prof.dr. D. van der Wal (Daphne)

Full Professor

About Me

Daphne van der Wal is full professor Spatial Water Quality and Aquatic Systems in the Department of Water Resources, Faculty of Geo-Information and Earth Observation (ITC) of University of Twente, Enschede. In addition, she is senior scientist at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, in the Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, Yerseke.

Her background is in physical geography. She obtained her PhD in 1999 from the University of Amsterdam, and was a postdoctoral research fellow from 1 Oct 1999 until 1 Jan 2002 at Royal Holloway, University of London. In Mar 2002, she started working at the institute in Yerseke, since 2012 the Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems of NIOZ.

Ancillary Activities

  • NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, NWO-I
    Employee (function research leader)
  • on behalf of NIOZ and UT
    Member Round table NWO ENW Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • On behalf of UT
    Platform Earth and Environmental Sciences (AMW)


Daphne van der Wal is an expert in earth observation of coastal, estuarine, and delta systems. Using earth observation, her main interest is in understanding the functioning of aquatic systems, with focus on the physical processes in the coastal zone and their interaction with biology. Topics also include the response of aquatic systems to climate change and human impact, as well as risks (e.g., flooding) and services (e.g., nature-based flood risk reduction) of the coastal zone.

Approaches include satellite, airborne and near-surface remote sensing in the optical, radar/SAR, and TIR domain, combined with statistical modelling, use of radiative transfer models, big data analyses.

Key qualifications include: remote sensing, geo-information, spatial patterns, time-series, coastal processes, river-sea interactions, water quality, wetlands, bio-geomorphology, morphology, sediment dynamics, aeolian dynamics, nature-based solutions.

See research output at ORCID and PURE.



Gijsman, R. , Horstman, E. M., Swales, A., MacDonald, I. T., Bouma, T. J. , van der Wal, D. , & Wijnberg, K. M. (2024). Mangrove forest drag and bed stabilisation effects on intertidal flat morphology. Earth surface processes and landforms, 49(3), 1117–1134. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5758
Van de Vijsel, R. C., van Belzen, J., Bouma, T. J. , van der Wal, D. , Borsje, B. W., Temmerman, S. , Cornacchia, L., Gourgue, O., & van de Koppel, J. (2023). Vegetation controls on channel network complexity in coastal wetlands. Nature communications, 14(1), Article 7158. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-42731-3
De Liz Arcari, A. , Retsios, V. , Tavora, J. , van der Wal, D. , & Salama, M. S. (2023). Analytical derivation of water clarity time-series from Sentinel-2 MSI imagery. Poster session presented at Inaugural Science Symposium, TREVOR Symposium 2023, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
Zhang, T., Tian, B., Wang, Y., Liu, D., Zhou, Y. , & van der Wal, D. (2023). Mapping depth-integrated microphytobenthic biomass on an estuarine tidal flat using Sentinel satellite data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 122, Article 103417. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2023.103417
Marin‐Diaz, B. , van der Wal, D., Kaptein, L., Martinez‐Garcia, P., Lashley, C. H., Jong, K. D., Nieuwenhuis, J. W., Govers, L. L., Olff, H., & Bouma, T. J. (2023). Using salt marshes for coastal protection: Effective but hard to get where needed most. Journal of applied ecology, 60(7), 1286-1301. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14413, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14413
De Liz Arcari, A. , Tavora, J. , Retsios, V. , van der Wal, D. , & Salama, M. S. (2023). Towards operational water quality monitoring with an analytical radiative transfer model. In Anais do XX Simpósio Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto (Vol. 20). Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

UT Research Information System


M-GEO Common course Global Challenges, Local Action:

Coordination of The coastal project

Affiliated Study Programmes


Courses Academic Year  2022/2023



Project partner in EU HE REWRITE: REWilding and Restoration of InterTidal sediment Ecosystems for carbon sequestration, climate adaptation and biodiversity support,         see doi 10.3030/101081357

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Langezijds (building no. 19), room 1105
Hallenweg 8
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
Langezijds  1105
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands