Participant 1 - stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (DLO), The Netherlands (WP1)

Legal entity: Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek is the legal entity, which is part of Wageningen UR (University and Research centre). The research institute Alterra is part of Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek.

Description: Alterra is the main Dutch research centre of expertise on rural areas and engages in education and strategic and applied research to support policymaking and management at local, national and international level. The Ecology, Soil Science and Water and Climate Centres are involved in both research and education in all aspects of ecosystems, soil, water, climate, and land use. Research is conducted on local, regional, national and global scales and contributes to sustainable use of natural resources and sustainable design and management of the environment. Alterra is partner in a.o. the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER), the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the World Water Council (WWC), the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and Climate Change and Biosphere (CCB).

Role in project: Project coordinator, WP1 leader, and participating in WPs 2-9

Past experience
: Within FP5-7 of the EU, Alterra has been involved, either as coordinator or partner institution, in more than 100 projects, of which more than 20 devoted to ecosystem aspects. Current ecosystem related EU-funded projects are amongst others DESIRE, SoilService, SoilTREC and EcoFinders.

Involved personnel

  • Prof. Coen J. Ritsema Coordinating large international research projects; soil physicist and hydrologist, fundamental and applied research related to droughts, water scarcity, degradation and desertification
  • Dr. Violette Geissen, Project coordinator.
  • Dr. Rudi Hessel Physical geographer, expert in dynamic hydrological modelling and model application, execution of scenario analysis, GIS, and designing and executing field work
  • Ing. Erik van den Elsen Land use and management specialist with special interest in the interaction between land use and hydrology; expertise in TDR and soil moisture assessment, field measurement techniques, data flows & multimedia.

Prof. Coen J. Ritsema (H-index: 27, cited by others: 2175 times) has 25 years of experience in fundamental and applied research in the area of soil and water sciences, and in coordinating large (inter)national multidisciplinary research projects and programmes. During the last 15 years, he coordinated 10 EU-funded research projects successfully. At present Coen Ritsema is Professor (Physical Soil Quality) at Wageningen University. Furthermore, he obtained three Honorary Professorships at i) Deakin University, Australia (1994), ii) the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Yangling, China (2008), and iii) Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering (2009).



  • Doerr, S.H., C.J. Ritsema, L.W. Dekker, D.F. Scott and D. Carter (Eds). 2007. Special issue: Soil water repellency: origin, environmental controls and hydrological impacts. Hydrological Processes 21:2223-2404.Hernandez-Daumas, S., Kampichler, C., Ochoa-Gaona, S., 
  • Ritsema, C.J. (Ed.) 2005. Special issue “Characteristics and Management of Hydrophobic Soils’, Austr. J. Soil. Res., 43, 220 pp.
  • Ritsema, C.J., Kuipers, H., Kleiboer, L., Van den Elsen, E., Oostindie, K., Wesseling, J.G., Wolthuis, J.W. and Havinga, P. 2009. A new wireless underground network system for continuous monitoring of soil water contents. Water Resources Research, VOL. 45, W00D36, doi:10.1029/2008WR007071. 
  • Elsen, H.G.M. van den, Yun Xie, Baoyuan Liu, Jannes Stolte, Yonqui Wu, Kim Trouwborst, Coen J. Ritsema. 2003 Intensive water content and discharge measurement system in a hillslope gully in China, CATENA, Volume 54, Issues 1-2, Soil Erosion and Participatory Land Use Planning on the Loess Plateau in China, 30 November 2003, Pages 93-115, ISSN 0341-8162, DOI: 10.1016/S0341-8162(03)00059-6.
  • Elsen, H.G.M. van den, J. Kokot, W. Skierucha, J.M. Halbertsma. 1995. “An automatic time domain reflectometry device to measure and store soil moisture contents for stand-alone held use.” International Agrophysics, vol. 9, nr. 3.
  • Hessel, R., Hoang-Fagerstrom, M.H., Stolte, J., Messing, I., Ritsema, C.J. 2005. Integrated conservation planning in a small catchment on the Chinese Loess Plateau. In: De Graaff, J., Pieri, C., Sombatpanit, S., Cameron, J. (Eds.) Monitoring and evaluation of soil conservation and watershed development projects. WASWC.
  • Stoof, C.R., J.J. Stoorvogel, A.J.D. Ferreira, R. Fernandes and C.J. Ritsema. 2010. Soil heating during fire inversely related to fuel load. Science, submitted.