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Past News 2018


2018 NEWS

New PSC course registration URL

On December 1st, PSC switches its course registration to the ETH Zurich course registration system (Courses, continuing education):

Choose ► Plant Sciences in order to find all PSC courses.

Registration opened on Dec 1st.

Breakthroughs in Plant Sciences – PSC Symposium

5 December 2018, ETHZ Auditorium Maximum HG F30, Rämistrasse 101, Zurich

This conference presents major advances in plant science research.

Past PSC Symposia

Urban Agriculture – Fad or Future: Should tomorrow’s cities grow their own food?

24 October 2018, 17:15 – 19:00. ETH Zurich, room: HG D 7.1, Rämistrasse 101, Zürich

Urban agriculture has the potential to contribute to food security and social well-being in cities, while simultaneously increasing overall sustainability of food production. However, many uncertainties remain with respect to potential risks, limitations, and overall feasibility.

During this Public Round Table, experts will discuss future opportunities and challenges in order to inform the public about the manifold aspects of urban agriculture.  Flyer (PDF, 283 KB)

Website Past PSC Round Tables


ETH @ OLMA Agricultural Fair: 11-21 Oct 2018 in St. Gallen

psc at olma image

Wo Zukunft entsteht

The PSC coordinates the exhibition activities together with several ETH research groups from D-USYS, D-HEST and the World Food System Center.
With the goal of bringing research closer to the farming community we have created an exhibit with activities mainly for adults, teens and young children.

The heart of the exhibit is the Lab, with a program of short workshops and demonstrations. Samuel C. Zeeman’s group is developing a starch-in-grains demo, and Laura Nystrom’s group shows properties of soluble fibres in grains. The Virtual Reality film by Nina Buchmann's Grassland Science group is certainly a big hit, as will the stomata experiments presented by Bruno Studer's Forage Crop Genetics group.


Responsible Research and Innovation in Plant Sciences – PSC Summer School 2018

Participate in the PSC 2018 PhD Summer School. It offers training on the responsible research and innovation framework (RRI) of the European Union. Students will actively apply the concept to exemplary plant research fields such as breeding, smart farming, digitalization in agriculture or genome editing (CRISPR/Cas-method) including to their own research project.

In this one-week course, participants will be guided through the science-in-society research processes that include anticipation, reflection, and responsiveness and adaptation of research to societal needs and views. For details see:

Website PSC Past Summer Schools

Stadtnatur an Festspiele Zürich

FESTSPIELFESTE Wildtiere und Wildpflanzen erobern die Schweizer Städte. Oft sind Städte bereits artenreicher als das umliegende Kulturland. Im Vortrag erzählt Christoph Küffer Geschichten von der Stadtnatur Zürichs und stellt ein citizen science Projekt vor, das zeigt wie Zürcherinnen und Zürcher das Leben von Wildpflanzen in ihrem Garten erforschen. Christoph Küffer diskutiert wie die Biodiversität in Zürich noch besser gefördert werden kann.

Pop Up: Stand-Up-Vorlesung zum Thema „Stadtnatur“ mit Prof. Dr. Christoph Küffer

Mittwoch, 20. Juni, 18:00 Uhr. Festspielzentrum Münsterhof. Eintritt frei.

Latsis Symposium 2018 «Scaling-up Forest Restoration»

6-7 & 9 June 2018, ETH Zurich
Information and registration:
Organizers: Jaboury Gazhoul, Nicole Kalas (ETH Zurich), Carole Rapo (Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center)

• Alpine Plant Ecology – Summer School on Alpine Plant Life

Swiss Central Alps, 15–21 July 2018

Erika Hiltbrunner, Christian Körner, Jürg Stöcklin (University of Basel), and Jonathan Levine (ETH Zurich).

This graduate course is offered by the University of Basel and the Zürich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC) for advanced biology students with basic plant science training. Course topics include microclimatology, ecophysiology, bio- diversity, reproductive biology, vegetation and ecosystem ecology. The course will include lectures, field excursions and project work. Participation is limited to 24 students. Full board cost is CHF 400 (does not include travel expenses to Furka).

