Dr. Christophe Randin


How species are distributed in space and time, what are the functional and mechanistic explanations of their past and current distribution and how can we best project their future geographic range under the main drivers of global change, are the broad questions that I aim to answer in my research. 


More specifically, my three main research axes are:

  • Assessing and projecting the evolution of spring phenology of dominant mountain tree species under climate change
  • Unravelling the mechanisms of persistence of rare and endemic alpine plants under the past and current climate oscillations
  • Using observations from historical herbarium specimens to assess the range dynamics of indigenous and neophyte plant species in the fragmented and urbanized landscape of Canton de Vaud


My PhD dissertation at the University of Lausanne and under the supervision of Prof. Antoine Guisan highlighted the need to integrate (i) geomorphic and anthropogenic disturbances and (ii) mechanisms such as dispersal and migration barriers in the landscape when using correlative species distribution models. It also stressed the importance of developing predicting variables at a high spatial resolution for distribution models in topographically-complex environments such as mountains. These recommendations aimed at providing safer projections of plant distribution and diversity changes in a global change context. 

During my postdoctoral experience at INSTAAR in Boulder (University of Colorado), I studied the interactions between plants and the cryosphere in the tundra at high elevation at a decadal time step. 

As Oberassistent at the University of Basel, I was mostly involved in the ERC TREELIM team and project of Prof. Christian Körner. I developed skills in field and controlled experimentsin situ(micro)climate and stable isotope measurements and phenological modelingto identify the mechanisms explaining the cold limits of mountain plants and broadleaved trees in Europe. I had the opportunity to expand on these fields of ecology with my own projects and the supervision of two PhD students at the University of Basel and then at the University of Lausanne.




«Herbier vaudois 2.0: a observation plateform based on historical herbarium specimens»
Canton de Vaud
Function: Main applicant and main PI (project managers: Noémie Chervet & Edouard Di Maio)

Website: https://www.bicweb.vd.ch/communique.aspx?pObjectID=649336

2014 - 2018
«Comprendre et prédire la réponse des écosystèmes forestiers d'altitude aux changements climatiques. Apports d'un programme de science participative»
CIFRE grant for a PhD project
Function : Co-applicant with Dr. Anne Delestrade and co-director of the PhD with Prof. Isabelle Chuine.
Received: € 42’000
Website: http://phenoclim.org/fr/news/phenoclim-these-daphne-asse

«Effects of climate change on past, recent, and future biodiversity of alpine/arctic plants: Integrative evidence from phylogenies, population genetics, ecological niche modeling and new insights for conservation»
Swiss National Scientific Fundation (SNSF)
Function: Co-PI with Prof. Elena Conti (PI)
(SNSF Grant No. PDFMP3_132471/1
Received: CHF 480’000
Website: http://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/research/fellowships/prodoc.html

Atlas Scientifique du Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc Transboundary Integrated Plan (PIT)
ALCOTRA (EU) and DREAL (France)
Function: Co-PI with Dr. Anne Delestrade, Dr. Wilfried Thuiller and Prof. Niklaus Zimmermann
Received: € 396’000
Requested for 2015-2018: € 450’000
Website: http://www.atlasmontblanc.org/



Biophore - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 41 60
Fax +41 21 692 41 65