Thomas Sattler


    Thomas Sattler (Foto © Archiv Vogelwarte)
    Thomas Sattler (Foto © Archiv Vogelwarte)
    Dr. Thomas Sattler
    Swiss Ornithological Institute
    Seerose 1
    6204 Sempach

    Research interests

    Long-term monitoring forms the basis to study both fundamental ecological and applied conservation topics. I am I am fascinated to disentangle ecological and human-related factors that drive populations and their distribution in space.


    Director of the Monitoring Department at the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach


    • Spatial ecology
    • Species distribution models
    • Urban ecology
    • Acoustics and echolocation
    • Conservation Ecology

    Current Projects

    Swiss Bird Index SBI®

    Effects of climate change on birds in Switzerland

    Monitoring breeding birds in wetlands


    Damaris Zurell, Niklaus Zimmermann, Martin Obrist, Marco Moretti Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Birmensdorf

    Richard D. Gregory, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science

    Boris Schröder, Technische Universität Braunschweig

    Aleksi Lehikoinen, University of Helsinki

    Rachel Page, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI), Panama

    Kirsten Jung, Marco Tschapka, University of Ulm

    Federal Office for the environment FOEN

    Biodiversity Monitoring Switzerland BDM  with Hintermann & Weber

    European Bird Census Council EBCC

    Biolovision SA


    Since 2014 Director of the Monitoring Department at the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach
    2011 – 2013 Post-doc researcher at the Smithonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama and University of Ulm: ecology and spatial distribution of aerial insectivorous bat species. Collaboration with PD M. Tschapka and Prof. R. Page
    2009 – 2011 Post-doc researcher at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, focus on biodiversity indicator analysis; Collaboration with Dr. M. Moretti
    2006 – 2009 PhD on urban biodiversity at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL and University of Berne. Supervision: Dr. M. Moretti, Prof. R. Arlettaz
    2008 Scientific visit to the Spatial Ecology group of Prof. P. Legendre, Université de Montréal, Canada
    2004 – 2005 Postgraduate course in GIS, University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil
    1997 – 2003 Studies of Biology at the Universities of Basel, Caracas and Berne
    1988 – 1996 Schools in Solothurn and Brisbane


    Available on Research Gate

    Sattler T., Keller V., Knaus P., Schmid H., Volet B. 2015. The State of Birds in Switzerland. Report 2015. Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach.

    Bader E., Jung K., Kalko E.K.V., Page R. A.,  Rodriguez R., Sattler T. 2015. Mobility explains the response of aerial insectivorous bats to anthropogenic habitat change in the Neotropics. Biological Conservation. 186, 97-106. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.02.028

    Muster C., Meyer M., Sattler, T.: Spatial Arrangement Overrules Environmental Factors to Structure Native and Non-Native Assemblages of Synanthropic Harvestmen. 2014. PLoS ONE. 9(3):e90474. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0090474

    Sattler T., Pezzatti G.B., Nobis M.P., Obrist M.K., Roth T., Moretti M. 2013. Selection of Multiple Umbrella Species for Functional and Taxonomic Diversity to Represent Urban Biodiversity. Conservation Biology. 28, 414-426. DOI:10.1111/cobi.12213

    Walters C.L., Freeman R., Dietz C., Fenton M.B., Jones G., Maltby A., Obrist M.K., Puechmaille S.J., Sattler T., Siemers B.M., Parsons S. and Jones K.E. 2012. A continental-scale tool for acoustic identification of European bats. Journal of Applied Ecology. 49, 1064–1074. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02182.x.

    Vilisics F., Bogyó D., Sattler T., Moretti M. 2012. Occurrence and assemblage composition of millipedes (Myriapoda, Diplopoda) and terrestrial isopods (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea) in urban areas of Switzerland. ZooKeys 176: 199–214.

    Sattler, T., P. Duelli, M. K. Obrist, and M. Moretti. 2011. Urban arthropod communities: added value or just a blend of surrounding biodiversity? Landscape and Urban Planning. 103, 347-361.

    Fontana, S., T. Sattler, F. Bontadina and M. Moretti. 2011. How to manage the urban green to enhance bird species richness and diversity. Landscape and Urban Planning. 101:278-285.

    Sattler, T., D. Borcard, R. Arlettaz, F. Bontadina, P. Legendre, M.K. Obrist and M. Moretti. 2010. Arthropod and bird communities in cities are shaped by environmental control and high stochasticity. Ecology. 91, 3343-3353.

    Sattler, T., P. Duelli, M.K. Obrist, R. Arlettaz and M. Moretti. 2010. Response of arthropod species richness and functional groups to urban habitat structure and management. Landscape Ecology. 25, 941-954.

    Vandewalle, M., F. de Bello, M.P. Berg, T. Bolger, S. Dolédec, F. Dubs, C.K. Feld, R. Harrington, P.A. Harrison, S. Lavorel, P. Martins da Silva, M. Moretti, J. Niemelä, P. Santos, T. Sattler, J. Paulo Sousa, M.T. Sykes, A.J. Vanbergen, B. A. Woodcock. 2010. Functional traits as indicators of biodiversity response to land use changes across ecosystems and organisms. Biodiversity and Conservation. 19, 2921-2947.

    Sattler, T., F. Bontadina, A. Hirzel and R. Arlettaz. 2007. Ecological niche modelling of two cryptic bat species calls for a reassessment of their conservation status. Journal of Applied Ecology, 44, 1188-1199.