Current and past MSc theses

Below, an overview is provided of the current MSc theses and all the MSc thesis reports produced by students (below) who did an MSc thesis at the Environmental Systems Analysis Group in the past years. Please contact the secretary if you would like to see them. Contact André van Amstel for more information.

Current MSc theses

Lieke Dotinga

Title: Participatory monitoring of Koehoal and Marconi

Salt marshes in the Dutch Wadden Sea are reduced in the past decades due to land reclamation. This type of habitat has high nature values, therefore the increase in surface area of salt marshes is important for migratory birds and other organisms. The tides and sedimentation are natural processes which make these habitats possible. Harbours bordering the Wadden Sea, like e.g. Harlingen and Delfzijl, have to be dredged regularly to keep its depth for shipping. To gain more insight in the development of salt marshes in combination with harbour maintenance, the concept of Building with Nature is applied in several projects along the Dutch Wadden coast. Two of these projects are: Koehoal and Marconi. Dredged sediments from harbours will be used for the development of a natural and artificial salt marshes, making use of the natural currents that transport the clay and silt to the actual sites. In these projects several stakeholders are involved. During this thesis work stakeholder demands will be investigated. Through interviews the objectives and information needs of stakeholders will be analysed. This analysis will be made in the context of a participatory monitoring system.

Rob van der Graaf

Title: WaterSupply and Climate Change within the ‘HollandseDelta

During the dry summer periods, a certain fresh watersupply is needed to maintain the desired water levels in the water system of waterschap Hollandse Delta (WSHD).Therefore, WSHD lets in water from the main water system. This input of wateris also used to provide the agricultural sector with enough fresh water forirrigation and to reduce the salinity of the water, caused by relatively saltgroundwater flows. Whenever needed, it is possible to ‘flush’ (parts of) thewater system to get rid of high chloride concentrations and/or exceedingnutrient levels.

The inlet points, where fresh water enters the system(plus the water flows behind it), often have a dimension of 0,3 l/s/ha. The expectationis that this water supply capacity will not be sufficient to provide the managementarea of WSHD with enough fresh water in the future under climate change.

To anticipate the changing climate, WSHD wants to knowhow big the water supply capacity should be in 2050. The expectation is thatthere will be more (and longer) dry periods in the summers and that evaporationwill increase due to climate change (Klein Tank et al., 2014). The mentioned changes already resulted intodifferent problems within the agricultural sector and the water management overthe last years.

Besides the changing climate, changes can be noticedin the types of crops being selected in the agricultural sector (Klijn et al., 2012). This change seems to beresulting in crop types that need more fresh water.

In my master thesis, I aim to generate knowledge aboutthe water supply capacity that is needed to provide enough fresh water to the Hollandse Delta in 2050.

Thibault Costaz

Title: Influences of foliar nutrient status on forest carbon sequestration in response to nitrogen and phosphorus additions.

Atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) increased since the pre-industrial era due to anthropogenic emissions. Among them, CO2 contributes the most in increasing the radiative forcing. Forests are the main carbon sink within terrestrial ecosystems and therefore have a large influence on the future increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate change.

Carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems occurs at both soil and tree levels. Tree’s woody parts (stem, branches and coarse roots) have a long turn over time. Thus the growth of these parts determines C sequestration in forest trees.

Forest productivity and C sequestration in tree woody biomass are affected by various drivers. Nutrient availability is a major constraint to forest productivity, with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) being the most limiting nutrients. Assessing the response of forest growth to changes in nutrient availability is essential to improve (model) predictions of large-scale impacts of anthropogenic activities on forest growth and C sequestration.

Fertilization experiments provide a very precise approach for evaluating forest growth responses to nutrient addition. However, these experiments are difficult to apply on large spatial scales. An additional indicator it is therefore required to allow, on large spatial scales, measurements of forest responses to changes in nutrient availability. Foliar nutrient status can be a valuable indicator for predicting forest growth responses to changes in nutrient availability on a global scale as soil nutrient availability is correlated to both forest growth and foliar nutrient status.

This thesis will focus on N and P additions experiments on forest plots assessing the C to N and C to P responses of tree woody biomass against foliar nutrient status (N and P concentration and ratios). This will be done by adding data on foliar nutrient status to a database on forest fertilization experiments set up within the PhD framework of Lena Schulte-Uebbing, and a literature review on foliar nutrient status of forest, in order to provide data for a statistical analysis. The assessment will cover the three major forest types (boreal, temperate and tropical). Factors such as inter-specific differences and climatic regions affecting foliar nutrient status will be considered in the analysis. The central aim of this thesis is to assess whether foliar nutrient status is a relevant indicator to assess growth nutrient limitation of forest on a global scale level. This will provide a first step towards projecting the C response of forest ecosystems to nutrient availability.

