I did both my BSc and MSc in interdisciplinary study programs with a focus on water resources management and hydrology. I am especially interested in interactions between environmental processes (e.g. surface runoff and sediment transport) and vegetation which become relevant on a landscape scale. For my MSc thesis, I investigated the impacts of restoration measures such as reforestation and infiltration trenches on the water-balance of two small watersheds in Peru.
Vegetation-sediment interactions and habitat development in coastal dunes
Coastal vegetation plays a key role in the development and stabilization of dunes, due to an interaction between sediment transport processes and plant growth responses. It is expected that these natural processes will be affected by climate change. One of the possible impacts will be changes to the hydrological cycle (e.g. prolonged period of droughts) and therefore also to the growing conditions of dune building species. Together with sea-level rise, this might translate to changes of the coastal topography. In order to understand what will happen at the landscape level, a link between dynamic vegetation sediment interactions, changing growing conditions and changes to the topographic development needs to be established.
Finding this missing link could help coastal managers to ensure that the coastal dune system continues to provide its ecosystem services such as water supply, recreation, biodiversity and recreation for future generations.