Prof. Dr. Markus Stoffel

My research focuses on Climate Change Impacts and Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA), with the aim to understand, document and quantify fundamental environmental processes, and the drivers of change. Much of the research of my group involves the development of applications of tree-ring techniques and the use of various unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). We observe, document and analyze environmental and climatic changes both at the local and the hemispheric scales and by covering daily to seasonal, decadal, centennial and millenial timeframes.

In a nutshell, my research is related to climate change impacts, time-series and dynamics of hydrogeomorphic and earth-surface processes at altitude and/or high latitudes, as well as on dendroecology and wood anatomy of trees and shrubs.

More particularly, I have been working over the past few years on the impacts of climatic changes on periglacial mass movements, the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate (temperature, precipitation), peatland evolution over the Holocene and its link to hydroclimatic changes, the effects of climate and global changes on biodiversity, biomass or sequestered carbon in the Himalayas, Myanmar and the Andes, or on causes and effects of erosion in badlands or along the Mediterranean coast.

As such, the work of the C-CIA team has contributed to the understanding of the large set of impacts of environmental and/or climatic changes on humans and societies.


Full Professor, Chair for Climate Impacts and Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA), Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE), Department F.-A. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences (DFSEA) and Department of Earth Sciences (DESTE), University of Geneva.

Founder and Director of the Swiss Tree-Ring Lab (


  • 12/2011 | Habilitation thesis (venia docendi), Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 07/2005 | PhD thesis, Dept. Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 04/2003 | Diploma thesis, Media and Communication Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 04/1999 | MSc thesis, Dept. Geosciences, Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 01/1999 | Certificate, Environmental Sciences, Science Faculty, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Research interests

  • Climate change impacts and risks, in particular magnitude–frequency relations of mass-wasting processes in alpine and high-elevation environments (debris flows, rockfall, snow avalanches, landslides, floods, GLOFs).
  • Climate-cryosphere linkages and their impacts on integrated water resources management.
  • Climatic impacts of large, tropical volcanic eruptions on Common Era societies (temperature, precipitation, oceanic circulations, subsistence economy)
  • Alpine meteorology and climatology (precipitation, thresholds, extreme events, climatic change).
  • Adaptation and mitigation strategies in the Anthropocene, integrated disaster risk management.
  • Media and communication sciences, outreach and dissemination, publishing.
  • Project management, fund raising (~9 million CHF since 2006), networking, PR.

Selected Publications

All papers can be found at Archive Ouverte Unige. Students enrolled at the University of Geneva can download papers at

Toohey, M., Krüger, K., Schmidt, H., Timmreck, C., Sigl, M., Stoffel, M., Wilson, R., 2019. Disproportionately strong climate forcing from extratropical volcanic eruptions. Nature Geoscience 12, 100–107.

Stoffel, M., Corona, C., 2018. Future winters glimpsed in the Alps. Nature Geoscience 11, 458–460.

Madrigal-González, J., Ballesteros-Cánovas, J.A., Herrero, A., Ruiz-Benito, P., Stoffel, M., Lucas-Borja, M.E., Sancho-García, C., Zavala, M.A., 2017. Forest productivity in southwestern Europe controlled by coupled North Atlantic and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations. Nature Communications 8: 2222.

Bodoque, J.M., Ballesteros-Cánovas, J.A., Rubiales, J.M., Perucha, M.A., Nadal-Romero, E., Stoffel, M., 2017. Quantifying soil erosion from hiking trail in a protected natural area in the Spanish Pyrenees. Land Degradation and Development 28, 2255–2267.

Guillet, S., Corona, C., Stoffel, M., Khodri, M., Lavigne, F., Ortega, P., Eckert, N., Selenniou, P., Daux, V., Churakova (Sidorova), O., Davi, N., Edouard, J.L., Yong, Z., Luckman, B.H., Myglan, V.S., Guiot, J., Beniston, M., Masson-Delmotte, V., Oppenheimer, C., 2017. Climate response to the Samalas volcanic eruption in 1257 revealed by proxy records.Nature Geoscience 10, 123–128.

Edvardsson, Stoffel, M., Corona, C., Bragazza, L., Leuschner, H.H., Charman, D., Helama, S., 2016. Subfossil peatland trees as proxies for palaeohydrology and climate reconstruction during the Holocene. Earth-Science Reviews 163, 118–140.

Stoffel, M., Khodri, M., Corona, C., Guillet, S., Poulain, V., Bekki, S., Guiot, J., Luckman, B.H., Oppenheimer, C., Lebas, N., Beniston, M., Masson-Delmotte, V., 2015. Estimates of volcanic-induced cooling in the Northern Hemisphere over the past 1,500 years. Nature Geoscience 8: 784–788.

Sorg, A., Kääb, A., Roesch, A., Bigler, C., Stoffel, M., 2015. Contrasting responses of Central Asian rock glaciers to global warming. Nature Scientific Reports 5, 8228. doi:10.1038/srep08228.

Stoffel, M., Corona, C., 2014. Dendroecological dating of geomorphic disturbance in trees. Tree-Ring Research 70, 3–20.

Sorg, A., Bolch, T., Stoffel., M., Solomina, O., Beniston, M., 2012. Climate change impacts on glaciers and runoff in Central Asia. Nature Climate Change 2(10): 725–731.

The full list of publications can be found at: and at:  Archive Ouverte Unige.

Uni Carl Vogt - C408