Isabelle Koenig

The main aim of my thesis is to analyse the effects of different kinds of ecological stress and disturbance on community assembly of soil micro-eukaryotes communities, in time and space using the metacommunities concept (Leibold et al., 2004) and an integrative approach combining community ecology, functional diversity and ecophylogenetics.

In order to test how stresses and disturbances impact soil eukaryotes communities, I will apply a two sided approach:

  1. Traditional, with the extraction and counting of taxa known or expected to react to the stress / disturbance (testate amoebae, nematodes and mites in a study regarding impact of decomposition of pig cadaver on forest soil; testate amoebae and the whole microbial community at low taxonomic level in a mesocosms study of impact of water level change in peatland community).
  2. Second, through phylogenetic dataset of soil micro-eukaryotes communities, I will analyse the effect of stress and disturbance on community assembly.


As new theoretical frameworks begin to be tested on soil micro-organisms, I will compare more traditional approaches (based on species counts) and new ones like functional diversity, the challenge being to find relevant traits to be taken in account.


Koenig, I., Christinat, K., d’Inverno, M., Mitchell, E.A.D., 2018. Impact of two hot and dry summers on the community structure and functional diversity of testate amoebae in an artificial bog, illustrating their use as bioindicators of peatland health. Mires and Peat 1–24. https://doi.org/10.19189/MaP.2018.OMB.327

Koenig, I., Mulot, M., Mitchell, E.A.D., 2018. Taxonomic and functional traits responses of Sphagnum peatland testate amoebae to experimentally manipulated water table. Ecological Indicators 85, 342–351. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.10.017

Szelecz, I., Koenig, I., Seppey, C.V.W., Le Bayon, R.-C., Mitchell, E.A.D., 2018. Soil chemistry changes beneath decomposing cadavers over a one-year period. Forensic Science International. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.02.031

Koenig, I., Schwendener, F., Mulot, M., Mitchell, E.A.D., 2017. Response of Sphagnum testate amoebae to drainage, subsequent re-wetting and associated changes in the moss carpet – results from a three year mesocosm experiment. Acta Protozoologica 56.

Koenig, I., Feldmeyer-Christe, E., Mitchell, E.A.D., 2015. Comparative ecology of vascular plant, bryophyte and testate amoeba communities in four Sphagnum peatlands along an altitudinal gradient in Switzerland. Ecological Indicators 54, 48–59. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.01.043



TEBIS VI, Impact de deux étés chauds et secs sur la structure des communautés d’amibes à thèque et de leurs traits fonctionnels, dans une tourbière artificielle, Metz, France


TEBIS V, Impact d’un stress hydrique expérimental sur la diversité fonctionnelle des amibes à thèque d’une tourbière, Toulouse, France


VII European Congress of Protistology, Functional diversity of peatland testate amoebae:
finding relevant traits to assess the response of communities to ecological stress,
Sevilla, Spain 

End meeting of the Polish-Swiss project “Climpeat”, Functional diversity of peatland testate amoebae: finding relevant traits to assess the response of communities to ecological stress, Torun, Poland


7th International Symposium On Testate Amoeba, Response of testate amoeba functional diversity to Stresses and disturbances, Poznan, Poland

Progress meeting of the Polish-Swiss project “Climpeat”, Response of testate amoebae functional diversity to experimental water table changes, Frasne, France


Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Testate amoebae outperform vascular plants and bryophytes as indicators of habitat-type and micro-environmental conditions in Sphagnum peatlands ,Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Colloque franco-suisse “Zones humides: fonctionnement, indicateurs, gestion et restauration”, Les amibes à thèques reflètent  plus précisément que les plantes vasculaires et les bryophytes les conditions micro-environnementales des tourbières à Sphaignes, Frasne, France



Biology17, annual Swiss conference on ecology, evolution, systematics and conservation, Bern, Switzerland


Annual meeting of the Swiss Soil Science Society (SSSS), Nyon, Switzerland


32nd meeting of the German society for protozoology (DGP), Kartaise Ittingen, Switzerland

Peatland ecology and management, Neuchâtel, Switzerland



PostDoc in peatland ecology


PhD thesis : Using testate amoeba community structure and functional diversity to assess the impact of climate changes on ecosystem functioning : finding relevant and convenient tools for bio-monitoring of Sphagnum peatlands evolution or recovery


Master thesis in Biogeosciences (Universities of Neuchâtel and Lausanne). Research project on testate amoebae, bryophytes and vascular plants as bioindicators in four peatlands located along an altitudinal gradient, University of Neuchâtel, Laboratory of Soil Biology, Switzerland, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute for Forrest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Biodiversity and Nature conservation biology (Biodiversität und Naturschutzbiologie), Birmensdorf and Lausanne


BSc in Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland


Certificate in Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control, Institut romand des sciences et des pratiques de la santé et du social (IRSP), Lausanne, Switzerland


Trained nurse, Bois-Cerf School, Lausanne, Switzerland