Zoek medewerkers/organisaties prof.dr.ir. MJ van der Ploeg
Naamprof.dr.ir. MJ van der Ploeg

OmschrijvingLeerstoelhouder en professor, Hydrologie en Kwantitatief Waterbeheer
OrganisatieDepartement Omgevingswetenschappen
OrganisatieeenheidHydrologie en Omgevingshydraulica
Telefoon+31 317 483 714
Telefoon secretariaat+31 317 481 511
Telefoon 2
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BezoekadresDroevendaalsesteeg 3a
PostadresPostbus 47
  • Co-chair - International Soil Modeling Consortium
    jul 2020 - dec 2023

    Het international soil modeling consortium is een groep van wetenschappers die zich ten doel heeft gesteld om bodem modellen te verbeteren en de beschrijving van bodem in aardwetenschappeleijk computer modellen te verbeteren.

  • Associate editor - Soil Science Society of America
    jan 2019 - dec 2023

    Associate editor voor Vadose Zone Journal.


The purpose of my research is to unravel biophysical landscape processes and connect these with landscape ecosystem functions through collaboration with different scientific disciplines to enable better use and protection of soil and water resources. Over the past years my research has developed along three research lines.

1. Soil and vegetation heterogeneity

The most important aspect I recognize in my work on biophysical landscape interactions for connecting climate change, population growth and soil threats is the heterogeneity of occurring processes and how these work out at different scales. Vegetation plays an essential role in the landscape, as it regulates the water flux to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration, while it is dependent on adequate water supply. Vegetation shapes the land surface by changing infiltration characteristics as a result of root growth, and controls soil moisture supply, which in turn affect runoff characteristics and groundwater recharge. Vegetation and the underlying geology are in constant interaction, wherein water plays a key role.

2. Measurement techniques to detect emerging properties in biophysical landscape interactions.

This research line is tightly linked to the previous one. New techniques, such as radar interferometry and other remote sensing products facilitate non-interfering observation of biophysical interactions on landscape scale. Therefore, such techniques allow to assess the result of micro-behavior on larger scales, and may help to assess which interactions are important to include in models. 

3. Role of heterogeneous landscape interactions on landscape ecosystem functions

This research line is a logical connection with the other two, although this is also the research line where I am able to add my expertise on biophysical interactions in joint projects. I am collaborating in several projects to investigate the fate of nanosilver, microplastics and several pesticides. In these projects my expertise on soil heterogeneity, and innovative experimental setups is highly valuable. In 2016 I was involved in a project comparing slash/burn practices in the tropical mountainous cloud forests of Colombia, especially the impact on soil properties . I participate in a project that investigates how to better integrate soil ecosystem functions and urban planning of Metropolitan areas. Another link with ecosystem services is through the International Soil Modelling Consortium (ISMC).






  • HWM-20806 - Hydrogeology
  • HWM-23306 - Field Research Water and Atmosphere
  • HWM-50301 - Capita Selecta Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-50302 - Capita Selecta Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-50303 - Capita Selecta Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-50304 - Capita Selecta Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-50305 - Capita Selecta Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-50306 - Capita Selecta Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-79224 - MSc Research Practice Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-79324 - MSc Research Practice Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • HWM-80424 - MSc Thesis Hydrology and Environmental Hydraulics
  • YWU-30806 - Environmental Data Collection and Analysis
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