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I focus on soils in their landscape context, and on landscapes in their soil context. Within this focus, I try to answer questions about the speeds and mechanisms of processes such as erosion, landsliding and soil formation. The answers to these questions are important to determine what constitutes a sustainable use of landscapes, how we can protect landscapes and their functionality and which changes we can expect as a result of climate change.
I do this kind of research often in mountain ranges: places where changes are rapid, and where soil-landscape development can often be observed from a known starting point. I use a wide range of methods: field observations of soils, laboratory measurements, among others of ages of deposits, and model studies where I test our understanding of processes.
I particularly invest in the development of combined computer models of soil and landscape evolution, where soils and landscapes evolve in interaction. This kind of models has not yet reached maturity, and currently raises as many questions as it answers. In the coming ten years new observations will be necessary to answer these questions and feed these models.