Prof. Dr. Reinhard Furrer

Institut für Mathematik & Computational Science
Universität Zürich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zürich

Tel.: +41 44 635 58 43
Fax: +41 44 635 57 05
Büro: Y27J34
Angewandte Statistik
Franziska Robmann

+41 44 635 58 31


Personal data

  • Date of birth: 4.10.72
  • Citizenship: Eisten, VS, Switzerland
  • Married, 3 Boys

Research Interests

  • Spatial and spatio-temporal statistics, non stationary processes, large datasets, robustness in geostatistics, ensemble kalman filter, statistical evaluation of climate model output


  • 1991: Graduation, North Kossuth High School, Iowa, USA
  • 1993: Scientific baccalaureate type C, College Spiritus Sanctus, Brig, Switzerland
  • 1997: Certificate of Applied Mathematics Teaching (CESMA), EPFL
  • 1998: Diploma in Mathematics at EPFL. Undergraduate thesis: Spatial statistics: Point processes and multivariate measures
  • 2002: Doctoral thesis at EPFL: Aspects of Modern Geostatistics: Non-stationarity, Covariance Estimation and State-Space Decompositions. Advisor Prof. Stephan Morgenthalter.

Professional Experience

  • 1998-2002: Research assistant at EPFL, Switzerland
  • 2002-2005: Postdoctoral fellow at the Geophysical Statistics Project, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2005-June 2009: Assistant professor at the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA
  • 2009-2016: Assistant professor (tenure track) at the Department of Mathematics, UZH
  • 2014- : Affiliate faculty member Department of Computational Science, UZH
  • 2016- : Associate professor at the Department of Mathematics, University of Zurich (UZH)
FS 18

Vorlesungen & Seminare

Research Seminar in Applied Statistics
Reinhard Furrer
Kolloquium über anwendungsorientierte Statistik
Peter Bühlmann, Reinhard Furrer, Leonhard Held, Torsten Hothorn, Markus Kalisch, Marloes Maathuis, Martin Mächler, Lukas Meier, Nicolai Meinshausen, Mark D. Robinson, Carolin Strobl, Sara Van de Geer
Statistical Practice
Nach Vereinbarung
Reinhard Furrer
Research practical in biostatistics
Nach Vereinbarung
Reinhard Furrer

Applied mathematical statistics

Exercises Applied mathematical statistics

Lab Applied mathematical statistics

Likelihood inference

Exercises Likelihood inference
Mi, 11:15-12:00 Uhr, 27-H-12

Good Statistical Practice: Computational Skills
Alle zwei Wochen, Mi 15-17 Uhr, 27-G-28


Peerreviewed publications Complete list (with abstracts and bibtex)
Selected list on ZORA

S. Güsewell, B. Pietragalla-Köhler, R. Gehrig, R. Furrer
Representativeness of stations and reliability of data in the Swiss Phenology Network
Technical Report MeteoSwiss, 267, 100 pp, 2018 PDF  

M. Brunner, R. Furrer, A.-C. Favre Pugin
Modeling the spatial dependence of floods using the Fisher copula
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS), in review

M. Heaton, A. Datta, A. Finley, R. Furrer, R. Guhaniyogi, F. Gerber, R. Gramacy, J. Guinness, D. Hammerling, M. Katzfuss, F. Lindgren, D. Nychka, F. Sun, A. Zammit-Mangion
A Case Study Competition among Methods for Analyzing Large Spatial Data
Software available via   

M. Brunner, A. Sikorska, R. Furrer, A.-C. Favre Pugin
Uncertainty assessment of synthetic design hydrographs for gauged and ungauged catchments
Water Resources Research, early view, 2018

M. Brunner, R. Furrer, A. Sikorska, D. Viviroli, J. Seibert, A.-C. Favre Pugin
Synthetic design hydrographs for ungauged catchments. A comparison of regionalization methods
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, accepted, 2018

