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

  • On behalf of UTPlatform Earth and Environmental Sciences (AMW)
  • on behalf of NIOZ and UTMember Round table NWO ENW Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, NWO-IEmployee (function research leader)

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.


Spatial and temporal variation in long-term sediment accumulation in a back-barrier salt marshGeomorphology, 456, Article 109191. Cornacchia, L., Bakker, J. P., Koppenaal, E. C., de Groot, A. V., Olff, H., van de Koppel, J., van der Wal, D. & Bouma, T. J.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2024.109191Coastal Flood Risk Reduction by Mangroves: An Engineering Perspective. University of Twente. Gijsman, R.https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036560955Bioturbation by Benthic Stingrays Alters the Biogeomorphology of Tidal FlatsEcosystems, 27, 493-507 (Accepted/In press). Nauta, J., Leurs, G., Nieuwenhuis, B. O., Mathijssen, D. R. A. H., Olff, H., Bouma, T. J., van der Wal, D., Hijner, N., Regalla, A., Pontes, S. L. & Govers, L. L.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-024-00901-4Critical turbidity thresholds for maintenance of estuarine tidal flats worldwideNature geoscience, 17(6), 539-544. Grandjean, T. J., Weenink, R., van der Wal, D., Addink, E. A., Hu, Z., Liu, S., Wang, Z. B., Lin, Y. & Bouma, T. J.https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-024-01431-3Biophysical Modeling of Mangrove Seedling Establishment and Survival Across an Elevation Gradient With Forest ZonesJournal of geophysical research: Earth surface, 129(5), Article e2024JF007664. Gijsman, R., Horstman, E. M., Swales, A., Balke, T., Willemsen, P. W. J. M., van der Wal, D. & Wijnberg, K. M.https://doi.org/10.1029/2024JF007664Mangrove forest drag and bed stabilisation effects on intertidal flat morphologyEarth surface processes and landforms, 49(3), 1117–1134. Gijsman, R., Horstman, E. M., Swales, A., MacDonald, I. T., Bouma, T. J., van der Wal, D. & Wijnberg, K. M.https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5758Relative contributions to suspended sediment variability under extreme events (Gironde Estuary, France). Tavora, J., Hourany, R. E., Fernandes, E., Sotollichio, A., Salama, S. & van der Wal, D.https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-18074Mangrove Ecosystem Engineering Effects Across an Elevation Gradient with Forest Zones. Gijsman, R., Horstman, E. M., Swales, A., van der Wal, D. & Wijnberg, K. M.https://www.nck-web.org/boa-2024/815-mangrove-ecosystem-engineeringIntertidal vegetation altering currents in the Scheldt estuary. Bootsma, J., Borsje, B. W., van der Wal, D. & Hulscher, S. J. M. H.https://www.nck-web.org/boa-2024/827-intertidal-vegetation-altering-currents-on-an-estuarine-scale-a-combined-remote-sensing-and-modelling-study-of-the-scheldt-estuaryMutual facilitation between foundation species Mytilus edulis and Lanice conchilega promotes habitat heterogeneity on tidal flatsFrontiers in Marine Science, 11, Article 1354009. Nauta, J., Meijer, K. J., de Groot, L. W., Reijers, V. C., Bouma, T. J., van der Wal, D., Olff, H., Holthuijsen, S. J., Bijleveld, A. I., van der Veer, H. W., Franken, O. & Govers, L. L.https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2024.1354009

Research profiles

M-GEO Common course Global Challenges, Local Action:

Coordination of The coastal project

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

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


Visiting address

University of Twente

Langezijds (building no. 19), room 1105
Hallenweg 8
7522 NH Enschede

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