BABST Flurin
dr hab. (Assistant Professor)

  Master of Science in Geography, University of Basel, Switzerland
PhD (magna cum laude) in Physical Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany & Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Habilitation from the Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland

last updated: 03.2020


  • Feb 2019 – present: Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences (Assistant Professor)
  • Oct 2015 – Jan 2019: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL (Postdoc / Research scientist)
  • Jan 2013 – Sep 2015: Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona (Postdoc)
  • Jun 2009 – Jan 2013: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL (PhD student)
  • Aug 2007 – Feb 2008: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL (Internship)
  • Oct 2006 – Feb 2007: German National Weather Service (Internship)

Mobility and training

  • 2019
    Guest scientist in the Forest Dynamics unit, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
  • 2018
    Research stay (7 months) on spatial analyses of forest growth and productivity,Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, USA
  • 2015-2018
    Guest scientist in the Department of Ecology, W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
  • 2015
    Research stay (2 months) on dynamic vegetation modeling, Poulter Lab, Montana State University, Bozeman, USA
  • 2013
    Intensive course (2 weeks) in stable isotope  biogeochemistry & ecology, SIRFER Lab, University of  Utah, Salt Lake City, USA
  • 2010
    Intensive course (1 week) in wood anatomy, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Grants, fellowships and award

  • 2019-2021
    Foundation for Polish Science research grant “Inside out: Linking intra-annual wood formation in mature trees to stand-level water and carbon cycling” (USD 200’000; role: PI)
  • 2019
    Earth System Data Lab research grant “Linking spatiotemporal variations in forest carbon uptake and growth across Carpathian spruce forests” (USD 3’400; role: PI)
  • 2017-2019
    Swiss Forest Lab research grant “Quantifying, understanding and predicting forest growth in Switzerland” (USD 205’000; role: contributor)
  • 2014-2017
    Swiss National Science Foundation advanced Postdoc.Mobility fellowship & return phase: “Assessing the spatiotemporal dynamics of the North American Monsoon System using tree-ring stable isotope and vegetation model parameters” (USD 200’000; role: PI)
  • 2013-2014
    Swiss National Science Foundation early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship: “Regional response of forest productivity to the North American Monsoon System along a broad climatic gradient” (USD 103’000; role: PI)
  • 2008, 2009
    Association for Tree Ring Research awards: Best student talk (ATR TRACE conferences)
  • 2008
    Swiss Academy of Sciences travel grant: Field campaign in Lapland (USD 1000; role: PI)
Major collaborations
  •  Research initiatives:

    • North American Forest Inventory Tree-Ring Network. I actively participate in efforts led by the US Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) to integrate plot census with tree-ring data across their plots.

    • Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS, I have developed a standardized protocol for biomass oriented tree-ring sampling at flux-tower sites as an “Auxiliary Measurement”.

    • EU COST Action “DAMOCLES”. I am a contributor to Working Group 3 that assesses the impacts of compound events (i.e. multi-parameter climatic extreme events) on ecosystems.

    • Risk-KAN Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events. I am an active member of the Eco-DRR working group (

    • Swiss Forest Lab. I contribute actively to its “Data from field and laboratory analyses and monitoring” objective.

  • Research institutions:

    • Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL. Two partners in my ongoing “Inside out” project ( are group leaders at WSL.

    • Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry ( I have been involved in two major projects (EU-FP7,; Horizon-2020, led by MPI.

    • Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona ( I have many valued collaborators in the LTRR since my Postdoc time, including Profs. Trouet, Evans, Frank and Monson.

    • NASA Goddard Space flight center. Prof. Dr. Benjamin Poulter (Earth Science Remote Sens.) is one of my longest and closest collaborators.

Opinions, perspectives, and review articles:

*Babst F, Bodesheim P, Charney N, Friend A, Girardin M, Klesse S et
al. (2018) When tree-rings go global: Challenges and opportunities
for retro- and prospective insight. Quaternary Science Reviews, 197,

Marchand W, Girardin MP, Gauthier S, Hartmann H, Bouriaud O,
Babst F, Bergeron Y (2018) Untangling methodological and scale
considerations in growth and productivity trend estimates of Canada’s
forests. Environmental Research Letters, 13, 093001.

