Exploring Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

Pterocarya tonkinensis has the most southern distribution among the species of the genus - it occurs in riparian forests of Southern China, Laos and Vietnam. An expedition was held in 2015 in order to find and investigate this fascinating tree in Vietnam in collaboration with the Vietnam National University of Forestry in Hanoi.

Fossil leaves of Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Conference on relict trees - 27th February 2016

Quand les arbres nous parlent / Wenn die Bäume sprechen könnten: The conference (in French) was held at the Botanic Garden of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) on 27th of February 2016. Main subject: Relict trees of Crete (Greece), Georgia (South Caucasus) and Japan.

Collaborators of the Zelkova Project determining plants within the fenced plots
Zelkova abelicea: first effects of browsing exclusion

One of the project activities is to monitor on a yearly basis the vegetation and shoot elongation of Zelkova abelicea within the fenced pilot plots as compared to the situation outside the fenced plots in browsed areas. In several plots, shoot elongation clearly increased, with some shoots measuring over 40 cm already in mid-June. 

Collaboration with Niigata University in Japan

Ooyamazawa Riparian Forest Reserve

Riparian forests with P. rhoifolia are extremely rich in interesting tree species: Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Acer shirasawanum, A. capillipes, A. distylum, A. carpinifolium, Fraxinus platypoda, etc. In July 2015 a joined excursion of the Zelkova-Team with researchers and foresters of the Sado Station of the Niigata University, was carried out to the Ooyamazawa Riparian Forest. 

Exposition at the Natural History Museum Fribourg (Switzerland)

"De mémoire d'arbre / Bäume erinnern sich"

The exhibition was realized in collaboration with Design NG Tornay (Fribourg). It presented the most emblematic trees and shrubs from Macaronesia, Colchis and Transcaucasia and was opened till 31st of January 2016.


Our research and conservation activities

  1. Basic and applied research on relict, rare and/or threatened woody species (biogeography, conservation biology, phylogeny, phylogeography, population genetics, population structure, dendrochronology, etc.).
  2. Conservation actions (in situ and ex situ conservation), action plans and conservation status assessments.
  3. Capacity building (teaching, internships, exchange of students and young scientists, etc.).
  4. Public awareness and outreach (exhibitions, books, workshops, etc.).
  5. Iconographic collections (scientific photography, scientific drawings, etc.)

Conservation and research

Conservation and research

Conservation biogeography of Pterocarya & Juglandaceae

Relict and threatened woody species of Azerbaijan

Relict trees of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan

Local conservation & research projects, exhibitions, discoveries.