Max Torbenson

Dr. rer. nat.

Research Associate
Institute of Geography


Consultation hours: Upon agreement only

Biographical data

  • Since 07/2021: Research Associate, Department of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.
  • 2019-2021: Postdoctoral scholar, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.
  • 2014-2019: Ph.D., Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA.
  • 2011-2014: M.A., Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
  • 2008-2011: B.Sc., School of Geography, Archaeology, and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland.



[35] Wieland, A., P. Römer, M. Torbenson, M. Greule, O. Urban, J. Čáslavský, N. Pernicová, M. Trnka, U. Büntgen, J. Esper, and F. Keppler (in press) Tree-ring stable isotopes in cellulose and lignin methoxy groups reveal different age-related behaviour. Quaternary International.

[34] Sung, K., M.C.A. Torbenson, and J.H. Stagge (in press) Assessing decadal to centennial scale nonstationary variability in meteorological drought trends. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.

[33] Büntgen, U. et al. (2024) Recent summer warming over the western Mediterranean region is unprecedented since medieval times. Global and Planetary Change 232.


[32] Torbenson, M.C.A., D.W. Stahle, I.M. Howard, J.M. Blackstock, M.K. Cleaveland, and J.H. Stagge (2023) Pre‐instrumental perspectives on Arkansas River cross‐watershed flow variability. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 59.

[31] Torbenson, M.C.A., U. Büntgen, P. Römer, O. Urban, M. Trnka, A. Ač, F. Reinig, M. Rybníček, T. Kolář, T. Arosio, E. Martinez del Castillo, E. Koňasová, N. Pernicová, J. Čáslavský, and J. Esper (2023). Assessing earlywood-latewood proportion influence on tree-ring stable isotopes. Dendrochronologia 82.

[30] Torbenson, M.C.A., U. Büntgen, J. Esper, O. Urban, J. Balek, F. Reinig, P.J. Krusic, E. Martinez del Castillo, R. Brázdil, D. Semerádová, P. Štěpánek, N. Pernicová, T. Kolář, M. Rybníček, E. Koňasová, J. Arbelaez, and M. Trnka (2023) Central European agroclimate over the past 2,000 years. Journal of Climate 36.

[29] Torbenson, M.C.A., R. Brázdil, J.H. Stagge, J. Esper, U. Büntgen, A. Vizina, M. Hanel, O. Rakovec, M. Fischer, O. Urban, V. Treml, F. Reinig, E. Martinez del Castillo, M. Rybníček, T. Kolář, and M. Trnka (2023) Increasing volatility of reconstructed Morava River warm-season flow, Czech Republic. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 50.

[28] Stagge, J.H., M.C.A. Torbenson, K. Sung, B. Phillips, and D. Kingston (2023). Orographic amplification of El Niño teleconnections on winter precipitation across the Intermountain West of North America. Nature Water 1.

[27] Howard, I.M., D.W. Stahle, M.C.A. Torbenson, D. Granato-Souza, and C. Poulsen (2023) The flood risk and water supply implications of seasonal precipitation reconstructions in northern California. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 21.

[26] Howard, I.M., D.W. Stahle, M.D. Dettinger, C. Poulsen, F.M. Ralph, M.C.A. Torbenson, and A. Gershunov (2023) A 440-Year Reconstruction of Heavy Precipitation in California from Blue Oak Tree Rings. Journal of Hydrometeorology 24.

[25] Harr, L., T. Sinsel, H. Simon, M.C.A. Torbenson, and J. Esper (2023). Mobile measurements for distribution and attribution of particulate matter in urban environments. Atmospheric Environment 315.

[24] Büntgen, U., C. Oppenheimer, P. Li, M. Frachetti, J. Esper, M.C.A. Torbenson, and P.J. Krusic (2023). Drought as a trigger of the rapid rise of professional skateboarding in 1970s Southern California. PNAS Nexus 2.


[23] Zuidema, P. et al. (2022) Tropical tree growth driven by dry-season climate variability. Nature Geoscience 15.

[22] Torbenson, M.C.A.,  L. Klippel, C. Hartl, F. Reinig, K. Treydte, U. Büntgen, M. Trnka, B. Schöne, L. Schneider, and J. Esper (2022) Investigation of age trends in tree-ring stable carbon and oxygen isotopes from northern Fennoscandia over the past millennium. Quaternary International 631.

[21] Büntgen, U., et al. (2022) Global wood anatomical perspective on the onset of the Late Antique Little Ice Age (LALIA) in the mid-6th century CE. Science Bulletin 67.

[20] Büntgen, U., A. Piermattei, A. Crivellaro, F. Reinig, P.J. Krusic, M. Trnka, M. Torbenson, and J. Esper (2022) Common Era treeline fluctuations and their implications for climate reconstructions. Global and Planetary Change 219.


[19] Torbenson, M.C.A., and J.H. Stagge (2021) Informing seasonal proxy-based flow reconstructions using baseflow separation: An example from the Potomac River, United States. Water Resources Research 57.