Babst F, Poulter B, Bodesheim P, Mahecha M, Frank DC (2017)
Improved tree-ring archives will support earth-system science. Nature
Ecology and Evolution, 1, 1-2.

Frank D, Reichstein M, Bahn M, Frank DC, Mahecha M, Smith P,
Thonicke K, van der Velde M, Vicca S, Babst F, et al. (2015) Effects
of climate extremes on the terrestrial carbon cycle: concepts,
processes and potential future impacts. Global Change Biology, 21,

Babst F, Alexander R, Szejner P, Bouriaud O, Klesse S, et al. (2014) A
tree-ring perspective on the terrestrial carbon cycle. Oecologia, 176,

*Invited by the journal

Research articles:

A combined tree-ring and vegetation model assessment of European forest growth sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability
A combined tree-ring and vegetation model assessment of European forest growth sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability

Peters RL, von Arx G, Nievergelt D, Ibrom A, Stillhard J, Trotsiuk V,
Mazurkiewicz A, Babst F (2020) Axial changes in wood functional
traits have limited net effects on stem biomass increment in European
beech (Fagus sylvatica). Tree Physiology, doi:

Trotsiuk V, Hartig F, Cailleret M, Babst F, Forrester DI, Baltensweiler
A, et al. (2020) Assessing the response of forest productivity to
climate extremes in Switzerland using model-data fusion. Global
Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.15011

Hudson AR, Alfaro-Sanchez R, Babst F, Belmecheri S, Moore DJP,
Trouet V (2019) Seasonal and synoptic climatic drivers of tree growth
in the Bighorn Mountains, WY, USA (1654-1983).
Dendrochronologia, 58, 125633.

Schurman J, Babst F, Björklund J, Rydval M, Bace R, Cada V, et al.
(2019) The climatic drivers of primary Picea forest growth along the
Carpathian arc are changing under rising temperatures. Global
Change Biology, 25, 3136-3150.

Babst F, Bouriaud O, Poulter B, Girardin, M, Frank DC (2019)
Twentieth century redistribution in climatic drivers of global tree
growth. Science Advances, 5, eaat4313.

Lu X, Liang E, Wang Y, Babst F, Leavitt S, Camarero J (2019) Past
the climate optimum: Recruitment is declining at the world’s highest
juniper shrublines on the Tibetian Plateau. Ecology, 100, e02557.

Wu X, Li X, Liu H, Ciais P, Li Y, Xu C, Babst F, et al. (2019) Uneven
winter snow influence on tree growth across temperate China. Global
Change Biology, 25, 144-154.

Seftigen K, Frank DC, Björklund J, Babst F, Poulter B (2018) The
climatic drivers of NDVI and tree-ring based estimates of forest
productivity are spatially coherent but temporally decoupled in
Northern Hemispheric forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27,

Klesse S, Babst F, Lienert S, Spähni R, Joos F, Bouriaud O et al.
(2018) A combined tree-ring and vegetation model assessment of
European forest growth sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32, 1226-1240.

Trouet V, Babst F, Meko M (2018) Recent enhanced North Atlantic Jet
variability emerges from three century context. Nature
Communications, 9, 180.

Wu X, Liu H, Li X, Ciais P, Babst F, Guo W, et al. (2018)
Differentiating drought legacy effects on vegetation growth over the
temperate Northern Hemisphere. Global Change Biology, 24, 504-

Alexander MR, Rollinson CR, Babst F, Trouet V, Moore DJP (2018)
Relative influence of multiple sources of uncertainty on cumulative
and incremental tree-ring-derived aboveground biomass estimates.
Trees – Structure and Function, 32, 265-276.

Zhang Z, Babst F, Bellassen V, Frank D, Launois T, Tan K, Ciais P,
Poulter B (2018) Converging climate sensitivities of European forests
between observed radial tree growth and vegetation models.
Ecosystems, 21, 410-425.

Montane F, Fox A, Arellano A, MacBean N, Alexander MR, Dye A,
Bishop D, Trouet V, Babst F, et al. (2017) Evaluating the effect of
alternative carbon allocation schemes in a land surface model
(CLM4.5) on carbon fluxes, pools and turnover in temperate forests.
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3499-3517.

Pappas C, Mahecha MD, Frank DC, Babst F, Koutsoyiannis D (2017)
Ecosystem functioning is enveloped by hydrometeorological
variability. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1, 1263-1270.

