Previous Talks

07. June 2016 - Biohacking or Ecohacking?

04 Jul, 2016

LASERZURICH will be featuring three renowned scientists, a synthetic biologist, a microbiological ecologist and a plant ecologist to cross-pollinate their research on the controversial subject of “biohacking or ecohacking?” moderated by cellular and molecular artist: Prof Dr. Jill Scott.

Rüdiger Trojok (Berlin)

Topic: Open source biotechnology, by whom and for whom?

Rüdiger Trojok is a biologist; he studied systems and synthetic biology at the Universities of Potsdam, Copenhagen (DTU) and Freiburg. During his thesis he invented a novel contraceptive method based on genetically altered lactic acid bacteria. He worked as a freelance consultant for the office for Technology Assessment by the German Parliament on biohacking and synthetic biology. Since 2014 he works for the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology on the EU program Synenergene. He is currently establishing a citizen science biolab in Berlin, and is supporting open-source biotechnology projects related to public life, politics and the arts.

Ignacio Chapela (San Francisco)

Topic: Reconstituting realities, microcosms, mass-delusion, and the liberation of biotechnology?

Ignacio Chapela is a Microbial Ecologist, from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (sabbatical). He is a microbial ecologist dedicated to the understanding of the ways of life of invisible life forms and their interaction with the world of humans. He has worked on projects based on the visualization and re-valuation of invisible (microbial) life forms in forest ecosystems. His work perforce has required multiple cross-interactions with film productions and Future Farmers groups on distributive identification, monitoring and mapping of microbial life forms.

Christoph Kueffer (Zurich)

Topic: Eco-hacking: responsible re-design of ecosystems in the Anthropocene.

Christoph Kueffer received a PhD in plant ecology and a habilitation in plant and global change ecology from ETH Zurich (Switzerland). He holds a professorship in urban ecology at the Department of Landscape Architecture of the University of Applied Sciences Eastern Switzerland and is a lecturer (Privatdozent) at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich. His work focuses from both a disciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective on the ecology and management of ecosystems in the Anthropocene: human-dominated, urban ecosystems; heavily disturbed ‘novel’ ecosystems on oceanic islands; or future mountain ecologies emerging with climate change. More information: