The Swiss Tree-Ring Lab (

The Swiss Tree-Ring Lab ( is one of the core facilities of the C-CIA. The was founded by Prof. Markus Stoffel in July 2000 at the Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg (Switzerland). From January 2009 to December 2016, the was hosted at the Institute for Geological Sciences at the University of Bern. Since then, the was affiliated to the Climatic Change and Climate Impacts Research (C3i) team and the Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva, although it was in 2017 when all the equipment was physically transfer to Science II building of the University of Geneva.

The is one of the major tree-ring labs in Europe and the largest facility worldwide with a focus on the reconstruction of past geomorphic process activity and wood anatomy.

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. Specifically, we aim at:

  • Compiling fundamentals on the spatial and temporal occurrence of different hazardous processes,
  • Developing advisory opinions on natural hazard processes and related hazards and risks for international, federal, cantonal and local authorities as well as for private persons.
  • Guiding user-oriented topics for Bachelor and Master Thesis for enthusiastic and motivated students in the field of geosciences, forest sciences, environmental sciences and botany.
  • Cooperating with national and international teams of researchers and deal with questions related to natural hazard, protection forest and climate change research.