Markus Stoffel


Uni Carl-Vogt, office C 405

+41 22 379 06 89

My Research

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.

Ongoing Projects

The research and development projects of my C-CIA team are mostly dedicated to the fields of past, present and future climatic changes, the full set of terrestrial mass wasting and periglacial processes, but also included work on climate change adaptation or the effect of large volcanic eruptions on climate. The use of tree rings as a proxy of climate and terrestrial geomorpho-dynamics has been a key element that explains the success of the in the past, and the team continues to work on the full breadth of dendroecological applications and its various applications in the future, as the approach allows a broad and purely multi-disciplinary approach and openness towards many fields of the environmental system. A selection of ongoing projects is listed here.


Top 10 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.

Recent Publications

Extended list

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ORCID ID:                   0000-0003-0816-1303

Scopus ID:                  7102900542

ResearcherID:            A-1793-2017


Bachelor Courses

Géomorphologie (cours et travaux pratiques)

Géomorphologie (excursion)

Master Courses

Climate Change

Climate Impacts (MOOC)

Climate Impacts block course (atelier)

Enjeux (MUSE)

EnvAlpSoc (MUSE, participating)

Summer Schools and Certificats

Geneva School of Economics and Management (participating)

CAS Water Governance (participating)



Zermatt Valley (BSc, 2 days)