Past MSc theses


  • Resti Salmayenti: Developing ecosystem accounts as basic information system for monitoring peatland ecosystem in Indonesia
  • Linda van Garderen: Seasonal nutrient export into the Japanese and Okhotsk seas
  • Catalina Rodriguez Castañeda: Ecosystem services and social benefits of different farming systems as perceived by farmers in the Alvelal Territory, Southern Spain
  • Kuddusbek Tashpulatov: Opportunities of adopting conservation agriculture in Tashkent and Sirdaryo provinces, Uzbekistan
  • Ira Wardani: Waterborne pathogen modelling and possible management scenario in Bandung, Indonesia: a case study of Citarum river
  • Freda Adiali: How changes in sanitation contribute to reducing human emissions of Rotavirus and Escherichia coli to Uganda’s surface waters
  • Daniel Okaali: How changes in sanitation contribute to reducing human emissions of Rotavirus and Escherichia coli to Uganda’s surface waters
  • Paula Duske: Effects of landscape restoration and climate change on water yield and crop pollination in the Segura river catchment, Spain, using InVEST
  • Mark Wildschut: An ex ante estimate of effects of landscape restoration on the monetary value of selected ecosystem services. An analysis of the Justdiggit project in Morocco
  • Jin Huang: Integrated cost-benefit analysis of restoring Yongding river corridor, Beijing, China
  • Junya Duan: Effects of urban green infrstructure on mitigating environmental risks: a case study in the Chinese Guangzhou city
  • Wouter van Hoof: Assessing the emission intensity’s policy adequacy in the transport sector for G20 countries
  • Mekdelawit Deribe: Tracking the developments in national climate-change mitigation legislations, strategies and targets worldwide
  • Madina Bekchanova: Mapping cultural ecosystem services in different landscapes of the Uzbek Ugam Chatkal National Nature Park
  • Alexander Jongens: Identifying and mapping cultural services in Berg and Dal by applying a participatory mapping tool
  • Nidhi Raina: Vulnerability of Southern Europe for Flood Risks & Water Sector: an assessment with the IAP model
  • Lex Jansen: A remote-sensing based assessment of ecosystem services for Palawan, the Philippines
  • Louise Houweling: Expanding the Cultivation of Jelutung Latex and Gemor Bark on Central Kalimantan Peatlands: A value chain and cost-benefit analysis
  • Janine de Ruiter: Smart transport in Amsterdam to reduce air pollutants
  • Pham Dang Manh Hong Luan: Salinity intrusion and adaptation solutions. Assessing the transformation from rice to shrimp as an approach to cope with salinity intrusion in BenTre province, Vietnam
  • Dennis de Raaij: Quantitative microbial risk assessment on Cryptosporidium concentrations in surface water used as drinking water
  • Ika Suratno: How ecosystem restoration affects local communities’ well-being in the Central Kalimantan Katingan and Kotawaringin Timur district in Indonesia
  • Ingeborg Swart: Predicting the production and release of pollen by Dutch birch trees
  • Benard Nsubuga: Developing Experimental Ecosystem Accounts to monitor Environmental Change and Supply Sustainable Resources. A case of the Ugandan Wakiso District
  • Felipe Bucci Ancapi: Ecosystem Services: an analysis of its ethical implications in conservation
  • Dito Sitepu: Paludiculture in Indonesian Tropical Peatlands to Prevent Subsidence and Peat Fires
  • Siatwiinda Siatwiinda: Assessing the impacts of changes in agricultural management and food consumption on carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus flows with an integrated model
  • Mi Yan: Life cycle assessment of fruit leather
  • Guzal Abduraupova: Improving microbiological drinking water quality in the city of Tashkent: a reconnaissance study
  • Yui Matsuo: Connecting renewable natural capital and economic development in eight sub-Saharan African countries through changes in the relative yield gap
  • Jessica Rietveld: Involving school children in determining temporal variation in greenness based on tree images
  • Amber van den Tillaart: (Swim) water quality modelling in the city of Amsterdam
  • Alemtshaye Ferede: Integrated assessment of ecosystem services, stakeholder dependence and incentives for sustainable management of the Chilmo forest, Ethiopia
  • Jessica van Bossum: Amsterdam's Food Flows: carbon footprint, key actors and climate policy

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