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!



Stefano Canessa
Division of Conservation Biology
University of Bern
Erlachstrasse 9a, 3012 Bern
E-mail: stefano.canessa[at]iee.unibe.ch

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