I am fascinated by the functioning of the natural environment, in particular by sediment dynamics in catchments. I am a soil scientist and geomorphologist by training.
I work on sustainable land use, resilient landscapes and landscape restoration through (innovative) soil and water conservation (SWC) measures and novel landscape design, optimizing the SWC measures within the landscape taking feedbacks between measures into account. I include the effects of climate change and hydroclimatic extremes.
In addition, I also work on the erosion-induced transport of contaminants (pesticides, plastics) within the soil and through the landscape.
I use the concept of hydrological and sediment connectivity, I am particularly interested in how connectivity changes over time and space and how changes in climate and land use affect connectivity, as well as how soil and water conservation measures can dis-connect the sediment and hydrological pathways in the landscape. I quantify connectivity using various connectivity indices.
I use a range of methods, including field investigation, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling. I am experienced in the event-based soil erosion model OpenLISEM, the larger-scale PESERA model, as well as in landscape evolution model LAPSUS.
I have extensive research experience in dryland areas such as the Mediterranean, but also in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and China. Furthermore, I enjoy collaborating with researchers worldwide, as well as discussing my research at international meetings and conferences.
Keywords: sediment dynamics, soil erosion, modelling, connectivity, sustainable landscape design, landscapes
I am leading the Soil Science Cluster Research Line ' Soil - water Interactions' together with Annegret Larsen.
I am mainly involved in courses of the programme ‘International Land and Water Management’ (BIL and MIL), while I have also assisted in teaching for the programme ‘Earth and Environment’ (BBW and MEE) in the past. Both Master programmes are rates as ‘top-quality programmes’. The master ‘International land and water management’ ranked first on this list. My teaching qualities are highly appreciated (overall score 4.4 out of 5 from student evaluations).
Courses I am involved in:
- SLM10806: Design in Land & water management 1. 1st year BSc course
- SLM10306: Land degradation and remediation. Introductory 2nd years BSc course.
- SLM31806: Erosion processes and modelling. In-depth 1st years MSc course
- SLM31306: Fundamentals of land management (as case study expert). 1st years MSc course
- WRM-32306: Research Approaches to Land and Water Management (as coach/supervisor/expert). 1st years MSc course
I am coordinator of the minor ‘International Land and Water Management’
Finally, I supervise several BSc and MSc students with their theses and internship, mostly to universities, institutes or projects abroad. Several MSc thesis projects have already resulted in publications in international peer-reviewed journals.