E. Porcu, A. Alegria Jimenez, R. Furrer
Modeling Temporally Evolving and Spatially Globally Dependent Data
International Statistical Review, May 2018

M. Brunner, D. Viviroli, R. Furrer, J. Seibert, A.-C. Favre Pugin
Identification of Flood Reactivity Regions via the Functional Clustering of Hydrograph
Water Resources Research, accepted, 2018

M. Bevilacqua, T. Faouzi, R. Furrer, E. Porcu
Estimation and prediction using generalized Wendland covariance functions under fixed domain asymptotics
The Annals of Statistics, accepted, 2018   

S. Abiven, F. Altermatt, N. Backhaus, A. Deplazes Zemp, R. Furrer, B. Korf, P. Niklaus, G. Schaepman-Strub, K. Shimizu, D. Zuppinger-Dingley, O.L. Petchey, M. E. Schaepman
Integrative Research Efforts at the Boundary of Biodiversity and Global Change Research
Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 29, 215 - 222, 2018

F. Gerber, R. de Jong, M. E. Schaepman, G. Schaepman-Strub, R. Furrer
Predicting Missing Values in Spatio-Temporal Remote Sensing Data
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2018

A. Alegria Jimenez, E. Porcu, R. Furrer
Asymmetric Matrix-Valued Covariances for Multivariate Random Fields on Spheres
Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, in press

C. Wang, M. Puhan, R. Furrer
Generalized Spatial Fusion Model Framework for Joint Analysis of Point and Areal Data
for the SNC group (2017)

Spatial Statistics, 23, 72 - 90, 2018

Farnham, R. Furrer, U. Blanke, E. Stone, Ch. Hatz, M. Puhan
The quantified self during travel: mapping health in a prospective cohort of travellers
Journal of Travel Medicine, 24 (5), 2017

S. Güsewell, R. Furrer, R. Gehrig, B. Pietragalla-Köhler
Changes in temperature sensitivity of spring phenology with recent climate warming in Switzerland are related to shifts of the preseason
Global Change Biology, 23(12), 5189 – 5202, 2017

M. Pittavino, A. Dreyfus, C. Heuer, J. Benschop, P. Wilson, J. Collins-Emerson, P. R. Torgerson, R. Furrer
Comparison between Generalized Linear Modelling and Additive Bayesian Network; Identification of Factors associated with the Incidence of Antibodies against Leptospira interrogans sv Pomona in Meat Workers in New Zealand
Acta Tropica, 173, 191 - 199, 2017

M. Pittavino, A. Dreyfus, C. Heuer, J. Benschop, P. Wilson, J. Collins-Emerson, P. R. Torgerson, R. Furrer
Data on Leptospira interrogans sv Pomona infection in Meat Workers in New Zealand
Data in Brief, 13, 587 - 596, 2017

C. Wang, P. R. Torgerson, J. Höglund, R. Furrer
Zero-inflated hierarchical models for faecal egg counts to assess anthelmintic efficacy
Veterinary Parasitology, 235, 20 – 28, 2017

S. Van der Lely, M. Stefanovic, M. Schmidhalter, M. Pittavino, R. Furrer, M. Liechti, M. Schubert, T.M. Kessler, U. Mehnert
Protocol for a prospective, randomized study on neurophysiological assessment of lower urinary tract function in a healthy cohort
BMC Urology, 16:69, 2016

R. Furrer, F. Bachoc, J. Du
Asymptotic properties of multivariate tapering for estimation and prediction
Journal of Multivariate Analysis, 149, 177 - 191, 2016

F. Bachoc, R. Furrer
On the smallest eigenvalues of covariance matrices of multivariate spatial processes
STAT, 5(1), 102 - 107, 2016

N. Addor, M. Rohrer, R. Furrer, J. Seibert
Propagation of biases in climate models from the synoptic to the regional scale: Implications for bias adjustment.
J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 2016

