Chris Kaiser-Bunbury
Applied Network Ecology and Island Conservation  
Chris Kaiser-Bunbury
Research highlights     

Two new exciting research projects awarded by the DFG on ecological networks and conservation (August 2017). Check out the updates on Research Gate

Kaiser-Bunbury et al. 2017 Nature

We show that restoration increased pollination and strengthened resilience of pollination networks.

We were recently filmed by Pierre Lane (director) and Camera Lucida Production for France Ô during field work on Bernica inselberg. To see two short clips of the programme see here.


Edwards et al. 2015, New Phytologist

Research interests     

I'm interested in ecological resilience and evolutionary processes on islands to assess ecosystem responses to anthropogenic change.


Research areas: 

Network analysis

Plant-pollinator interactions

Island ecology and evolution

Community ecology

Biodiversity conservation






ckaiser-bunbury (at)

B1|02, Room 206

PD Dr Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury

Heisenberg Fellow

Department of Biology

TU Darmstadt

Schnittspahnstr. 3

64287 Darmstadt



Phone +49 6151 16-20038

 Research projects  

Heisenberg fellowship (DFG)

An innovative network approach in biodiversity research and nature conservation


DFG research project

1) Spatio‐temporal responses of ecosystem functions to ecological restoration (2017-2020)

2) Predicting the effects of exotic species on network structure and consequences for ecosystem functions (2017-2020)

3) A novel experiment approach with complex pollination network analysis to quantify the impact of habitat restoration on ecosystem integrity (2013-2017)

Seychelles Islands Foundation & ETH Zurich

​Demographic structure, reproduction and genetic diversity of coco de mer Lodoicea maldivica

Spanish Research Council

PI Prof. Anna Traveset

Importance of single and double plant-vertebrate mutualisms on islands: double benefits and double risks?

Curriculum vitae                              


Since 2015 Honorary Lecturer University of Seychelles


Since 2013 Research Fellow at TU Darmstadt, Ecological Networks (Prof. Nico Blüthgen)


2010-2013 Post-doc at Aarhus University, Ecology & Genetics (Prof. Jens M. Olesen)

2006-2010 Post-doc at ETH Zurich, Ecosystem Management group (Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul) and Plant Ecology group (Prof. Peter Edwards)


2015 Habilitation at TU Darmstadt, Networks in island ecology: A synergistic approach to connect ecological theory with conservation application

2006 PhD at University of Zurich, Functional integrity of plant-pollinator communities in restored habitats in Mauritius

2002 Diploma at University of Bonn, Biology Diploma/MSc at University of Bonn and University of East Anglia, UK





Peer-reviewed papers

33. Morgan EJ, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Edwards PJ, Fleischer-Dogley F & Kettle CJ. In Press. Tracing coco de mer’s reproductive history: pollen and nutrient limitation reduce fecundity. Ecology & Evolution.

32. Morgan EJ, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Edwards PJ, Fleischer-Dogley F & Kettle CJ. In Press. Keeping it in the family: strong fine-scale genetic structure and inbreeding in Lodoicea maldivica, the largest-seeded plant in the world. Conservation Genetics.

31.  Patiño J, Whittaker RJ, Borges PAV, Fernández-Palacios JM, Ah-Peng C, Araújo M, Ávila SP, Cardoso P, Cornuault J, de Boer EJ, de Nascimento L, Gil A, González-Castro A, Gruner DS, Heleno R, Hortal J, Illera JC, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Matthews TJ, Papadopoulou A, Pettorelli N, Price JP, Santos AMC, Steinbauer MJ, Triantis KA, Valente L, Vargas P, Weigelt P & Emerson BC. in press. A roadmap for island biology: 50 fundamental questions after 50 years of The Theory of Island Biogeography. Journal of Biogeography

30.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Mougal J, Whittington AE, Valentin T, Gabriel R & Blüthgen N. in press. Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and function. Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature21071

29.  Rocha S, Perera A, Bunbury N, Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Harris DJ. in press. Speciation history and species-delimitation within the Seychelles Bronze geckos, Ailuronyx spp.: molecular and morphological evidence. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society

28.  Morgan E, Määttänen K, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Buser A, Fleischer-Dogley F & Kettle C. 2016. Development of twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered Seychelles palm Lodoicea maldivica (Arecaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 4: 1500119. 2016

27.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Blüthgen. 2015. Network ecology meets applied conservation: a synthesis and implementation pathway. AoB Plants 7: plv076 (Editor’s Choice)

26.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Mougal J, Valentin T, Gabriel R & Blüthgen N. 2015. Herbicide application as habitat restoration tool: impact on native plant communities. Applied Vegetation Science 18: 650-660.

25.  Edwards P, Fleischer-Dogley F & Kaiser-Bunbury CN. 2015. The nutrient economy of Lodoicea maldivica, a monodominant palm producing the world's largest seed. New Phytologist 206: 990-999.

24.  Van Dinther M, Bunbury N & Kaiser-Bunbury CN. 2015. Trial of herbicide control methods for sisal (Agave sisalana) in the arid island environment of Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles. Conservation Evidence 12: 14-18.

