Tinner new PAGES co-chair

Willy TinnerPAGES welcomes Willy Tinner as the new co-chair of the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC).

Tinner is a Professor at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) and the Head of Paleoecology at the Institute of Plant Sciences at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

He is a leading ecologist and environmental scientist, specializing in terrestrial paleoecology, with a focus on fire history and past climate-change impacts on vegetation and land use. Recently he became interested in using paleo-validated dynamic models to anticipate future vegetation changes, predominantly in the Mediterranean and Alp regions, and now leads several projects focusing on charcoal/fire and pollen/vegetation, studying the long-term interactions among climate, the biosphere and society.

His first term with PAGES began on 1 January this year.

“I’m most excited to be with PAGES,” Tinner said. “It’s a very good occasion to work for an organization of people interested in applying paleo records to get insights into the future. It reflects my way of doing science. In the past five to 10 years, I have moved to looking at the past to solve the future. That’s my main motivation. To focus on the past for the benefit of the present and future is most exciting.”


Tinner has a long association with PAGES as a member of past working groups and co-editing a magazine on fire in 2010. His first experience with the SSC came at the last annual meeting in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in May 2016.

“My biggest challenge with PAGES will be learning about all the initiatives and how to keep them in the current, good state they’re in or how to improve them, especially in these difficult times,” Tinner said. “We have to think about how to keep the funding coming and putting our energies into the future. There is a really good balance within the SSC and the group is friendly. The atmosphere was very good in Cluj and I’m looking forward to starting.”

Tinner has co-authored more than 200 papers and chapters (topics include past vegetation, fire, climate, and human activity), serves on the editorial boards of three journals (Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology and Alpine and Mediterranean Quaternary), and organizes the annual International Moor Excursion.

He joins Sheri Fritz as co-chair, with his first term ending in 2019.