M. Hombach, C. Ochoa Pereira, F. Maurer, T. Pfiffner-Rust, E. Böttger, R. Furrer
Relative contribution of biological variation and technical variables to zone diameter variations of disk diffusion susceptibility testing
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 71(1), 141 - 151, 2016

R. Leiterer, H. Torabzadeh, R. Furrer, M. E. Schaepman, F. Morsdorf
Towards Automated Characterization of Canopy Layering in Mixed Temperate Forests Using Airborne Laser Scanning
Forests, 6(11), 4146 - 4167, 2015

M. Hombach, F. Maurer, T. Pfiffner-Rust, E. Böttger, R. Furrer
Standardization of operator-dependent variables affecting precision and accuracy of the disk diffusion method for antibiotic susceptibility testing
Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 53(12), 3864 - 3869, 2015

R. Leiterer, R. Furrer, M. E. Schaepman, F. Morsdorf
Forest canopy-structure characterization: A data-driven approach
Forest Ecology and Management, 358, 48–61, 2015

A. Baggiolini, S. Varum Tavares, J. Mateos Melero, D. Bettosini, J. Nessy, M. Bonalli, U. Ziegler, L. Dimou, H. Clevers, R. Furrer, L. Sommer
Premigratory and Migratory Neural Crest Cells Are Multipotent In Vivo
Cell Stem Cell, 16(3), 314 - 322, 2015

S. R. Geinitz, R. Furrer, S.R. Sain
Bayesian multilevel analysis of variance for relative comparison across sources of global climate model variability
International Journal of Climatology, 35(3), 433 - 443, 2015

P. R. Torgerson, M. Paul, R. Furrer
Evaluating faecal egg count reduction using a specifically designed package "eggCounts" in R and a user friendly web interface I
International Journal for Parasitology, 44 (5), 299 - 303, 2014

S. Wuest, S. Richard, I. Walther, R. Furrer, R. Anderegg, J. Sekler, M. Egli
A Novel Microgravity Simulator Applicable for Three-Dimensional Cell Culturing
Microgravity Science and Technology 26(2), 77 - 88, 2014

R. Furrer, N. Kirchner, M. Jakobsson
A Cross-polar Modeling Approach to Hindcast Paleo-Arctig Mega Icebergs: a Storyboard
In: Pardo-Igúzquiza, E. et al. (Eds.)   
Mathematics of Planet Earth, Springer, 41 - 44, 2014

D. K. Heersink, R. Furrer
Sequential spatial anlysis of large datasets with applications to modern earthwork compaction roller measurement values
Spatial Statistics, 6, 41 - 56, 2013

N. Kirchner, R. Furrer, M. Jakobsson, H.J. Zwally, J. Robbins
Statistical modeling of a former Arctic Ocean ice shelf complex using Antarctic analogies.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface , 118(2), 1105 - 117, 2013

R. de Jong, M. E. Schaepman, R. Furrer, S. de Bruin, P. Verburg
Spatial relationship between climatologies and changes in global vegetation activity.
Global Change Biology, April 2013

M. Benigni, R. Furrer
Spatio-temporal improvised explosive device monitoring: improving detection
to minimise attacks.

Journal of Applied Statistics, 39(11), 2493 - 2508, 2012

R. Furrer, M.G. Genton, D. Nychka
Erratum and Addendum to "Covariance Tapering for Interpolation of Large Spatial Datasets" - published in the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 15, 502 - 523.
Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 21(3), 823 - 824, 2012

R. Furrer, S. R. Geinitz, S.R. Sain
Assessing variance components of general circulation model output field.
Environmetrics, 23(5), 440 - 450, 2012

D. K. Heersink, R. Furrer
On Moore-Penrose Inverses of Quasi-Kronecker Structured Matrices.
Linear Algebra and its Applications, 436(3), 561 - 570, 2012

R. Furrer, M.G. Genton
Aggregation-cokriging for Highly-Multivariate Spatial Data.
Biometrika, 98(3), 615 - 631, 2011

L. Holmström, L. Pasanen, R. Furrer, S.R. Sain
Scale Space Multiresolution Analysis of Random Signals.
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 55, 2840 - 2855, 2011

S.R. Sain, R. Furrer, N.C. Cressie
A Spatial Analysis of Multivariate Output from Regional Climate Models.
Annals of Applied Statistics, 5(1), 150 - 175, 2011

E.M. Furrer, R.W. Katz, M.D. Walter, R. Furrer
Statistical modeling of hot spells and heat waves.
Climate Research, 43(3), 191 - 205, 2010.   