23.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Fleischer-Dogley F, Dogley D & Bunbury N. 2015. Scientists’ responsibilities towards evidence-based conservation in a Small Island Developing State. Journal of Applied Ecology 52: 7-11.

22.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Vázquez D, Stang M & Ghazoul J. 2014. Determinants of the microstructure of plant-pollinator networks. Ecology 95: 3314-3324.

21.  Finger A, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Kettle C, Valentin T & Ghazoul J. 2014. Genetic connectivity of the moth pollinated tree Glionnetia sericea in a highly fragmented habitat. PLoS One 9(10). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111111.

20. Carvalheiro LG, Biesmeijer JC, Benadi G, Fründ J, Stang M, Bartomeus I, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Baude M, Gomes SIF, Merckx V, Baldock KCR, Bennett ATD, Boada R, Bommarco R, Cartar R, Chacoff N, Dänhardt J, Dicks LV, Dormann CF, Ekroos J, Henson KSE, Holzschuh A, Junker RR, Lopezaraiza-Mikel M, Memmott J, Montero-Castaño A, Nelson IL, Petanidou T, Power EF, Rundlöf M, Smith HG, Stout JC, Temitope K, Tscharntke T, Tscheulin T, Vilà M & Kunin WE. 2014. The potential for indirect effects between co-flowering plants via shared pollinators depends on resource abundance, accessibility and relatedness. Ecology Letters 17: 1389-1399.

19.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Cuthbert H, Fox R, Birch D & Bunbury N. 2014. Invasion of yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in a Seychelles UNESCO palm forest. Neobiota 22: 43-57.

18.  Kueffer C & Kaiser-Bunbury CN. 2014. Reconciling conflicting perspectives for biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14:131-137.

17.  Hagen M, Kissling WD, Rasmussen C, de Aguiar MAM, Brown L, Carstensen DW, Alves-dos-Santos I, Dupont YL, Edwards FK, Genini J, Guimarães PR, Jenkins GB, Jordano P, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Ledger M, Maia KP, Darcie Marquitti FM, McLaughlin Ó, Morellato LPC, O’Gorman EJ, Trøjelsgaard K, Tylianakis JM, Morais Vidal M, Woodward G & Olesen JM. 2012 Biodiversity, species interactions and ecological networks in a fragmented world. Advances in Ecological Research 46: 89-210.

16.  Schleuning M, Fründ J, Klein A-M, Abrahamczyk S, Alarcón R, Albrecht M, Andersson GKS, Bazarian S, Böhning-Gaese K, Bommarco R, Dalsgaard B, Dehling M, Gotlieb A, Hagen M, Hickler T, Holzschuh A, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Kreft H, Morris RJ, Sandel B, Sutherland WJ, Svenning JC, Tscharntke T, Watts S, Weiner CN, Werner M, Williams NM, Winqvist C, Dormann CF & Blüthgen N. 2012 Specialization of mutualistic interaction networks decreases towards tropical latitudes. Current Biology 22: 1925-1931.

15.  Finger A, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Kettle C. 2012 Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers of the Seychelles endemic tree Glionnetia sericea (Rubiaceae). Conservation Genetics Resources 4: 239-241.

14.  Finger A, Kettle C, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Valentin T, Mougal J & Ghazoul J. 2012 Forest fragmentation genetics in a formerly widespread island endemic tree: Vateriopsis seychellarum (Dipterocarpaceae). Molecular Ecology 21: 2369-2382.

13.  Finger A, Kettle C, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Matatiken D, Dudee D & Ghazoul J. 2011 Back from the brink: potential for genetic rescue in a critically endangered tree. Molecular Ecology 20: 3773-3784.

12.  Fleischer-Dogley F, Kettle C, Edwards P, Ghazoul J, Määttänen K & Kaiser-Bunbury CN. 2011 Morphological and genetic differentiation in populations of the dispersal-limited coco de mer (Lodoicea maldivica): implications for management and conservation. Diversity & Distributions 17: 235-243.

11.  Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Valentin T, Mougal J, Matatiken D, & Ghazoul J. 2011 The tolerance of island plant–pollinator networks to alien plants. Journal of Ecology 99: 202–213 (Editor’s Choice)

10.  Noble T, Bunbury N, Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Bell DJ. 2011 Ecology and co-existence of two endemic day gecko (Phelsuma) species in Seychelles native palm forest. Journal of Zoology 283: 73-80.

9.    Rist L, Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Fleischer-Dogley F, Edwards P, Bunbury N & Ghazoul J. 2010 Sustainable harvesting of Coco de Mer, Lodoicea maldivica, in the Vallée de Mai, Seychelles. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 2224–2231.

8.    Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Muff S, Memmott J, Müller CB & Caflisch A. 2010 The robustness of pollination networks to the loss of species and interactions: A quantitative approach incorporating pollinator behaviour. Ecology Letters 13: 442–452.

7.    Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Traveset A & Hansen DM. 2010 Conservation and restoration of plant–animal mutualisms on oceanic islands. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 12: 131–143.