Belmecheri S, Babst F, Hudson AR, Betancourt JL, Trouet V (2017)
Northern Hemisphere Jet position indices as diagnostic tools for
climate and ecosystem dynamics. Earth Interactions, 21, 1-8.

Evans MEK, Falk DA, Arizpe A, Swetnam TL, Babst F, Holsinger KE
(2017) Fusing tree-ring and forest inventory data to infer influences
on tree growth. Ecosphere, 8, 1-20.

Szejner P, Wright WE, Babst F, Belmecheri S, Trouet V, Leavitt S,
Ehleringer J, Monson R (2016) Latitudinal gradients in tree-ring
stable carbon and oxygen isotopes reveal differential climate
influences of the North American Monsoon System. JGR
Biogeosciences, 121, 1978-1991.

Charney N, Babst F, Poulter B, Record S, Trouet V, et al. (2016)
Observed forest sensitivity to climate implies large changes in 21 st
century North American forest growth. Ecology Letters, 19, 1119-

Babst F, Wright WE, Szejner P, Wells LP, Belmecheri S, Monson R
(2016) Blue intensity parameters derived from Ponderosa pine tree
rings characterize intra-annual density fluctuations and reveal
seasonally divergent water limitations. Trees – Structure and
Function, 30, 1403-1415.

Belmecheri S, Babst F, Wahl ER, Stahle DW, Trouet T (2016) Multi-
century evaluation of Sierra Nevada snowpack. Nature Climate
Change, 6, 2-3.

Creasman PP, Dean J, Babst F (2015) Eine Einführung in die
Dendrochronologie für Ägyptologen. Göttinger Miszellen, 245, 49-

Rammig A, Wiedermann M, Donges JF, Babst F, von Bloh W, Frank
DC, Thonicke K, Mahecha MD (2015) Coincidences of climate
extremes and anomalous vegetation responses: comparing tree ring
patterns to simulated productivity. Biogeosciences, 12, 373-385.

Wu X, Babst F, Ciais P, Frank, DC, Reichstein M, Wattenbach M, et
al. (2014) Climate-mediated spatiotemporal variability in the
terrestrial productivity across Europe. Biogeosciences, 11, 3057-3068.

Nehrbass-Ahles C, Babst F, Klesse S, Noetzli M, Bouriaud O, et al.
(2014) The influence of sampling design on tree-ring based
quantification of forest growth. Global Change Biology, 20, 2867-

Babst F, Bouriaud O, Alexander R, Trouet V, Frank DC (2014)
Toward consistent measurements of carbon accumulation: A multi-
site assessment of biomass and basal area increment across Europe.
Dendrochronologia, 32, 153-161.

Babst F, Bouriaud O, Papale D, Gielen B, Janssens IA, Nikinmaa E, et
al. (2014) Above-ground woody carbon sequestration measured from
tree rings is coherent with net ecosystem productivity at five eddy-
covariance sites. New Phytologist, 201, 1289-1303.

Babst F, Poulter B, Trouet V, Tan K, Neuwirth B, Wilson R, et al.
(2013) Site- and species-specific responses of forest growth to climate
across the European continent. Global Ecol Biogeo, 22, 706-717.

Babst F, Carrer M, Poulter B, Urbinati M, Neuwirth B, Frank DC
(2012) 500 years of regional forest growth variability and links to
climatic extreme events in Europe. Envir. Res. Letters, 7, 1-11.

Wilmking M, Hallinger M, van Bogaert R, Kyncl T, Babst F, de Luis
M, et al. (2012) Continuously missing outer rings in woody plants at
their distributional margins. Dendrochronologia, 30, 213-222.

Babst F, Esper J, Parlow E (2010) Landsat TM/ETM plus and tree-ring
based assessment of spatiotemporal patterns of the autumnal moth
(Epirrita autumnata) in northernmost Fennoscandia. Remote Sensing
of Environment, 114, 637-646.

Babst F, Müller RW, Hollmann R (2008) Verification of NCEP
reanalysis shortwave radiation with mesoscale remote sensing data.
IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 5, 34-37.

Department of Ecology, W. Szafera Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków
Tel./fax: +48 (12) 424-17-70

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