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


  • Maria Apaya: Developing ecosystem account for Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor, Philippines
  • Katerina Tripidaki: Quantifying ecosystem services for the tourism sector in the region of Peloponnese, Greece
  • Shahanaj Rahman: Air qualities and health effects of kilns' emissions on brick field workers in northern Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • François Laurent: Benefits and socio-economic values of cultural ecosystem services (CES) of different land-use systems in the AlVelAl territory
  • Ilan Havinga: Ecosystem accounting and machine learning to assess the impacts of payments for ecosystem services
  • Ojas Sarup: The impact of roads on biodiversity in India
  • Merel van der Most: Modelling the fate and transport of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes in agriculture
  • Floor van Elsacker: Modelling the impacts of proposed fertilizer legislation on dietary cadmium exposure in EU27
  • Valentina Bedoya Serrati: Benefits and values of provisioning and habitat services of different land use types in the AlVelAl drylands, south-east Spain
  • Hijjaz Sutriadi: Pollution and health issues from traffic in Bandung, Indonesia
  • Haryanto: Cost-optimization of nutrient management for Indonesian coastal seas
  • Chengsi Li: How do grassland restoration programs in Inner Mongolia affect ecosystems services?
  • Rafika Oktivaningrum: Modelling human exposure to pesticide contamination of the community water system in Ciwalengke village, West Java
  • Davide Angelucci: Benefits and values of regulating services of different land-use systems in the AlVelAl territory, south-eastern Spain
  • Diane Ingabire: The impacts of agricultural land-use change on climate regulating ecosystem services
  • Masooma Batool: River export of multiple pollutants to the Bay of Bengal at sub-basin scale. Past and future trends
  • Huyen Nguyen: Assessing the efficacy of biogas technology to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and better manage manure at Vietnamese small-scale rural households
  • Jorge Villa Cedeño: Ecosystem services and benefits of the Miconia Zone on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, and incentives for sustainable management
  • Elisee Joel Angoran: The impact of full-sun cocoa monoculture on deforestation and ecosystem services in Agnibilekrou, Ivory Coast
  • Leonardo Medina Santa Cruz: Public engagement with science: increasing the social value of science
  • Chantal Cornelissen: Modeling the intra-annual variation in agricultural Cryptosporidium delivery to land – a case study for Europe
  • Wisya Aulia Prayudi: The importance of green spaces in Bandung City, Indonesia for managing water and other ecosystem services
  • Nancy Mondragón Velázquez: Modelling fate of antibiotics of human use in Dutch surface water
  • Amanda Alfonso Herrera: Restoring nature to improve livelihoods. Effects of ecological restoration on rural livelihoods in the Baviaanskloof, South Africa
  • Lynn Snijder: The carbon footprint of gourmet food truck meals in Amsterdam
  • Kartika Karosekali: Greenhouse gas emissions from municipal solid waste management in Bandung, Indonesia
  • Nina de Haan: How governance changes affected the supply of ecosystem services in Berg en Dal
  • Nikolaos Symeonidis: Ecosystem services and values of Ansan Lake Park and financing schemes for urban green infrastructure of Ansan City, Republic of Korea
  • Alberto Ruiz-Larrea Medina: Assessing emission-intensity policy adequacy in the buildings' sector for the G20 countries
  • David Azoora: Contribution of onsite sanitation to the total human emissions of rotavirus to the environment in Uganda

More MSc theses