16 Feb 2012

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences - rue Vautier 29 - 1000 Brussels


This seminar is a joint organization of VUB CROSSTALKS and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in the framework of the European Project Places. Powered bij Leuveninc and Flanders Smart Hub.

Morning Session chair: Peter Cauwenberg (VITO)

09:00 – 09:25 Registration, coffee & tea

09:25 – 09:30 Welcome and introduction

09:30 – 10:10 Museum & Foundations: Ecology communication and awareness: a major challenge – Jorge Wagensberg (Fundacio ‘La Caixa’, ES)

10:10 – 10:50 Modelling the Future - Keith Beven (Lancaster University – Centre for Sustainable Water Management, UK)

10:50 – 11:10 Coffee & Tea
11:10 – 11:50 Ecosystem services, a key to integrated water management - Patrick Meire (University Antwerp, BE)

11:50 – 12:30 Future prospects for the battle over the rivers: a Comparative History of River Policy Developments and Paradigm Shifts in the Netherlands, United States and South Africa – Tom van der Voorn (Universität Osnabrück, DE)

12:30 – 13:00 Discussion

13:00 – 14:00 WALKING LUNCH

Afternoon Session chair: Steven Degraer (Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models, RBINS)

14:00 – 14:10 Welcome

14:10 – 14:30 CASE I: Land use and management plan for the Tejo Estuary: Challenges and opportunities - Margarida Cardoso da Silva (National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, PT)
14:30 – 14:50 CASE II: Arctic Paper - Gerrit Verbeiren(SE/BE)

14:50 – 15:10 CASE III: Towards a climate versatile vegetation model - Flip Witte (KWR Watercycle Research Institute, NL)

15:10 – 15:30 CASE IV: Ecover - Dirk Develter (head of R&D, BE)

15:30 – 15:50 CASE V:Bio-remediation of ponds in Brussels - Ludwig Triest (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE)

15:50 – 16:10 CASE VI: Beware of low water levels due to global climate change - Thomas Vansteenkiste (KULeuven, BE)
16:10 – 16:40 Final discussion followed by drinks & networking
17:30 End of workshop


Bios / Slides

Peter Cauwenberg is a senior environmental engineer with 18 years experience. After his PhD in applied environmental engineering, he worked from 1998 to 2002 for a Belgian Wastewater Contractor. In this function he was responsible for the design and startup of waste water treatments plants worldwide. From 2002 to 2006 he worked for an US engineering company. During this period he performed various environmental audits, including water related audits. Since 2006 Peter is a member of the wastewater team of VITO as project manager. His main expertise is industrial waste water reuse and water management. He is also member of the taskforce “Drivers for Urban Sustainability” within VITO.

Dr. Steven Degraer started his scientific career in benthic ecology of intertidal and shallow subtidal temperate marine ecosystems at Ghent University. After his PhD research (1999), he started to broaden his research focus: from temperate to tropical ecosystems, from sandy to rocky coasts, from benthos to avifauna and from fundamental to applied research. Marine management, focusing on nature conservation and sustainable use and exploitation of the marine resources, has always been thé red line through his work, which finally brought him to RBINS' Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models in 2008. He is now coordinating MUMM's Marine Ecosystem Management team with a broad expertise on marine mammals and seabirds, rocky shore fauna and invasive species, and underwater noise, embedded in an ecosystem management context. He further holds a research and teaching guest professorship at the Biology Department of Ghent University. Dr. Steven Degraer (co)authored over 300 publications, of which 89 peer reviewed.

Jorge Wagensberg (Barcelona, 1948), Doctor of Physics, is professor of Irreversible Process Theory at the University of Barcelona. He not only investigates and disseminates science, but is also a dynamic promoter of the debate of ideas, which has achieved him Catalonia’s National Prize for Scientific Thought and Culture, among other awards. He is the director of our Metatemas collection and is now responsible for the Scientific and Environmental Area of the “la Caixa” Foundation, after having directed the scientific museum CosmoCaixa, a reference for science museums around the world. He is the author of a dozen books and of many works of investigation on thermodynamics, mathematics, biophysics, microbiology, paleontology, entomology, scientific museology, and the philosophy of science, as well as of journalistic articles on a number of different topics.

