Newsletter Amsterdam Water Science
Tuesday, 9 February 2016



Amsterdam Water Science Symposium was a success!

Amsterdam Water Science organising committee would like to thank all the speakers and participants for their contribution to a successful meeting! To see the films and photo gallery from the two days of AWS symposium, please visit our symposium Follow up page at:




Amsterdam Water Science funded 7 pilot projects

Amsterdam Water Science recently funded a number of 7 pilot projects in which students, researchers and stakeholders are actively involved and work together.
For project descriptions please visit our research AWS pilot projects page at:
Project titles:
1. Accelerating peat meadow restoration and climate resilience through sustainable business development and integrated urban-rural systems
2. Greenhouse gas balance of contrasting wetland restoration strategies
3. Extreme weather and chain effects
4. Living lab governance system
5. Particle algae interaction in lake Marken
6. Can quagga mussel restrain the cyanobacterial bloom?
7. SIMONA Innovative sampling for water quality monitoring: passive sampler sorbents




Interview with Milo de Baat, University of Amsterdam

Milo de Baat recently started his PhD at the University of Amsterdam, IBED-AEE department. He has a BSc degree in biology and a MSc in Limnology and Oceanography from the Biological Sciences department at the UvA. He is now involved in the AWS pilot project SIMONA Innovative sampling for water quality monitoring: passive sampler sorbents.


Interview with Elco Koks, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Elco Koks recently started his Postdoctoral position in the Water and Climate Risk group of IVM, VU. He has a MSc in spatial economics and he just completed his PhD thesis on modelling the economic effects of floods. His current work focuses on disaster impact modelling of extreme weather events.


Interview with Michaela Hordijk, University of Amsterdam

Dr Michaela Hordijk is part of the Governance and Inclusive Development group of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam and currently involved in a research project comparing the water and sanitary provisions within regions located in the Global South. She has MSc in human geography, and a focus in cities, PhD on urban environmental management.  She is guest-lecturer at the Institute for Water Education UNESCO-IHE Delft.


Interview with James Patterson, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dr James Patterson joined IVM as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in October 2015 after being awarded a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellowship funded by Horizon 2020. He is a social science researcher in water governance, and has a multidisciplinary background spanning the social and natural sciences. He is currently investigating institutional innovation for adapting to climate change in water governance in cities, working under the supervision of Prof. Dave Huitema at VU.




Amsterdam Water Science promotes two Master Courses

MSc Hydrology - The hydrological system and its societal impacts: climate change, floods, drought, water pollution.

Teaching and research in this field at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam enjoys an excellent international reputation. It was evaluated as a top scientific MSc program with one of the highest scores in The Netherlands. The program offers a unique measuring fieldwork and learns students to use these measurements for tackling water management issues and estimate economic impacts from changes in hydrology.

MSc Limnology and Oceanography - To better understand and protect the world's lakes, seas, and oceans.

To better understand and protect the world's lakes, seas, and oceans, the University of Amsterdam offers a track in Limnology and Oceanography, devoted to the biology, chemistry and physics of aquatic ecosystems. This multidisciplinary track is an advanced study focusing on freshwater ecosystems (limnology) as well as on marine ecosystems (oceanography).


New fieldwork location for MSc Hydrology

A group of eight teachers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and from the University of Amsterdam performed a field reconnaissance in January 2016 for a new fieldwork site in Luxembourg. From the Luxembourg town of Diekirch, they visited a series of catchments and identified locations for the integrated field work course of six weeks that takes place in May 2016.  It is the aim to integrate this field work even more with the soil and geomorphology fieldwork of the UvA in the near future.




Towards a global water scarcity risk assessment framework

Changing hydro-climatic and socioeconomic conditions increasingly put pressure on fresh water resources and are expected to aggravate water scarcity conditions towards the future.
A team of researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, IVM, led by Ted Veldkamp, PhD student in the Water and Climate Risk Department chaired by Prof. Jeroen Aerts, recently published a risk-based water scarcity assessment study in the Environmental Research Letters. Photo: Tennessee River during drought.


Lintao Li and Han Dolman in the Journal of Hydrometeorology

PhD student Lintao Li from China and Han Dolman, Professor in Hydrology at Earth and Climate Cluster of the Earth and Life Sciences Faculty of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, recently published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology. The paper describes the use of Lagrangian models to analyse the moisture sources of the East Asian Monsoon.


Pim de Voogt in special edition of American Chemical Society

Professor Pim de Voogt from UvA and colleagues of the KWR Watercycle Research Institute, the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Waterworks and Wageningen University & Research, have published in a special edition of the American Chemical Society. The paper describes the quest for the identity of some hitherto unknown compounds that have been showing up regularly over the past decade in samples taken from the river Meuse.