6.    Finger A, Ghazoul J, Todd M, Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Kettle C. 2010 Development of thirteen polymorphic microsatellite markers for the Seychelles endangered and endemic jellyfish tree Medusagyne oppositifolia (Medusagynaceae). Conservation Genetics Resources 2: 173-175.

5.    Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Memmott J & Müller CB. 2009 Community structure of pollination webs of Mauritian heathland habitats. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 241–254.

4.    Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Müller CB. 2009 Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators. Naturwissenschaften 96: 339–346.

3.    Kaiser CN, Hansen DM & Müller CB. 2008 Exotic pest insects: Another perspective on coffee and conservation. Oryx 42: 143–146.

2.    Kaiser CN, Hansen DM & Müller, CB. 2008 Habitat Structure Affects Reproductive Success of the Rare Endemic Tree Syzygium mamillatum (Myrtaceae) in Restored and Unrestored Sites in Mauritius. Biotropica 40: 84–96.

1.    Hansen DM, Kaiser CN & Müller CB. 2008 Seed Dispersal and Establishment of Endangered Plants on Oceanic Islands: The Janzen-Connell Model, and the Use of Ecological Analogues. PLoS ONE 3(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002111.



Blüthgen N, Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Junker R. In press. Biological invasions and ant-flower networks on islands. Ant-plant interactions in a changing world. Paulo S. Oliveira & Suzanne Koptur (eds). Cambridge University Press

Atkinson R, Sevathian JC, CN Kaiser & Hansen DM. 2005 A Guide to the Plants in Mauritius. Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. Vacoas, Mauritius. 188 pp.

Gopall J, Ah-King J, Atkinson R, Sevathian JC, Hansen DM, Kaiser CN et al. 2005 The native plants and animals of Mauritius. Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Vacoas, Mauritius. 47 pp.

Atkinson R, Sevathian JC, Virahsawmy M, Ah-King J, Clayton J, Kaiser CN, Hansen DM, Cranwell S & Mauremootoo J. 2003 A Field Guide to the Common Trees & Shrubs of Upland Forest in Mauritius. Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Vacoas, Mauritius. 72 pp.



Kaiser-Bunbury CN. 2015 Networks in island ecology: A synergistic approach to connect ecological theory with conservation application. Habilitation. Department of Biology, TU Darmstadt, Germany.

Kaiser CN. 2006 Functional integrity of plant-pollinator communities in restored habitats in Mauritius. PhD Thesis. Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Zürich, Switzerland.

Kaiser CN. 2002 Influence of wind and pollen gathering by bees on reproductive success of the tropical grass Brachiaria platynota K. Schum. (Poaceae: Paniceae) at Kakamega Forest Nature Reserve, Kenya. Diploma thesis. Zoological Research Institute and Museum Koenig, University of Bonn, Germany.


Other publications

Kaiser-Bunbury CN,  Mougal J & Matatiken D 2015. Restoration of Seychelles upland forest biodiversity. WIOMSA 7:


Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Senterre B 2014. Manual on the Key Biodiversity Area CyberTracker application. Report, Government of Seychelles, United Nations Development Programme, Victoria, Seychelles, 30 pp.


Senterre B & Kaiser-Bunbury CN 2014. Conception of an integrated database on the flora, fauna and vegetation of the Seychelles. Report, Government of Seychelles, United Nations Development Programme, Victoria, Seychelles, 111 pp.

Kaiser-Bunbury CN & Mougal J. 2014 How do pollinators and seed dispersers respond to restoration of inselberg (glacis) vegetation? Kapisen, J. Plant Conservation Action group, Seychelles 16: 6-7


Kaiser-Bunbury CN, Valentin T, Mougal J, Matatiken D, & Ghazoul J. 2010 Plants and pollinators on inselbergs: how does plant invasion affect mutualistic interactions? Kapisen, Seychelles 11: 11–13.


Kueffer C, Matatiken D, Beaver K, Fleischer-Dogley F & Kaiser CN 2008 Seychelles Plant Conservation Research Workshop 2007. Kapisen, Seychelles 8: 4–5.


Kueffer C, Beaver K & Kaiser CN (Eds.) 2007 Seychelles Plant Conservation Research Agenda, 2008–2015. Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Transport and Plant Conservation Action group. Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles. 33pp.


Kueffer, C, Matatiken D, Beaver K, Fleischer-Dogley, F & Kaiser CN 2007 Seychelles Plant Conservation Research Workshop 2007. Birdwatch. 63: 3–5.


Kaiser CN & Müller CB. 2007 Island invaders: the role of introduced mutualists in pollination in Mauritius. In The Annual Meeting of the Swiss Zoological, Botanical and Mycological Societies. February 2007. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.72 pp.

Kaiser CN. 2006 Habitat restoration in Mauritius: Adding pollinators to the equation. Kapisen, PCA 6: 6–8.

Kaiser CN, Hansen DM & Müller CB. 2004 Effects of habitat restoration on native trees: a pollination case study in Mauritius. In Symposium of the Zürich-Basel Plant Science Centre. 17th December 2004 ETH Zurich.

Background photo by Sabrina van de Velde