About

I am a senior postdoc in the division of Conservation Biology of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Bern University, Switzerland. I am a specialized scientist because I work in conservation of endangered species, but also a generalist because this work involves many different things:

  • Ecology: estimating and predicting population dynamics
  • Decision analysis and risk assessment: managing and optimizing multiple objectives and uncertainty
  • Psychology, economics and social sciences: understanding risk attitudes and reducing biases
  • People: facilitating groups, clarifying values and consulting experts
  • Travelling!

My main role is to support and advise planning for conservation programs worldwide, be they Italian turtles, Mauritian passerines or Pacific kingfisher. Conservation reintroductions and translocations are a recurring theme in my work.

Through these projects, I seek to understand recurrent challenges to conservation planning and develop methods to match needs and knowledge. I am especially interested in adaptive management, cost-effectiveness and cognitive biases.

My PhD at the University of Melbourne and first postdoc at the Zoological Society of London focused on decision analysis for the recovery of endangered species. I have a long-standing collaboration and friendship with John Ewen (ZSL) and Sarah Converse (UWashington), which has included developing a training program for the IUCN Conservation Translocation Specialist Group. Between 2016 and 2020, I also worked as a postdoc at Ghent University (Belgium), focusing on risk management and mitigation for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

These are words I use a lot in my papers. If you are a scientist who seeks conservation applications, a manager facing a challenging decision, or a current or prospective student who wants to learn the science and practice of conservation, please get in touch!

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Contact

Stefano Canessa
Division of Conservation Biology
University of Bern
Erlachstrasse 9a, 3102 Bern
Switzerland
E-mail: science[at]canessas.com

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