Contact: Franziska Grob

Flyer Summer School Alpine Plant Ecology (PDF, 880 KB)

• Call for applications

Are you a female researcher at the crossroad between university and industry?

feminno offers career development for women scientists interested in the science-innovation interface.

Experienced career advisers, coaches, innovation experts, and executives from successful life-science enterprises share their work experience and visions with you.

Information and application form:


2017 NEWS

• Dynamics of Plant Development and Evolution, 30 Nov & 1 Dec 2017

Join us for this 1.5 day PSC symposium that focuses on the dynamic processes of plant development and evolution. Scientists from Switzerland and around the world present their latest research in these fields. Presentations focus on ongoing efforts to understand how plant shape, function and biotic interactions have evolved over time. These topics will be addressed at different scales: from cellular to tissue, organism and population level.

Students are encouraged to present a poster at the event. Posters from all plant science disciplines are welcome. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase PSC research achievements and the center’s broad scope. The Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center will award three poster prizes.

Past PSC symposia website

• feminno initiative starts in September 2017

The Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC) has been awarded funding for a new mentoring program targeted to female scientists at all levels, from PhD to postdoctoral and group leader level. The project aims to support early-stage female scientists in their decision making for a university or industry-related research and career development. Funding is provided by the Federal Office for Gender Equality.

feminno announcement

• Participate in the PSC citizen science project "Wo Samen fallen"

If a piece of uncovered ground is left to itself, plants begin to sprout even in the busiest of city streets. The city air carries seeds that land somewhere, germinate, and become a new plant.

The PSC citizen science project "Where Seeds Fall" will examine the survival chances of urban plant populations and their genetic diversity. You can be a Citizen Scientist too!

The goal is to document which plants are growing spontaneously in the city of Zurich and how they are influenced by the surrounding biodiversity. The more flowers in the vicinity, the more flowers reach your own garden.

Contact (deadline closed)

• Open position at the PSC

Koordinatorin/Koordinator FemInno Life Sciences (40%)
September 2017 – April 2019

Ausschreibung  (PDF, 121 KB)(Bewerbungsfrist abgelaufen).

• PSC represents ETH at Oberstrass Fest 2017

The PSC Citizen Science Project „Wo Samen Fallen“ was chosen to represent the ETH Zurich at the Oberstrass Markt in Zürich on June 17th, 2017.

PSC gave out over thirty plant trays to visitors as part of our pilot project.

See ETH Zurich communication 2017-06-19

• Evaluation of the internship as a single element of the Bridging Plant Science & Policy PhD program

Alumni, supervisors, partners, lecturers and invited experts are welcome to fill in the Delphi survey that addresses the internship as a discrete element of the PSC PhD fellowship program Bridging Plant Science & Policy. Kindly fill in the survey by Monday, 5 June the latest. All answers will remain anonymous. The results will be presented in a peer-reviewed scientific publication. (posted 2017-06-01)

Link to the questionnaire:

• How will Zurich be fed in 2050?

Future Forum in the Community Garden „Guggacker“: How will Zurich be fed in 2050? A dialogue with researchers about the future of agriculture.

18 May 2017, 18.00h, Brache Guggach, Wehntalerstrasse 109 Zürich  Map

Researchers together with anyone interested in sustainability will develop a vision for a future urban food supply: Which future do we want? On which values are we building this vision and how can we shape this future?

This Future Forum event is organized by the PSC in collaboration with „Quartiergarten Guggacker“. This activity is part of plantday 2017

Information (in German):

Flyer (in German)

• Zukunftsforen – Engage with the public. A call for PhD student involvement

PSC is adding a new element to its PhD education and a step towards public engagement and ethical discourse with two public "Zukunftsforen". They will be held, (in German) in April and June 2017. The events will bring together PhD students with the public to carry out an ethical and social discourse on socially relevant research in plant sciences. Posted 2017-02

Contact: Sascha Ismail, 044 632 60 22

• PlantHUB Fellowships

This new European Industrial Doctoral Programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions-EID) starts in December 2016 and will support 10 PhD students in the field of plant breeding and production. As an EID project, 50% of the PhD time will be spent at an industrial partner location. Note: PlantHUB call for PhD applications closed on: 1 Dec 2016.