Large variability in abundance of viruses that infect ocean microorganisms

A recently published paper in the journal Nature Microbiology shows that the relative size of ocean viral populations varies over 100 times more than scientists believed until now. The study highlights another source of uncertainty governing climate models and other biogeochemical cycles. For the Netherlands, UvA professor by special appointment Corina Brussaard contributed to this research.


Ype van der Velde in HESS

High nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fluxes from upstream agriculture threaten aquatic ecosystems in surface waters and estuaries. Controlled drainage has been recognized as an effective option to optimize soil moisture conditions for agriculture and to reduce unnecessary losses of fresh water and nutrients. The results showed that the introduced controlled drainage did reduce the drain discharge and increased the groundwater storage in the field.


Environmental policy causes imbalance in phosphorus and nitrogen levels of the North Sea

In recent decades, European environmental policy has aimed to improve water quality through the reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus loads in surface waters. Scientists from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), led by Prof. Jef Huisman, have now demonstrated that the unbalanced nutrient reduction has caused a major shortage of phosphorus in coastal waters of the North Sea. Photo: North Sea algae (diatoms), Sander Asjes, NIOZ.




Jorien Vonk appointed as Assistant Professor

Top scientist on hydrology, Jorien Vonk, dragged a million grant from the European Union right after she was selected for a vacancy as Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. ‘With that money I can be paid for five years, and employ two postdocs and a number of PhD students’, says Vonk. At the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Vonk will work in the Hydrology Group at the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences.


Jeroen Aerts appointed head of IVM

The Earth and Life Sciences faculty board of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has appointed, as per 3 December 2015, Jeroen Aerts as director of the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM). Jeroen Aerts is a member of the management team of the IVM and head of the Water and Climate Risk Department.



  18 February 2016, 18:00 to 21:00

UvA Master Week

Amsterdam Water Science will be present at UvA Master week event, in the evening of 18 February 2016. You will find detailed information about the MSc Limnology and Oceanography track of MSc Biology. For more information about the AWS master programmes please visit our teaching page at:

  7-9 March 2016

EURO-AGRIWAT conference: Water Footprint of agricultural products: progress, challenges and solutions

Water represents a main resource for human activities and its management. Together with food and energy production, water scarcity is one of the most outstanding problems for society.
EURO-AGRIWAT intends to prepare and disseminate recommendations and guidelines for enabling a more efficient water resource management in relation with agricultural activities under climate change and variability, and involves collaboration between scientists and stakeholders.

  Saturday 12 March 2016

Vrije Universiteit Master Day

Are you in your final year of your bachelor's degree? Are you going to follow a master's program next year? Come to an open day. The university offers a large selection of suitable masters. Amsterdam Water Science will be present with its MSc Hydrlogy programme. For more information about the AWS master programmes please visit our teaching page at:
Come to our Master Day on Saturday, March 12th, 2016!

  7 & 8 April 2016

NAC conference (Nederlands Aardwetenschappelijk Congres)

The NAC conferences (Nederlands Aardwetenschappelijk Congres) bring together all fields of research within the Earth Sciences. The NAC conferences aim to provide a true interdisciplinary forum for discussion and for young researchers to present their results in a way that is accessible to a broad audience.
This is the 13th time the NAC is being organised. NAC is an initiative from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Royal Dutch Geological and Mijnbouwkundig Genootschap (KNGMG). NWO and KNGMG now financially support the NAC conferences. 



  12.00 | Agnietenkapel

PhD Defense Ceremony Haoxin Fan

On 30 March 2016 Haoxin Fan will defend her PhD thesis entitled:

"Investigations on the nitrogen cycle in the coastal North Sea"

Promotor: Prof. dr. Lucas Stal, co-promotor: Dr. Henk Bolhuis (NIOZ)

  12.00 | Agnietenkapel

PhD Defense Ceremony Giovanni Sandrini

On 6 April 2016 Giovanni Sandrini will defend his PhD thesis entitled: 

“Effects of rising CO2 on the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis

Promotor: Prof. dr. Jef Huisman, co-promotor: Dr. Hans Matthijs

  10.00 | Agnietenkapel

PhD Defense Ceremony Diana Vasquez Cardenas

On 12 May 2016 Diana Vasquez Cardenas will defend her PhD thesis entitled:

"Bacterial chemoautotrophy in coastal sediments"

Promotor: Prof. dr. Lucas Stal, co-promotores: Dr. Eric Boschker (NIOZ) en Dr. Filip Meysman (NIOZ/VU Brussel)