EDF 2022 in Heiligenstadt, Franconian Switzerland, Germany

The 32nd European Dendroecological Fieldweek (EDF) took place in Heiligenstadt in scenic Franconian Switzerland, Germany, from May 29 to June 6, 2022, directly after the TRACE Conference in Erlangen. The event was organized and conducted by K. Treydte & E. Martínez-Sancho (WSL), A. Crivellaro & A. Piermattei (Uni Cambridge), R. Kaczka (Uni Prague), A. Žmegač (TU Munich), and the local team A. Bräuning, M. Häusser & A. Debel (FAU Erlangen).
A diverse group of 29 tree-ring enthusiasts, one baby and two dogs, from 4 continents, >10 countries and various career stages came together for a week to learn about the wide range of tree-ring research, perform case studies, exchange knowledge and personal expertise, and make new friends. A well-equipped field lab allowed exploring various methods of wood surface preparation, high-resolution scanning including the custom-made WSL Skippy device, tree-ring width and blue intensity measurements, and wood anatomical applications. Work on mini research projects in small groups alternated with extended lectures on a wide variety of methodological and scientific topics, and complemented with short presentations of the participants’ research projects. Group projects included 1) Young spruce in a warming climate, 2) Short- and long-term response of beech to drought, 3) Detection of gypsy moth outbreaks on oak, and 4) Wood anatomical characteristics of various plant species. Delicious local food perfectly adapted to any preferences, provided by a local catering service helped keeping energy levels high. During a one-day excursion we visited the prominent medieval castle Greifenstein, hiked through the impressive collapsed karst cave Riesenburg and enjoyed a roof tour at the Dominikaner Church, the largest medieval roof structure in Bamberg, guided by Thomas Eißing, a dendro-archeologist at Uni Bamberg. The week ended with an exciting afternoon dedicated to final group presentations, followed by self-made original Italian pizza à la Crivellaro.

We thank ATR, Ecomatik, Regent Instruments, Rinntech, Sercon and Walesch Electronic for having supported the 32nd EDF.

EDF 2022

In memory of Dieter Eckstein

On November 10th 2021, Prof. Dieter Eckstein from Hamburg University, Germany, passed away at the age 82. We are very sad to lose a unique researcher in our working field, and a dear friend to many ATR members.
In our next TRACE 2022 meeting we will reflect on Dieter’s scientific legacy and the important role he played in the establishment of European dendrochronology and in the life of many researchers in our community. In doing so we hope to introduce a great researcher to our younger ATR members.

Dieter Eckstein

New tree-ring books!

Recently, two tree-ring related books were published. The beauty of plant anatomy is highlighted in the book “Design over 400 million years. A journey into the extraordinary micro-anatomy of plants” by Fritz H. and Elisabeth Schweingruber (order the book here). Valerie Trouet published a broad-audience book about dendrochronology, climate history, and human history entitled “Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings” (order the book here).

Virtual membership meeting

Zoom virtual meeting
Virtual membership meeting

Numerous prizes awarded

During the 2020 virtual membership meeting of ATR, four prizes were awarded. For a video on “Supplying wood for timber-framed houses in Limoges, France” Roberta D’Andrea won the Sercon best video abstract award (watch the video here). The prize for the best M.Sc. thesis was awarded to Duncan Mifsud, who wrote his thesis on “NOx pollution from motor vehicles in Malta as recorded by nitrogen isotope trends in tree rings, foliage, and soils”. In the category of the best Ph.D. thesis, no less than two theses were honoured. Jessie Pearl won the ATR best Ph.D. thesis award for her work on “Reconstructing Late Holocene Climate and Coastal Evolution for the Northeastern United States” whereas Linar Akhmetzyanov won the ‘Fritz H. Schweingruber award’, which was awarded in memory of Fritz Schweingruber, for his thesis entitled “New tools for timber provenancing”.

prize winners 2020
Awardees 2020

New sponsor: Sercon!