PlantHUB Website

• Mini symposium “Public engagement with science: relevance and methods”

10 April 2017, ETH Zurich, MM C78.1 (Alumni-Pavillon)

Public engagement with science strengthens the legitimacy of research and will contribute to a more sustainable future. The kind of future researchers want to contribute to is a matter of normative values and of social responsibility. In this one day symposium, relevance, approaches and examples of successful public engagement with science will be presented. In workshops, we will discuss what can be gained for science in general and for research projects of participants.  Note: Registration closed on 4 April.

Download Program and abstracts. (PDF, 639 KB)Download Minisymposium flyer (PDF, 514 KB)

Contact: Sascha Ismail

• Contribute science activities for the International Fascination of Plants Day 2017

On May 18th the world will celebrate the International Fascination of Plants Day in order to highlight the importance of plants and plant research for society’s well-being. This day is an excellent opportunity to engage with the public and make people more aware of the great benefits that plants offer. Institutions and companies are invited to organize plant-related events for the public on or around May 18th.
This initiative is launched by the European Plant Science Organization (EPSO). The Swiss Plant Science Web coordinates and promotes all events in Switzerland. Posted 2017-01

plantday in Switzerland:


Register for the PSC Summer School: Understanding Risks & Resilience in Plant Systems

29 May - 2 June 2017, Einsiedeln, Switzerland

Website & program: PSC Summer School 2017
Registration: closed

• Pia-Johanna Schweizer (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, DE)
• Mary Lou Zeeman (Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, US)
• Adam Clark (University of Minnesota, US)
• Chris Gilligan (University of Cambridge, UK)
• Christophe Randin (University of Lausanne, CH)
• Robert Finger (ETH Zurich, CH)
• Melanie Paschke (Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, CH)

Posted 2017-02

• IDP BRIDGES closing event, 5 April 2017, University of Zurich

Join us for the public final event of the Marie Curie Fellowship program IDP BRIDGES – Bridging Science and Policy. Download event flyer

- Keynote talk by Marco Lambertini, Director General WWF International

- Dialogue session with the IDP BRIDGES PhD fellows who are finalizing their projects

Venue: UZH Main Building, Aula, Room KOL-G-201, Rämistrasse 71, Zürich

• New Agora Project: PSC Creative Camps

The PSC is excited to announce that for the third time it received financial support from the SNSF Agora funding scheme. Starting in April 2017, we will develop creative and inquiry based workshop activities for young people aged 8-14. They will enrich and advance informal science education offers outside of school activities, but particularly in holiday camps.

PSC has been running science camps for a few years now, and new in this context is that together with art educators from the Zurich University of the Arts, we will integrate creative methods from the arts into informal science learning.

We will collaborate with several afterschool programs to share our experiences and to facilitate the use of the workshop materials. Our long-term aim is to create new formats and environments for informal science education (Wissenschaftsferien Schweiz). Posted 2017-02

Ferienlager website

• The Klimagarten exhibit moves to the Botanical Garden in Bern

The Klimagarten 2085 exhibition curated by the PSC in conjunction with the Botanical Garden of the University of Zürich in 2016, will be installed in the Botanical Garden of the University of Bern from April-July 2017.

In Bern the exhibit will focus on biodiversity and climate change. The PSC team is happy to pass the baton on to Bern and is excited to see how the concept develops. Posted 2016-12

• PSC-Mercator Fellowship Program

After the success of the first four PSC-Mercator PhD fellowships, the PSC and the Mercator Foundation Switzerland are continuing this promising fellowship program.

The research projects focus on socially relevant issues from the perspective of at least two academic disciplines and in collaboration with relevant stakeholder(s). The fellows will benefit from exposure to different methods, perspectives and solutions. The desired outcome is a new, more inclusive approach to research, bridging plant science and society.

PSC-Mercator Fellowships

• Klimagarten 2085, die Pflanzenwelt unserer Zukunft – ein öffentliches Experiment zum Mitmachen

Nach 5 Monaten ist das Projekt Klimagarten 2085 zu Ende gegangen. Nach vielen spannenden Gesprächen und Eindrücken, ist die Zeit gekommen, ein Fazit zu ziehen.

Klimagarten 2085, 1. April – 18. September 2016

Schlussbericht Klimagarten

Weiterführende Informationen