C-CIA staff

Prof. Dr. Markus Stoffel

Prof. Dr. Markus Stoffel

Full Professor, Head of C-CIA

+41 (0)22 379 06 89

Curriculum vitae

Born on April 28, 1974 in Visp, citizen of Switzerland

Please have a look at my full CV for further details


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.

Research interests and fields of excellence

  • 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, and 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


Academic Qualifications

Habilitation (venia docendi), Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland (Prof. F. Schlunegger)
PhD thesis, Dept. Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Prof. M. Monbaron)
Diploma thesis, Media and Communication Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Prof. L. Bosshart)
Diploma thesis, Dept. Geosciences, Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Prof. M. Monbaron)
Certificate, Environmental Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Dr. G. Schneider)


Professional Experience

08/2017 – ongoing
Full Professor, Chair for Climate Impacts & Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA), Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva
Shortlisted for Full Professorship in “Environmental Systems Analysis”, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
05/2013 – 07/2017
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Department of Earth Sciences, University of Geneva
12/2011 – 12/2016
Privatdozent (Lecturer with venia legendi), Faculty of Science, University of Bern
01/2009 – 11/2011
Senior Lecturer, Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern
02/2009 – 04/2013
Maître d’Enseignement et de Recherche (MER), Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva
10/2006 – 07/2009
Lehr- und Forschungsrat, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg
10/2006 – 01/2009
Chargé d’Enseignement, Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva
07/2000 – 09/2006
Diploma Assistant, Department of Geosciences, Geography, University of Fribourg
07/2000 – ongoing
Founder and Director of the Swiss Tree-Ring Lab



Nomination for the 2017 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science for his work on Perturbation of Systems in the Anthropocene, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, U.S.
International Tree-Ring Society (TRS) José Boninsegna Frontiers in Dendrochronology Award for significant contributions to cutting‐edge science in dendrochronology, AmeriDendro Meeting, Mendoza
American Association of Geographers (AAG) Denali Recent Achievement Award for excellence in research on climate change impacts on mass movements, AAG Annual Meeting Chicago
Distinguished Professor (Professor honoris causa)in Physical and Technical Geography, Facultatea de Geografie, Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Award for the best PhD thesis in Experimental Sciences at the Faculty of Science, University of Fribourg, Fribourg
CHGEOL Award for the best application-oriented study conducted in the field of Geosciences, Swiss Geosciences Meeting 2005, Zurich


SELECTED Publications

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.

STOFFEL, M., Huggel, C., 2012. Effects of climate change on mass movements in mountain environments. Progress in Physical Geography 36: 421–439.

Bolch, T., Kulkarni, A., Cogley, G., Frey, H., Fujita, K., Huggel, C., Kargel, J., Paul, F., Scheel, M., Bajracharya S., STOFFEL, M., 2012. The state and fate of Himalayan glaciers. Science 336: 310–314.