Early 2020, a multi-year sponsorship agreement was signed with Sercon. The support of this leading company in isotope research will have a significant effect on the ability of ATR to conduct its work, for which we are grateful. The following 3-minute video presents recent advances of Sercon in Laser Ablation IRMS:

TRACE 2020 postponed

In consultation with the local organisers in Lund, Sweden, the ATR board have taken the decision to postpone the TRACE 2020 meeting to 2021 because of Corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak across Europe. We are working closely with the Swedish team to explore alternatives and we will communicate this within the coming weeks.

The local organisers will contact all people who have registered to provide information on refund the registration costs.

On behalf of the ATR board – please stay healthy!

In memory of Fritz Schweingruber

It is with great sadness, that we inform you that Prof. Fritz Hans Schweingruber, one of the founders and honorary president of the Association of Tree-ring Research (ATR) since April 2002, passed away on January 7th, 2020 in Birmensdorf, Switzerland, his family were with him.

Fritz was a pioneer and a worldwide outstanding tree-ring researcher and wood anatomist, as well as an enthusiastic teacher and supervisor. With his curiosity and dedication, Fritz inspired many generations of dendrochronologists and wood anatomists, but also radiated enthusiasm for research far beyond his field of expertise.

We all will miss his kind and genuine spirit.

Fritz Schweingruber

TRACE2020 and EuroDendro 2020 websites online!

The 2020 annual meeting of the Association for Tree-Ring Research, TRACE2020, will take place from May 12-15 in Lund (Sweden). Please check the website trace2020.com for more information.

Information on the EuroDendro 2020 conference, which will be held from 31 August – 4 September 2020 in Riga (Latvia), can be found here.

TRACE 2019: a great success!

With 205 participants from 33 countries we enjoyed a packed and inspiring program with 7 thought provoking keynotes, 67 short and powerful oral presentations, and 120 high-quality posters, some accompanied by original video abstracts. The controversial talk by Martin Wilmking on the Uniformitarian Principle in Dendrochronology challenged concepts of stationarity in data and served to provoke discussion within a divided audience – the last words yet to be spoken on this theme!

Participants TRACE 2019

For studies on Katmai pale rings and on an extension of the World’s longest tree-ring chronology into the younger Dryas, Patrycja Barnás and Frederic Reining won the best student poster and oral presentation prize. In addition, prizes for the best M.Sc. and Ph.D. thesis written within the field of tree-ring science were granted by ATR. For her dendroecological study comparing growth respones of Picea abies L. Karst and Pinus mugo ssp. mugo at a treeline in Bavaria, Corinna Herrmann received the best M.Sc. thesis award; Jernej Jevšenak won the best Ph.D. thesis for his thesis entitled: “Nonlinear modeling of the relationship between xylem tree-rings and the environment”. Congratulations to all prize winners!

TRACE 2019 special issue in Dendrochronologia

Dendrochonologia will again host a special issue with full paper contributions from our 2019 TRACE meeting, which was held in San Leucio, Italy. The deadline for submission is October 15, 2019.

Find more details about TRACE special issues here.

In memory of Hal Frits

Last week, one of the most influential tree-ring researchers of recent times, Prof. Hal Fritts died at the age of 90. Prof. Fritts inspired several generations of dendrochronologists worldwide and he was a driving force in the connection of tree-ring scientists from around the world. Hal worked across dendrochronology, but with specific interests in the development and dissemination of statistical approaches to dendroclimatology. Dedicated to colleagues and students of tree-ring research throughout the world “who share the excitement and challenges of this new scientific field” his book Tree Rings and Climate (1976) remains a core text and represents an enduring legacy almost half a century after it was first published. Tree-Ring Research will always be connected to the name HAL FRITTS.

ATR Board, 18. January 2019

Tree Rings and Climate

Registration for TRACE 2019 is open now!

The TRACE2019 conference will take place in San Leucio – Caserta (Italy) from 7-10 May 2019. Registration for the annual meeting of the Association for Tree-Ring Research is now open. Register via trace2019.com!

The extended registration deadline is February 15, 2019.

TRACE 2018 special issue in Dendrochronologia

Dendrochonologia will host a special issue with full paper contributions from TRACE 2018 in Greifswald, Germany. The deadline for submission will be August 22, 2018. Manuscripts are to be submitted via the online submission system of the journal, and will be subject to the same review and editorial scrutiny as standard papers.