F.J. Krembs, R.L. Siegrist, M.L. Crimi, R. Furrer, B.G. Petri
ISCO for Groundwater Remediation: Analysis of Field Applications and Performance.
Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, 30(4), 42 - 53, 2010.   

N. Facas, M.A. Mooney, R. Furrer
Anisotropy in the Spatial Distribution of Roller-Measured Soil Stiffness.
International Journal of Geomechanics, 10(4), 129-135, 2010.   

R. Furrer, S.R. Sain
Spam: A Sparse Matrix R Package with Emphasis on MCMC Methods for Gaussian Markov Random Fields.
Journal of Statistical Software, 36(10), 1 - 25, 2010.   

S.R. Sain, R. Furrer
Combining Climate Model Output via Model Correlations.
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 24(6), 821 - 829, 2010.   

R. Knutti, R. Furrer, C. Tebaldi, J. Cermak, G.A. Meehl
Challenges in combining projections from multiple climate models.
Journal of Climate, 23(10), 2739-2758, 2010.   

R. Furrer, S.R. Sain
Spatial Model Fitting for Large Datasets with Applications to Climate and Microarray Problems.
Statistics and Computing, 19(2), 113-128, 2009.   

P.F. Mendez, R. Furrer, R. Ford, F. Ordóñez
Scaling Laws as a Tool of Materials Informatics.
JOM, 60(03), 60-66, 2008.   

T. Kupper, L.F. de Alencastroa, R. Gatsigazi, R. Furrer, D. Grandjean, J. Tarradellas
Concentrations and specific loads of brominated flame retardants in sewage sludge.
Chemosphere, 71(6), 1173-1180, 2008.   

R. Furrer
Contributing author to Chapter 10: Global Climate Projections of the Working Group, contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521705967/05218800092, 2007.   

R. Furrer, S.R. Sain, D. Nychka, G.A. Meehl
Multivariate Bayesian Analysis of Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models.
Environmental and Ecological Statistics, 14(3), 249-266, 2007.   

R. Furrer, R. Knutti, S.R. Sain, D. Nychka, G.A. Meehl
Spatial patterns of probabilistic temperature change projections from a multivariate Bayesian analysis.
Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L06711, 2007.   

R. Brändli, T. Bucheli, T. Kupper, R. Furrer, W.A. Stahel, F.X. Stadelmann, J. Tarradellas
Organic pollutants in compost and digestate. Part 1. Polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and markers.
Journal of Environmental Moniting, 9, 456-464, 2007.   

R. Furrer, P. Naveau
Probability Weighted Moments Properties for Small Samples.
Statistics and Probability Letters, 77(2), 190-195, 2007.   

R. Furrer, T. Bengtsson
Estimation of High-dimensional Prior and Posteriori Covariance Matrices in Kalman Filter Variants.
Journal of Multivariate Analysis, 98(2), 227-255, 2007.   

R. Furrer, M.G. Genton, D. Nychka
Covariance Tapering for Interpolation of Large Spatial Datasets.
Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 15(3), 502-523, 2006.   

G. Feingold, R. Furrer, P. Pilewskie, L.A. Remer, Q. Min, H. Jonsson
Aerosol Indirect Effect Studies at Southern Great Plains during the May 2003 Intensive Operation Period.
Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, D05S14, 2006.   

