The was founded by Prof. Dr. Markus Stoffel in July 2000 at the Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg (Switzerland). In 2009, the team moved to the Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern. The is also affiliated with the Climatic Change and Climate Impacts Research (C3i) team and the Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva.


The currently employs one Associate Professor (Markus Stoffel), five PostDoc (Juan Ballesteros, Christophe Corona, Johannes Edvardsson, Virginia Ruiz, Daniel Trappmann) and three PhD students (Sébastien Guillet, Christine Moos, Clara Rodriguez-Morata). In addition, four PhD students and three PostDoc students are enrolled as associate researchers to the lab and regularly spend time with the permanent staff: Elena Muntan (UBC Spain), Romain Schläppy (Paris1-Sorbonne), France, Klaus Schraml (BOKU Vienna, Austria), Osvaldo Franco (UNAM, Mexico), Alejandro Casteller (IANIGLA Mendoza, Argentina), Jérôme Lopez Saez (Irstea Grenoble, France) and Olimpiu Pop (UBB Cluj-Napoca, Romania). Twelve students are currently writing their MSc and BSc thesis under the guidance of staff. The presumably is one of the major tree-ring labs of Europe and the largest facility worldwide focusing on the reconstruction of past geomorphic processes.

The success story of the started with fundamental and applied research on various geomorphic and geological processes including debris flows, floods, rockfall, snow avalanches, landslides, erosion, or volcanic activity. Initially, research activities focused on the European Alps, the Spanish Central System, Carpathians, Mexican Volcanic Belt and the Patagonian Andes, but work has since expanded to the Himalayas, the Tien Shan, Far East Siberia (Kamchatka Peninsula), United States and the Arctic.

In addition to the geographic expansion of work, members of the have also started to undertake fundamental and applied tree-ring research on fire, plant ecology, hydrology, glaciology and climatology. The currently also develops tree-ring approaches to ease the calibration and validation of physically-based process models.

The lab is run exclusively with third-party money from the European Union, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), Swiss cantonal authorities (Valais), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), as well as from various foreign governments (e.g., Austria, France, Spain).