Basil Dänzer

Master in Biogeosciences

Research interests

My first year of master allowed me to gain and increase knowledge on pedology as well as to study the intimate relationships existing between soil and vegetation. As part of the programme, many seminars offered the possibility to participate in various field trips in very different ecosystems. However, no excursions were directly related to agricultural systems and soils. Therefore, as this topic was little discussed, from both a theoretical and a practical point of view during this first year, I chose to focus my master thesis on the agricultural context. In my opinion, this theme is very important and deserves a special attention, with a particular focus on soils, because issues such as food safety -to name only one - are directly linked to it.

My empirical research focuses on soils mapping in Seeland (Ins, Galmiz).This area was formerly marshy but has undergone a modification of its rivers and the levels of the three lakes (Neuchâtel, Bienne, Morat) that surround it. Such reworkings have allowed the cultivation of many fields and have created a high diversity of soils on a small or large scale.

The value of mapping agricultural soils in order to better manage and preserve them has already been scientifically demonstrated. However, conventional methods are costly and time-consuming, especially if soils are heterogeneous and complex as in the area I study. Our methodological tests aim to cost reduction while providing consistent results. As an illustration, we evaluate aerial photography by drones and image analysis to support efficient (digital) soil mapping coupled with field observation.

This project is based in the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL (Bern University of Applied Sciences, team “use and conservation of soil”), in collaboration with the University of Neuchâtel. It is supervised by Dylan Tatti (HAFL), Stéphane Burgos (HAFL) and Claire Le Bayon (UniNE).

Main topics

  • Pedology
  • Agricultural soil
  • Anthropised peat soils
  • Digital soil mapping

More information: clic here

Basil Dänzer


Agronomie l.1.06

+41 31 910 21 11