For more information, see here.

World Dendro 2018 fieldwork and conference – a student experience

From June 2-15, the 2018 World Dendro Fieldweek and the 10th World Dendro Conference took place in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.
Carla Leite, one of the participants that received financial support from ATR, tells about her experience here.

ATR awards – TRACE 2018

Two students were honoured at TRACE 2018, the annual meeting of the Association for Tree-Ring Research (ATR) held this year in Greifswald, Germany. Jaqueline Lekscha (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam Germany – pictured right) received the award for best student poster for her work on non-linearity in tree-ring parameters and implications for reconstructing the climate of the past. Viorica Nagavciuc, (Department of Forestry Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania – pictured left) received the award for the best student presentation for her talk on the Influence of decayed wood on tree ring stable isotope ratios. Congratulations to both our winners, both of whom received a certificate and increment borer in recognition of their achievement. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the students who presented such exciting posters or gave such interesting talks. We are very grateful to our panel of judges who worked so hard throughout the meeting. – The ATR Board.

ATR award winners 2018
ATR award winners 2018

New ATR board

186 ATR members participated in the ATR elections and the new board was presented at the ATR membership meeting at the TRACE 2018. The new board members have already met and cannot wait to get started realising some exciting ideas.

ATR board 2018-2020 (photo by Rohan Shetti)

A brief introduction – ATR board 2018-2020
Dr. Ute Sass-Klaassen, president (Associate professor for wood biology and forest ecology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands) …is eager to continue working with a motivated team to strengthen collaboration between tree-ring researchers but also with colleagues of other disciplines. Motto: The ATR should be a platform for learning, discussion and social interaction!
Prof. Dr. Neil Loader, vice president (Adran Ddaearyddiaeth, Prifysgol Abertawe, D.U. / Department of Geography, Swansea University, U.K.) …will work to support Ute and the Board, and encourage the participation of all our members from across tree-ring research to advance our discipline.
Dr. Ernst van der Maaten, treasurer (Senior scientist and lecturer at TU Dresden, Germany) …is eager to manage the financial affairs of the Association, while ensuring that more financial leeway will be created for supporting and initiating “must attend” ATR activities in future!
Dr. Giovanna Battipaglia, secretary (Senior scientist and assistant professor at University of Campania, Italy) …aims to take care of the Association affairs, to collect inputs from the scientific and public community to solve potential problems and to catch new opportunities for the further development of the ATR!
Dr. Kerstin Treydte, extended board member (Senior researcher at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf/Switzerland) …is highly motivated to support the great ATR board wherever needed and to open up new opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange between tree-ring people from different countries and different career stages, e.g. at the European Dendroecological Fieldweek and EGU. Motto: „Bring tree-ring research to the people“
Dr. Ryszard Kaczka, extended board member (Researcher at University of Silesia) …aims at including new initiatives to be incorporated in ATR activities, increasing the collaboration between tree-ring scientists and students from East Europe.
Dr. Allan Buras, Junior Researcher Consultant (Research associate, Technical University of Munich, Germany) …aims at fostering knowledge transfer and networking between the scientific offspring and more experienced tree-ring researchers. Motto: ATR is more than the sum of its members (free after Aristoteles).

TRACE 2018 – a splendid event!

More than 160 participants, from over 30 countries – thematic sessions where mainly young and early-career scientists presented exiting research in talks & posters – an invited provocative talk by Rob Wilson requiring us to consider the proposal that “All climate reconstructions are wrong!” – 4 fully-booked workshops given by experts on blue intensity, dendrometer & sapflow measurements, advanced statistics and poster making – a public talk on climate-change effects on forests by Harald Bugmann – a competition to find the champion in tree-ring measuring against the clock (Anja Žmegača from Croatia) – the most inclusive election by ATR members to date and presentation of the new ATR board during ATR membership meeting (more to follow) – excursions to research sites and unique landscapes – the first carbon-neutral ATR event due to a tree-planting campaign, and much, much more…

All activities were perfectly prepared and smoothly managed by the local organising team around Martin Wilmking from Greifswald University! He and his team succeeded to create the perfect environment to stimulate interaction catalysed by excellent food & facilities. Thanks for having us over!

