Michael Schaepman

Vice President for Veterinary Medicine and Natural Sciences

Michael Schaepman is leading the Remotely Sensing Ecological Genomics project. He is professor of remote sensing at the Department of Geography (Remote Sensing Laboratories) at the University of Zurich (UZH; Zurich, Switzerland), as well as director of the University Research Priority Programme on Global Change and Biodiversity and vice president of research at UZH.

Schaepman studied geography, experimental physics and computer science at UZH and earned his PhD in spectroscopy from the Department of Geography at UZH in 1998. Following postdoctoral work at the University of Arizona in Tucson, US, he returned to the UZH Department of Geography in 2000 to lead a research group. In 2003, he became professor of geographic information science at the Department of Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University (Netherlands), where, in 2005, he was appointed academic head of the Center for Geoinformation. He served as dean of science at UZH from 2014-2017.

His current research seeks to measure and understand the genetic mechanisms underlying the behavior of plants in their natural environment by linking genomics (function and structure of genes), phenomics (physical and biochemical traits) and spectranomics (mapping phylogenies as well as composition and chemistry of plants using light-matter interactions) at different spatial and temporal scales using remote sensing. The approach is a unique combination of new theory, modeling, experiments, observations and big data approaches to create a new integrative research field of remotely sensing ecological genomics.