Sustainable Production Systems

This major focuses on applied research in sustainable agricultural and forest production systems in Switzerland and abroad.


You will study production systems in forests, fields and barns, and in so doing, will work on the following topics:

  • deepening your scientific knowledge
  • production engineering
  • analysis and optimisation of production systems
  • assessment and improvement of sustainability
  • agricultural, silvicultural and ecological research relevant to the industry
  • innovation combining  ecological responsibility and profitability
  • management of natural resources and climate change
  • research design and statistical analysis

Structure and modules 


Master’s thesis

The Master’s thesis is generally embedded within a HAFL project or is conducted together with a HAFL research partner. You may, however, also do it together with another research or industry partner, for example your employer.


Topics range from irrigation in the tropics, through shared crop rotation in Canton Vaud,  under-sowing of legumes in in crops, disease prevention in broiler chicken or bamboo production, to shade trees in cocoa plantations.


Open thesis topics (pdf)

Theses in progress (pdf)


Abstracts of completed theses

Phyllocoptes gracilis, the eriophyoid mite: its intraplant distribution on Rubus idaeus and testing of potential fungal biocontrol agents in the laboratory (Camille Minguely) (pdf)

Sensitivity of Ditylenchus dipsaci on fluopyram (Alan Storelli) (pdf)

Interspecific grapevine cultivars in Switzerland (Lena Holzwarth) (pdf)

Seed systems of rice and finger millet in Nepal, between formality and informality (Rahel Wyss) (pdf)

Optimizing control methods against Drosophila suzukii in berries and cherries in Valais (Melanie Dorsaz) (pdf)

Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Man and the Biosphere (MaB) reserves in Guantánamo, Cuba - Driving forces influencing on-farm agrobiodiversity (Madeleine Kaufmann) (pdf)

Strategies to control Thrips tabaci in leek cultivation in the Seeland (Rahel Müller) (pdf)

Effective adaptations in farming systems to meet the needs of the dairy cow (Nathalie Roth) (pdf)


Career prospects

Having completed this major, you will be able to develop practical and innovative solutions for agricultural and forest production. You will be able to investigate whole production systems for sustainability and make sound scientific contributions in multidisciplinary teams.


You will be ideally suited to taking on demanding tasks at home and abroad in applied research and development, education and extension as well as in public administration.


Prof. Dr Urs Scheidegger


Phone +41 (0)31 910 21 11

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