[18] Torbenson, M.C.A., D.W. Stahle, I.M. Howard, D.J. Burnette, D. Griffin, J. Villanueva-Díaz, and B.I. Cook (2021) Drought relief and reversal over North America from 1500 to 2016. Earth Interactions 25.

[17] Howard, I.M, D.W. Stahle, M.C.A. Torbenson, and D. Griffin (2021) The summer precipitation response of latewood ring chronologies in the southwestern United States. International Journal of Climatology 41.


[16] Stahle, D.W., M.C.A. Torbenson, I. Howard, D. Granato-Souza, A.C. Barbosa, S. Feng, J. Schöngart, L. Lopez, R. Villalba, and J. Villanueva (2020) Pan American interactions of Amazon precipitation, streamflow, and tree growth extremes. Environmental Research Letters 15.

[15] Stahle, D.W., E.R. Cook, D.J. Burnette, M.C.A. Torbenson, I.M. Howard, D. Griffin, J. Villanueva-Díaz, B.I. Cook, P.A. Williams, E. Watson, D.J. Sauchyn, N. Pederson, C.A. Woodhouse, G.T. Pederson, D. Meko, B. Coulthard, and C.J. Crawford (2020) Dynamics, variability, and change in seasonal precipitation reconstructions for North America. Journal of Climate 33.

[14] Granato-Souza, D., D.W. Stahle, M.C.A. Torbenson, I.M. Howard, A.C. Barbosa, S. Feng, K. Fernandes, and J. Schöngart (2020) Multi-decadal changes in wet season precipitation totals over the eastern Amazon. Geophysical Research Letters 47.


[13] Torbenson, M.C.A., D.W. Stahle, I.M. Howard, D.J. Burnette, J. Villanueva-Díaz, E.R. Cook, and D. Griffin (2019) Multidecadal modulation of the ENSO teleconnection to precipitation and tree growth over subtropical North America. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 34.

[12] Stahle, D.W., J.R. Edmondson, I.M. Howard, C.R. Robbins, D. Griffin, A. Carl, C. Hall, D.K. Stahle, and M.C.A. Torbenson (2019) Longevity, climate sensitivity, and conservation status of wetland trees at Black River, North Carolina. Environmental Research Communications 1.

[11] Granato-Souza, D., D.W. Stahle, A.C. Barbosa, S. Feng, M.C.A. Torbenson, G. de Assis Pereira, J. Schöngert, J.P. Barbosa, and D. Griffin (2019) Tree rings and climate in the equatorial Amazon. Climate Dynamics 52.

[10] Barbosa, A.C., D.W. Stahle, D.J. Burnette, M.C.A. Torbenson, E.R. Cook, M.J. Bunkers, G. Garfin, and R. Villalba (2019) Landscape and meteorological factors associated with frost rings in bristlecone pine at Mt. Goliath, Colorado. Tree-Ring Research 75.


[9] Torbenson, M.C.A., and D.W. Stahle (2018) The relationship between cool and warm season moisture over the central United States, 1685-2015. Journal of Climate 31.

[8] de Assis Pereira, G., A.C. Barbosa, M.C.A. Torbenson, D.W. Stahle, D. Granato-Souza, R.M. dos Santos, and J.P. Delfino Barbosa (2018) The climate response of Cedrela fissilis annual ring width in the Rio Sao Francisco basin, Brazil. Tree-Ring Research 74.


[7] Lopez, L., D.W. Stahle, R. Villalba, M.C.A. Torbenson, S. Feng, and E.R. Cook (2017) Tree-ring reconstructed rainfall over the southern Amazon Basin. Geophysical Research Letters 44.


[6] Torbenson, M.C.A., D.W. Stahle, J. Villanueva-Díaz, E.R. Cook, and D. Griffin (2016) The relationship between earlywood and latewood tree-growth across North America. Tree-Ring Research 72.

[5] Stahle, D.W., E.R. Cook, D.J. Burnette, J. Villanueva-Díaz, J. Cerano, J.N. Burns, D. Griffin, B.I. Cook, R. Acuna, M.C.A. Torbenson, P. Sjezner, and I.M. Howard (2016) The Mexican Drought Atlas: Tree-ring reconstructions of the soil moisture balance during the late pre-Hispanic, colonial, and modern eras. Quaternary Science Reviews 149.


[4] Torbenson, M.C.A., G. Plunkett, D.M. Brown, J.R. Pilcher, and H-H. Leuschner (2015) Asynchrony in key Holocene chronologies: evidence from Irish bog pines. Geology 43.

[3] Torbenson, M.C.A. (2015) Section 4.2.8: Dendrochronology. In: Clarke, L.E. & Nield, J.M. (Eds.) Geomorphological Techniques. British Society for Geomorphology; London, England, U.K.


[2] St. George, S., and M.C.A. Torbenson (2014) New ages for shoreline stumps along Lake Winnipeg, Canada and their implications for paleo-lake level estimates. The Holocene 24.


[1] St. George, S., T.R. Ault, and M.C.A. Torbenson (2013) The rarity of absent growth rings in Northern Hemisphere forests outside the American Southwest. Geophysical Research Letters 40.