for many applied projects in Seychelles.

Geobotanical Institute, ETH Zurich

In addition to the core research team, the Seychelles project was in different phases supported by these members of the (former) Geobotanical Institute: Holger Buschmann, Hansjoerg Dietz, Sabine Guesewell, Frank Kloetzli, Johannes Kollmann, Dieter Ramseier, Kathrin Rentsch, Karsten Rohweder, and Hans-Heini Vogel. Currently the partnership is hosted by the professorship of Alex Widmer (Plant Ecological Genetics).

Chair of Ecosystem Management, ETH Zurich

The Ecosystem Management research group is the second group at ETH Zurich that is involved in research in Seychelles. The group leader, Jaboury Ghazoul, and conservation geneticist Chris Kettle have collaborated with the Ministry of Environment, the National Parks Authority and Seychelles Islands Foundation to conduct several conservation genetics projects in Seychelles. Introducing molecular techniques to plant conservation in Seychelles has advanced our understanding of fragmentation effects on plant population structure.


In addition to the persons mentioned above, the partnership depended and depends on the expertise and support of many dedicated individuals in Seychelles. These include among others: Unels Bristol, John Collins, Maureen Kirkpatrick, Maurice Loustau Lalanne, Pat Matyot, Angelika Maurel, Marie-Therese Purvis, and Gerard Rocamora.