Patrick Meire studied biology at the University of Ghent. He started his PhD work at the Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Nature Conservation and Biogeography of the University of Gent first with a research grant from the Belgium National Fund for Scientific Research, later as a research assistant. In 1990 he became senior researcher at the Institute of Nature Conservation, a research Institute of the Flemish Government. Since 1995 he holds the chair of Integrated Water Management at the Institute of Environmental Studies of the University of Antwerp (part time visiting professor) and since 1999 he is full time professor at the University of Antwerp, Department of Biology and head of the ecosystem research group. My research dealt mainly with studying the impact of human activities (pollution, reclamation, dredging etc.) on the estuarine ecosystem and with translating this knowledge in management plans.

Keith Beven is Distinguished Professor of Hydrology at Lancaster University where he has worked for over 25 years.  He started to work on uncertainty in environmental modeling in 1980 and is author of one of the very few texts on the subject (2009). He is the originator of the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE methodology). He currently leads the UK NERC Catchment Change Network which is producing guidelines for risk and uncertainty estimation and is involved in the UK NERC pilot Environmental Virtual Observatory project.  He has published over 350 papers and 13 books.  He has won a number of international awards including the AGU Horton Award, the EGU Dalton Medal and the IAHS/WMO/UNESCO International Hydrology Award.

Tom van der Voorn is a PhD-candidate at the Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrück, Germany. He is also project coordinator of the Climate Water project on bridging the gap between adaptation strategies of climate change impacts and European water policies, funded by the Seventh European Union’s Framework Programme (FP7) Programme. He is also member of The Integrated Assessment Society, which is a not-for-profit-entity, created to promote the community of inter-disciplinary and disciplinary scientists, analysts and practitioners who develop and use integrated assessment. He holds a Master’s degree in System Engineering Policy Analysis and Management, from the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. In the recent past, he was a guest lecturer at UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands, and Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, United States.

Margarida Cardoso da Silva (Portugal) is a chemical engineer. She got her PhD in environmental engineering at the New University of Lisbon in 2003. She started her career as a researcher (1993-2006) in the Estuaries and Coastal Zones Division, where she developed new methodologies and tools for environmental management of aquatic systems, including modeling and indicator systems. From 2006-2009 she was Deputy General-Director of the Portuguese Environment Agency. Since 2009 she is a researcher at the LNEC’s Hydraulics and Environment Department (DHA).

Flip Witte works as Principal Researcher at KWR Watercycle Research Institute, integrating the scientific disciplines hydrology and ecology. In March 2007 he was appointed as extra-ordinary professor at the Systems Ecology group. His research focuses on the effects of water management and climate change on both the water balance and the biodiversity of nature areas. Results have been used in policy analyses and environmental impact assessment studies of drinking water companies, water boards, provinces and other institutes. His research topics are:  Effects of climate change on evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge of natural vegetation, spatiotemporal variation in water related soil factors, such as pH and oxygen availability, and its effect on the species composition of natural vegetation climate versatile modeling of vegetation patterns (the Probe model) and adaptive measures to combat the negative effects of climate change and desiccation of conservation areas.

Michael Bremans is the managing director of Ecover, a manufacturer of biodegradable cleaning products made from renewable resources.
Michael was born in Schoten, Belgium. He studied for a licenciate in applied economics at RUCA, Antwerp and his professional career has spanned the tourism and the service industry.
In 1993, Michael was appointed as managing director of Ecover Belgium and he has constantly improved the ecological influence of the Ecover factory on the environment.

Ludwig Triest directs the Laboratorium for Plant Biology and Nature Management (APNA) together with Nico Koedam. Triest focuses on the genetic diversity of plant populations and on the ecology of macrophyte dominated ecosystems. The interactions between macrophytes, other aquatic biota and environmental pressures are under study in small urban lake and pond ecosystems with the aim to better understand the shifts that may occur between macrophyte dominated clear-water and phytoplankton dominated turbid water states. Applied limnological aspects are the use of biota for monitoring rivers and the follow-up of biomanipulated and constructed pond systems in an urban context.

Thomas Vansteenkiste is a Master in Bio-engineering and Environmental Sciences and is currently employed as a researcher at the Hydraulics section of the Civil Engineering Department of the K.U.Leuven. His major field of specialization is covered by catchment hydrology, including the rainfall-runoff modeling with simple modelcodes to more, complex, integrated modelcodes, linking surface water and groundwater systems. He is also experienced in hydrodynamic river, flood, and groundwater modeling. He has mainly done researches for Flanders Hydraulics Research, investigating the impact of climate change of the high and low flow extremes and the water availability in Flanders. Beside these modeling projects, he was involved in some large European projects related to the implementation strategies of the European Directives (Water Framework Directed, Flood Directive,…).