Valesca Harezlak

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Valesca Harezlak



Water Engineering and Management

Horst Z-223


+31 53 489 4386

Phone secretary

+31 53 489 3546



PhD candidate

Postal Address:

University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Civil Engineering
Department of Water Engineering & Management

P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede


PhD candidate in the RiverCare Project on Floodplain Rehabilitation

In contrast to natural flowing rivers, the regulated rivers in the Netherlands allow vegetation in floodplains to mature to their climax succession stage. This climax stage is associated with high hydraulic roughness and little water storage capacity and can hence jeopardize water safety during high water discharges. To avoid such situations, all kind of measures are taken, like clearing floodplains trees, floodplain excavation, grazing, etc. However, the efficiency of those measures is not well understood and moreover, the other ecosystem services floodplains have to offer are often overlooked. This latter is a missed opportunity, as water safety can be combined with other ecosystem services, like biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water purification etc. Increasing knowledge on how to influence floodplain processes to guarantee water safety, while incorporating other ecosystem services, supports efficient floodplain management. Therefore, the aim of this research is to develop a process based, spatially explicit model that provides insight in important steering processes of floodplain vegetation development and what this vegetation development means in terms of multiple ecosystem services.


  • 2006 - 2008 Master Sustainable Development – Land Use, Environment and Biodiversity (Utrecht University)
  • 2003 - 2006 Bachelor Environmental Sciences (Utrecht University)
  • 2002 - 2003 Veterinary Sciences (University of Ghent)
  • 2001 - 2002 Propedeuse Biology (Utrecht University)


  • 2008 Master thesis: Modelling Vegetation Shifts around Lake Tulane, Florida
  • 2006 Bachelor thesis: How Do Differences in Milk Production Approach affect N Concentration in the Soil?


  • 2009 – present Researcher/Consultant Water Quality and Ecology (Deltares)
  • 2008 – 2009 Trainee Innovation Management (TransForum)



  • 2007 Introduction Environmental Sciences (Utrecht University)
  • 2009 - 2014 Ecological Modelling with HABITAT (Deltares)
  • 2010 Emission Module (Deltares)
  • 2010 – 2011 SOBEK Water Quality (Deltares)

Student supervision

  • 2013 Upscaling phosphorus fluxes in riparian wetlands: from data to knowledge rules – Mark Stoop (Radboud University/Deltares)
  • 2015 Modeling Water Quality of the Upper Citarum River, Java, Indonesia – Rigt Venema (University of Twente) (ongoing)