C. Plagellat, T. Kupper, R. Furrer, L.F. de Alencastroa, D. Grandjean, J. Tarradellas
Concentrations and Specific Loads of UV Filters in Sewage Sludge Originating from a Monitoring Network in Switzerland.
Chemosphere, 62, 915-925, 2006.   

B. Fournier, R. Furrer
Automatic Mapping in the Presence of Substitutive Errors: A Robust Kriging Approach.
Extended Abstract in Automatic mapping algorithms for routine and emergency monitoring data. Report on the Spatial Interpolation Comparison (SIC2004) exercise, G. Dubois (ed), Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, EUR 21595 EN, ISBN: 92-894-9400-X, 2005.   

B. Fournier, R. Furrer
Automatic Mapping in the Presence of Substitutive Errors: A Robust Kriging Approach.
Applied GIS 1(2), 2005.   

R. Brändli, T. Kupper, T. Bucheli, R. Furrer, F.X. Stadelmann, J. Tarradellas
Persistent Organic Pollutants in Compost and Its Input Materials - A Review of Field Studies.
Journal of Environmental Quality, 34, 3, 735-760, 2005.   

R. Furrer
Covariance Estimation under Spatial Dependence.
Journal of Multivariate Analysis, 94, 2, 366-381, 2005.   

T. Kupper, J.D. Berset, R. Etter-Holzer, R. Furrer, J. Tarradellas
Concentrations and Specific Loads of Polycyclic Musks in Sewage Sludge Originating from a Monitoring Network in Switzerland.
Chemosphere, 54, 8, 1111-1120, 2004.   

M.G. Genton, R. Furrer
Analysis of Rainfall Data by Simple Good Sense: is Spatial Statistics Worth the Trouble?
Mapping radioactivity in the environment-Spatial Interpolation Comparison 97, G. Dubois, J. Malczewski, M. De Cort (eds), 45-50, 2003.   

M.G. Genton, R. Furrer
Analysis of Rainfall Data by Robust Spatial Statistics using S + Spatial Statistics.
Mapping radioactivity in the environment-Spatial Interpolation Comparison 97, G. Dubois, J. Malczewski, M. De Cort (eds), 118-129, 2003   

R. Furrer
M-Estimation for Dependent Random Variables.
Statistics and Probability Letters, 57(4), 337-341, 2002.   

R. Furrer
On the Implementation of the Decomposition of Spatial Processes in Matlab.
Computing Science and Statistics. Vol. 32, 64-77, 2000.   

R. Furrer, M.G. Genton
Robust Spatial Data Analysis of Lake Geneva Sediments with S + Spatial Statistics.
Systems Research and Information Science, Special Issue on Spatial Data: Neutral Nets/Statistics, 8(4), 257-272, 1999.   

M.G. Genton, R. Furrer
Analysis of Rainfall Data by Robust Spatial Statistics using S + Spatial Statistics.
Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis, Vol. 2, No. 2, 126-136, 1998.   

M.G. Genton, R. Furrer
Analysis of Rainfall Data by Simple Good Sense: Is Spatial Statistics Worth the Trouble?
Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis, Vol 2, No. 2, 11-17, 1998.   


Prof. Dr. Fadoua Balabdaoui, CEREMADE, Université Paris Dauphine (F-Paris )
Talk: Estimation of a log-concave probability sequence via Maximum Likelihood: Asymptotics and related applications
12.11.14 - 12.11.14Furrer, Reinhard
Prof. Dr. François Bachoc, Toulouse Mathematics Institute, University Paul Sabatier (Toulouse)
Talk: ML and Cross Validation for covariance function estimation in Gaussian process regression
05.11.14 - 07.11.14Furrer, Reinhard
Sébastien Marmin, CNRS (Marseille)
13.10.14 - 17.10.14Furrer, Reinhard
Fabio Oriani, Centre d'hydrogéologie, Université de Neuchâtel (Neuchâtel)
Talk: Stochastic rainfall simulation: reproducing high-order statistics with the Direct Sampling technique
10.04.14 - 10.04.14Furrer, Reinhard