Fränzi Korner-Nievergelt | Research interests

Understanding the population dynamics of wildlife in a changing world is the motivation of my research. I combine ecological, statistical, and mathematical models to study ecological processes that are usually difficult to observe in the wild. Focusing on rare and sensitive species, I aim to summarize current knowledge based on data and expert opinions, to assist making of sustainable decisions in management and nature conservation.

In my research, I help identifying key demographic parameters and understanding how these parameters are shaped by the environment. For example, I made models on movements and survival of migratory animals based on recoveries of marked animals found dead, or based on GPS or geolocation data as well as on stable isotope and parasite data. Recently, I also modelled the composition of winter populations of hunted species, with the aim to inform hunting regulation.

Currently, I concentrate on methods for integrating economic, societal, and ecological costs and benefits of decisions in nature conservation. Underlying all of my work as a statistician and researcher is the aim to assess uncertainty and to help communicating uncertainty to scientists, conservation managers, and decision makers.

Education and professional experience

2023Senior scientist at the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach
2005–ongoingStatistics advisor at the Research Station Petite Camargue Alsacienne, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel
2003–ongoingCo-owner and researcher at oikostat GmbH, Ettiswil
2016–ongoingLecturer at the Department of Environmental System Sciences, ETH Zurich
2015–2022Head of Ecological Statistics and senior scientist at the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach
2019–2021CAS Team dynamics, School of Social Work, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW, Olten
2007–2008Post-diploma studies in statistics, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, University of Bern
2004–2014Researcher at the Swiss Ornithological Institute
2003–2006Manager of the nature reserve Naturlehrgebiet Buchwald, Ettiswil
2001–2003Post-diploma studies in statistics at the Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich
1999–2003PhD student, Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, Radolfzell, and University of Zurich
1997–1998Secretary at the Foundation for the Protection of Bats, Zurich
1992–1996Student of biology, University of Zurich and Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach

Recent key publications

Korner-Nievergelt F, Strebel N, Buckland ST, Freeman R, Gregory RD, Guélat J, Isaac N, McRae L, Roth T, Schirmer S, Soldaat LL, Voríšek P, Sattler T (2022). Multi-species population indices for sets of species including rare, disappearing or newly occurring species. Ecological Indicators 140: 109005.

Schano C, Niffenegger C, Jonas T, Korner-Nievergelt F (2021) Hatching phenology is lagging behind an advancing snowmelt pattern in a high-alpine bird. Scientific Reports 11: 22191.

Grüebler MU, von Hirschheydt J, Korner-Nievergelt F (2021) High turn-over rates at the upper range limit and elevational source-sink dynamics in a widespread songbird. Scientific Reports 11: 18470.

von Rönn JAC, Grüebler MU, Fransson T, Köppen U, Korner-Nievergelt F (2020) Integrating stable isotopes, parasite, and ring-reencounter data to quantify migratory connectivity – A case study with Barn Swallows breeding in Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, and Finland. Ecology and Evolution 10: 2225-2237.

Amrhein V, Korner-Nievergelt F, Roth T (2017) The earth is flat (p>0.05): Significance thresholds and the crisis of unreplicable research. PeerJ 5: e3544.

Korner-Nievergelt F, Prévot C, Hahn S, Jenni L, Liechti F (2017) The integration of mark re-encounter and tracking data to quantify migratory connectivity. Ecological Modelling 344: 87-94.

Knape J, Korner-Nievergelt F (2015) On assumptions behind estimates of abundance from counts at multiple sites. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7: 206-209.

Korner-Nievergelt F, Roth T, von Felten S, Guélat J, Almasi B, Korner-Nievergelt P (2015) Bayesian data analysis in ecology using linear models with R, BUGS and Stan. Elsevier.

Korner-Nievergelt F, Behr O, Brinkmann R, Etterson MA, Huso MM, Dalthorp D, Korner-Nievergelt P, Roth T, Niermann I (2015) Mortality estimation from carcass searches using the R-package carcass – a tutorial. Wildlife Biology 21: 30-43.

Korner-Nievergelt F, Brinkmann R, Niermann I, Behr O (2013) Estimating bat and bird mortality occurring at wind energy turbines from covariates and carcass searches using mixture models. PLoS ONE 8: e67997.

Dr. Fränzi Korner-Nievergelt

Dr. Fränzi Korner-Nievergelt

oikostat GmbH
Rothmättli 16
6218 Ettiswil

Research Station Petite Camargue Alsacienne
Rue de la Pisciculture
68300 Saint-Louis