Christoph Bachofen

GR B2 417 (Bâtiment GR)
Station 2
CH-1015 Lausanne

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Administrative data

Fields of expertise

I am interested in how trees acclimate to changes in environmental conditions, with a focus on light, water availability and temperature. For this, I look into a number of functional traits from physiological to morpho-anatomical traits, and from leaf to roots. I use a combination of experiments with seedlings in pots or mesocosms with field studies of saplings and adult trees.  In my research I try to understand the contrasting ecological strategies of tree species for dealing with environmental changes and their underlying trade-offs. Currently, I am investigating how acclimation to local climate affects tree transpiration responses to soil water and vapour pressure deficit. Another project aims at understanding how an invasive palm species outcompetes native regeneration with physiological advantages in the utilisation of light, water and warm temperatures. 


Doctor of Sciences

Pine regeneration under future climate conditions: effects of local adaptation and acclimation

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Forest Dynamics


Diploma of Advanced Studies in Applied Statistics

ETH Zurich


MSc Biology

Trophic Interactions in an Arthropod Community on Green Alder

ETH Zurich



Selected publications

Teaching & PhD


Environmental Sciences and Engineering


Fundamentals in ecology

The students will learn the fundamentals in ecology with the goal to perceive the environment beyond its physical and chemical characteristics. Starting from basic concepts, they will acquire mechanistic understanding of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and global change.

Applied ecology

The course will provide the ecological systems' knowledge needed to question applied sustainability solutions. We will critically assess the complexity of current environmental issues, illustrating basic ecological concepts and principles.

Poly-Trees: species pathways

This teaching unit proposes a reflection on the EPFL-UNIL campus through a transcalar analysis aiming to improve the strategies defining the built environment and public spaces of both campuses - while encouraging the interaction between all of the species within them and the ecological transition.