Yvonne Scherrer, PhD

Current Position

Researcher at ETH Zurich (Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences)





  • Social and gender-related impacts of implementing ‘Collaborative Forest Management’ (CFM) in Southern Kyrgyzstan
  • Contribution of local knowledge and socio-cultural realities to biodiversity conservation in Laos, PDR (2006-2007)
  • Ecological literacy across geographies, generations and economies (2008)
  • Development of a sustainable management system for Swiss NPOs (2009-11)
  • Transmission of medicinal plant knowledge in Switzerland (2010-11)
  • Understanding local knowledge in a sustainability context: a framework approach (2012-19)

Research Interests

  • Local/traditional/indigenous knowledge
  • Knowledge transmission across epistemologies
  • Local knowledge for development cooperation / sustainable development – integration of local knowledge into project planning, monitoring and evaluation
  • Traditional and ethnomedicine
  • Ethnobotany, ethnobiology
  • Natural resource management
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable management (primarily of NPOs)
  • Resilience and anti-fragility (organizational/individual)

Geographical areas

  • Central Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Switzerland


  • 2012-2019: PhD in Sustainability Science (University of Basel, TU Kaiserslautern, University City of London)
  • 2003-2004: MAS in Development and Cooperation (NADEL, ETH Zurich)
  • 1994-2002: M.A. in Sociology, Biology, Russian literature & linguistics, German literature)

Professional experience

  • Researcher at ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Consultant at Swiss Academy for Development (SAD), Biel, Switzerland
  • Consultant at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia
  • Consultant at pansolutions GmbH, Allschwil, Switzerland (sustainability consulting)
  • Researcher/project leader at University of Applied Sciences North-Western Switzerland (research, teaching and consultation)
  • Project assistant with HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Kyrgyzstan
  • Field researcher in Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Switzerland
  • Primary school teacher

Selected publications

  • Scherrer, Yvonne M. and Michael Heinrich. 2017. “Traditional healing systems: A framework approach against the backdrop of sustainable development”. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 17(suppl 1):333, doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1784-2 (conference proceedings).
  • Daub, Claus-Heinrich, Yvonne M. Scherrer and Arie H. Verkuil. 2014. “Exploring Reasons for the Resistance to Sustainable Management within Non-Profit Organizations”Sustainability 6/6, 3252-3270.
  • Frecè, Jan T., Yvonne M. Scherrer, and Claus-Heinrich Daub. 2012. Projekte nachhaltig managen. Basel: gesowip.
  • Scherrer, Yvonne M., Jan T. Frecè, and Claus-Heinrich Daub. 2012. “Evaluating sustainability in non-profit organizations – an approach for sustainability evaluation of project implementations”Asia Journal of Global Studies 5:43-57.
  • Scherrer, Yvonne M. 2011. “Cultural Significance of Berries and Mushrooms in Northern Europe: NTFPs Between Tradition and Acculturation“, contribution to: Cocks M., C. Lopez and T. Dold, Cultural Importance of Non-Timer Forest Products: Opportunities they Pose for Bio-Cultural Diversity in Dynamic Societies, in: S. Shackleton, C.M. Shackleton and P. Shanley (eds.). Non-Timber Forest Products in the Global Context, Tropical Forestry 7, Springer-Verlag, Berlin & Heidelberg.
  • Burger, Paul, Claus-Heinrich Daub, and Yvonne M. Scherrer. 2010. “Creating values for sustainable development (Editorial)“. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 17:1-3.
  • Burger, Paul, Claus-Heinrich Daub, and Yvonne M. Scherrer. 2009. “New Perspectives on Sustainable Business (Editorial)”. Journal of Business Ethics 85:479-481.
  • Daub, Claus-Heinrich and Yvonne M. Scherrer. 2009. “Doing the Right Thing Right: The Role of Sociological Research and Consulting for Corporate Engagement in Development Cooperation”. Journal of Business Ethics 85:573-584.
  • Scherrer, Yvonne M. 2009. “Environmental Conservation NGOs and the Concept of Sustainable Development”. Journal of Business Ethics 85:555-571.
  • Scherrer, Yvonne M., Claus-Heinrich Daub, and Paul Burger. 2007. “Toward integrating sustainability into business strategy (Editorial)”. Business Strategy and the Environment 16:459-460.
  • Scherrer, Yvonne M. 2003. “Social aspects of Collaborative Forest Management: Allocation of CFM plots, the influence of CFM on the tenants’ families and its gender dimension – a comparative study in two leshozes in southern Kyrgyzstan” (unpublished research report).

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