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Teaching and Training

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Opportunities for teaching and learning at ETH are unique benefits of the research partnership. Over the years about 50 Bachelor, Master, PhD and practical stage students had the opportunity to conduct their research in Seychelles. These student projects are a great opportunity for young scientists to perform their research in collaboration with practitioners and stakeholders thereby directly contributing to conservation and sustainability. All students are co-supervised by practitioners in Seychelles and scientists at ETH, and they are all embedded in both a management organisation in Seychelles and an ETH institute. The students themselves facilitate inter- and transdisciplinary work: they are less constrained than established experts to ask unconventional questions to practitioners and scientists, and they collaborate among themselves and exchange experiences and knowledge across years and projects thereby adding to the continuity of the partnership. Student projects contributed substantially to the development of both applied tools and scientific products (see list of student projects below).


Until recently training in Seychelles was mostly organised through workshops and work assignments within the different partner organisations. For instance, in 2007 the Island Conservation Society (ICS) organised with ETH and PCA a one-week training workshop on Seychelles botany and plant conservation (Kapisen, The Nation). Practitioners from different conservation agencies in Seychelles - both governmental and non-governmental - participated. The course was mostly field-based and we visited over the week the conservation areas of the different participants so that the workshop resulted in a two-way knowledge exchange with the participants becoming the teachers in their sites.


With the formation of the University of Seychelles (UniSey) increasingly also UniSey students and faculty members profit from the co-supervision and collaborations that are enabled through the research partnership. Karl Fleischmann and Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury are currently lecturers at the university. Beginning with the academic year 2015/16 UniSey offers bachelor courses in Environmental Science also for students from overseas.

An opportunity for teaching at ETH and in Seychelles

Vegetation monitoring and conservation planning

K. Fleischmann (Problems with invasive alien plants on the islands of Mah?© and Silhouette, Seychelles, PhD thesis, 1997).

E. Schumacher & M. Wuethrich (Long-term vegetation monitoring system for Cousin and Cousine nature reserve islands, Master thesis, in collaboration with Nature Seychelles, 2000)

A. Reinhardt & M. Voellmy (Habitat assessment for a new zonation of the vegetation of Praslin National Park. Master Thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2000).

P. Heritier (Habitat assessment as a basis for Fond Ferdinand reserve and ecotourism trail network, Master Thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2002).

O. Putallaz & D. Fuersinger (Setup of a vegetation monitoring systen on Aride Island nature reserve). Practical stage, in collaboration with Island Conservation Society (ICS), Aride Island Reserve, and PCA, 2008).

C. Farrer & M. Hertach (Vegetation survey and GIS-based zonation of Fond d'Albaretz forest, Praslin. Master thesis, in collaboration with Hotel Coco de Mer, PCA, and Ministry of Environment 2009). (pdf)

B. Baader & B. Hendry (The conservation value of La Reserve palm forest - a 15-years re-survey. Master thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and PCA, 2007)


Invasive species

F. Wiederkehr & M. Anderegg (Impacts of the invasive tree, Paraserianthes falcataria on Mahe. Master thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2001).

S. Katulic (Inventory of invasive creepers on Mahe, BSc thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2004)

L. Wirth (Herbivore damage to invasive and native woody plant species, BSc thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2004)

G. Klingler & K. Zirfass (Impact of invasive plant species on nutrient cycling in Seychelles forests, Master Thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2005)

C. Kueffer (Impacts of woody invasive species on tropical forests of the Seychelles, PhD thesis, 2006).

E. Schumacher (Variation in growth responses among and within native and invasive juvenile trees in Seychelles, PhD thesis, 2007).


Habitat restoration

C. Meuwly (Post-fire succession and rehabilitation, Master Thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2002).

C. Ramseier & S. Mannes (Vegetation monitoring and vegetation rehabilitation on North Island, Seychelles. Practical stage, in collaboration with PCA and North Island Resort, 2006).

C. Farrer & M. Hertach (Vegetation rehabilitation on North Island, Seychelles (Phase II). Practical stage, in collaboration with PCA, North Island Resort and Island Conservation Society (ICS), 2007).


