Saturday, April 5, 2014

University of Bern Dendrochronology Lab

The University of Bern Dendrochronology Lab ( is directed by Prof. Markus Stoffel and is very active with post-docs, visiting scientists, PhD, and Masters students. The lab is located in the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of Bern. I had the opportunity to spend some time at the lab and have a three hour seminar with presentations by many of the lab members. This lab focuses on natural hazards research using tree rings (check out the recently published book Tree Rings and Natural Hazards edited by Markus and others which is available on They examine rock fall history and work with land managers to better understand the hazards of geomorphic events that could affect populated areas or roadways. According to their website, they examine a wide variety of geomorphic events such as debris flows, floods, rockfall, snow avalanches, landslides, erosion, and volcanic activity. They are also doing some very interesting work imaging scars inside whole trees using tomography and are also doing some climate response research.

Lab Personnel:
Prof. Markus Stoffel - Lab Director
Dr. Juan Antonio Ballesteros Canovas - Post Doc
Dr. Christophe Corona - Post Doc
Dr. Johannes Edvarsson - Post Doc
Dr. Virginia Ruíz Villanueva - Post Doc 
Dr. Yong Zhang - Visiting Scientist 
Sébastien Guillet - PhD student 
Clara Rodriguez - PhD student 
Romain Schläppy - PhD student 
Annina Sorg - PhD student 
Daniel Trappmann - PhD student 
Laurence Fazan - Master Student 
Elisa Salaorni - Master Student

As is the European Standard, they are using the LinTab measuring system (,english/) with the TSAP software (,english/index.html) for visual and statistical crossdating. They have four LinTab measuring systems that they keep fairly busy. They collect cores but much of their work is completed on cross sections of injured trees.

Finally, I would like to thank Juan and Dan who were great tour guides in showing me the wonderful town of Bern.

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