TRACE 2018 participants (photo by Rohan Shetti)

TRACE Volumes 2018 and beyond

The board of the Association for Tree-Ring Research (ATR) has recently discussed the future of the proceedings of the annual TRACE conferences. To keep on publishing the common TRACE-Volumes as an independent series is no longer attractive especially for the young participants of the conference who are under increasing pressure to publish in international ISI listed/peer-reviewed publications.

Given the high quality of oral and poster presentations in recent years from the Association membership including Master- and PhD-students at TRACE conferences, representatives of the ATR-board and the Editor-in-Chief of Dendrochronologia, Paolo Cherubini, have agreed to transfer the TRACE-Volumes to appear annually as special issue of Dendrochronologia.
The new TRACE-Volumes, starting with the proceedings of the TRACE 2018 conference in Greifswald, Germany (23 – 28 April 2018), will be published as full papers (detailed instructions will follow) in the special issues “TRACE 20XX” in Dendrochronologia and will be subject to the same review and editorial scrutiny as standard papers in the Journal.

The members of the ATR-board are expressing their gratitude to Paolo Cherubini for his willingness to support the proceedings of our conference in this way which we hope will not only strengthen the training and visibility of ATR science for early- and established researchers, but strengthen and raise the global profile of Dendrochronologia across the field of tree-ring research.

Workshop ‘Individualistic Growth Response’-network

From 6th to 9th of February 2018, 19 members of the Individualistic Growth Response network (IGR) from 11 countries participated in a workshop held at Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Netherlands. The aim of the workshop was to obtain a first insight into the IGR data-network and outline further research avenues. It was organized by WUR staff members Allan Buras (initiator of IGR) and Ute Sass-Klaassen, and financially supported by the Association for Tree-Ring Research (ATR).

ATR IGR workshop Feb 2018
Workshop participants at Wageningen University

2018: a year full of activities!

In 2018, numerous ATR-supported/-related events will take place, including:

  • a workshop on the Quantification of growth divergence, Wageningen University (the Netherlands), February 7-9.
  • tree-ring related sessions at EGU 2018, like BG2.23  and CL1.07, Vienna (Austria), April 8-13.
  • the TRACE 2018 conference, Greifswald (Germany), April 24-27. Register online at:  www.trace2018.com!
  • the international conference Wood formation and tree adaptation to climate, Orléans (France), May 23-28. Find more info here.
  • the WorldDendro conference, Bhutan, June 2-22. For ATR members, five grants of 300 Euro are offered to participate in the conference; find information on how to apply here.
  • 5th International Training School in Quantitative Wood Anatomy using ROXAS, San Vito (Italy), June 25-29. Register here.
  • a summer school on Tree rings, climate, natural resources, and human Interaction, Cheryomushki – Khakassia (Russia), August 12-24. Register at: siberianschool2018.sfu-kras.ru/index.html.
  • the 29th dendroecological field week, Lonjsko Polje (Croatia), September 9-16. More info here.

…and many more!

28th European Dendroecological Fieldweek ﹣ a student experience

From September 10-17, 2017, the 28th European Dendroecological Fieldweek took place in the Vosges Mountains, France.
Edina Merdan, one of the participants that received financial support from ATR, tells about her experience here.

ATR-supported summer school ﹣ a student experience

From September 25-29, 2017, a highly succesfull international summer school “From xylogenesis to dendroecology: dendrochronology, quantitative wood anatomy and stable isotopes” took place in Naples, Italy.
Anna Dinella, a Ph.D.-student that received financial support from ATR, tells about her experience here.

International Summer School 2017, Naples, Italy
International summer school “From xylogenesis to dendroecology: dendrochronology, quantitative wood anatomy and stable isotopes”

New website of ATR

The Association for Tree-Ring Research has a new website, which was designed to enhance the user experience and to support mobile viewing.