Ecosystem ecology

R. Mylonas (Chemical analysis of soils at different altitudes in the Seychelles. BSc thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2003)

I. Sedivy (Physical analysis of soils at different altitudes in the Seychelles. BSc thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2003)


Functional plant biology and functional diversity

V. Gmuer (Ecophysiological response to drought stress in seedlings of native and invasive trees on the Seychelles. Master thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2003)

M. Tobler (Growth responses to drought stress under different light levels in native vs. invasive tree seedlings on the Seychelles. Master thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2003)

M. Beaud (Functional diversity of the native and invasive Seychelles woody flora. Master thesis awarded with ETH silver medal. In collaboration with PCA, Seychelles National Parks Authority, and Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles (NPTS), 2011).

C. Benkler & R. Buerki (Effects of habitat and phylogeny on the functional traits of Seychelles woody flora. Master thesis, In collaboration with PCA, and Seychelles National Parks Authority, 2011).


Plant-animal interactions

L. Kronauer (Dispersal of native and exotic plants by birds in Seychelles and regeneration of native trees in Morne Seychellois National Park. Master Thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Dr. Gerard Rocamora, 2005).

R.M. Taylor (Habitat restoration effectiveness in restoring plant-seed disperser interactions using Seychelles inselbergs. MSc thesis, in collaboration with Seychelles National Parks Authority, University of Zurich, 2012)

N. Thuerlimann (Frugivory and seed dispersal by the Seychelles skink (Mabuya sechellensis) and its response to habitat restoration. MSc thesis, in collaboration with Seychelles National Parks Authority, University of Zurich, 2013).


Red data listing of flowering plants

R. Bollier R. & I. Tanner (priority ranking for habitat protection of important biodiversity sites on Mahe and Praslin, Practical stage, in collaboration with PCA and Ministry of Environment, 2004).

M. Burger & N. Stampfli (Preparation of a IUCN Red Data database for the Seychelles flora. Practical stage, in collaboration with PCA and Ministry of Environment, 2005).

M. Huber & S. Ismail (IUCN Red List assessment of the endemic woody plants of the inner Seychelles, Master thesis, in collaboration with PCA and Ministry of Environment, 2006)


Conservation genetics

A. Finger (Ecological and genetic processes underlying allee effects among tree populations in the context of divergent population histories, PhD thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Seychelles National Parks Authority, SIF and PCA, 2008-2012) (pdf)

E. Morgan (Demographic and genetic processes underlying regeneration in coco de mer (Lodoicea maldivica), PhD thesis, in collaboration with Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF), 2013-).

L. Bin Jalaluddin Hirzi (Conservation genetics of the endemic pitcher plant, Nepenthes pervillei. Master thesis, in collaboration with PCA and Seychelles National Parks Authority, 2015).


Sustainable land use

S. Zemp (Cultural history of Cinnamomum verum in the Seychelles and options for controlling its spread through economic exploitation, Practical stage, in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, 2003).


Sustainable tourism and ecotourism

S. Guenther (Scenarios of sustainable tourism development on La Digue Island. Master thesis, in collaboration with Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Transport & seed sustainability, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2004).

U. Schneider (Marketing of sustainable tourism, Master thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Tourismus and Transport and seed sustainability, 2004)

J.P. Valenghi (Economic assessment of alternative sustainable tourism development scenarios. Master thesis, in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism and Transport, seed sustainability, and Sozialoekonomisches Institut, University Zurich, Switzerland, 2004)

N. Mueller (Sustainability Label for the Seychelles. Practical stage. In collaboration with Seychelles Tourism Board and seed sustainability, ETH Zurich, 2006).

L. Ketterer (Communal Planning of Ecotourism: Local Participation in Ecotourism Development in Anse Royale. Master thesis. Seed sustainability & Geographical Institute, Unviersity of Zurich, 2006).

J. Frank (Sustainability Label: pilot implementation phase. Practical stage. In collaboration with Seychelles Tourism Board, seed sustainability, ETH Zurich, and University of Applied Sciences, Eberswalde, 2007)

S. Mattenberger (Sustainability Label: pilot implementation phase. Master thesis. In collaboration with Seychelles Tourism Board, seed sustainability, ETH Zurich, and Department of Management, 2007).

T. Kropf (Ecotourism museum at Jardin du Roi, Mahe. Practical stage, in collaboration with PCA and Jardin du Roi, 2015).

Overview of student projects

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