dr.ir. P.W.J.M. Willemsen MSc (Pim)


About Me

Employment record

15-10-2015 PhD-candidate, University of Twente, Department of Water Engineering & Management, Uncertainty in long term bio-geomorphological dynamics for vegetated foreshores.


2013 – 2015 MSc Water Engineering & Management, University of Twente. MSc thesis: Sensitivity of sediment trapping capacity of estuarine mangrove forests, at National University of Singapore and University of Twente.

2012-2013 Minor Geo Data and Spatial Information, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente.

2010-2013 BSc Civil Engineering & Management, University of Twente. BSc Thesis: Morphological changes of the Amelander Zeegat, at Deltares


Teaching experience

  • University of Twente: 2015-2016 Seminar morphology (supervisor)


Earth & Environmental Sciences
Seedling Establishment
Tidal Flat
Wave Attenuation
Agriculture & Biology
Salt Marshes


Current research

Uncertainty in long-term bio-geomorphological dynamics for vegetated foreshores. Vegetated foreshores live, i.e. their formation is controlled by vegetation dynamics and physical forces which significantly interact on a dynamic scale. This interdisciplinary field is labelled bio-geomorphology. Insight in the physical mechanisms behind landscape formation by bio-geomorphological interactions has substantially grown in the last decade. Nevertheless, the uncertainty in long-term (order of decades) dynamics of vegetated foreshores is not known so that reliable estimates of the contribution to safety of vegetated foreshores are impossible. Moreover, the opportunities to actively influence the long-term morphological development of vegetated foreshores via maintenance (e.g. grazing and cutting) are unknown, hampering application. In this sub-project of the BE SAFE programme (Building with Nature; BwN) we aim to quantify the uncertainty in morphological development for vegetated foreshores in a probabilistic way. We do this by explicitly accounting for the impact of four contrasting types of vegetation on both hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics. To set up the model we combine flume studies and field experiments executed in close collaboration with other sub-projects within the programme.


Willemsen, P. W. J. M., Klein Breteler, M., Antonini, A., Dermentzoglou, D. , Muller, J. R. M., Mason, V., Bouma, T. J., Vouziouris, A., Buring, P., Bijvoet, D., Hofland, B. , & Borsje, B. W. (2024). De kracht van kweldergras: Test Deltagoot. Civiele techniek, 78(1/2), 36-39. https://issuu.com/sjpuitgevers/docs/ct20241online?fr=sZTIzZDY1ODI0NTM
Xu, T., Hu, Z., Gong, W. , Willemsen, P. W. J. M. , Borsje, B. W., Van hespen, R., & Bouma, T. J. (2023). A comparison and coupling of two novel sensors for intertidal bed‐level dynamics observation. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 21(4), 209-219. https://doi.org/10.1002/lom3.10540
Gijsman, R. , Horstman, E. M., Swales, A., MacDonald, I. , Willemsen, P. W. J. M. , van der Wal, D. , & Wijnberg, K. M. (2022). Seasonal drivers for mangrove seedling establishment. In Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ICCE2022 Coastal Engineering Research Council.
Siemes, R. W. A. , Duong, T. M. , Willemsen, P. , Borsje, B. , & Hulscher, S. (2022). Idealised modelling of estuarine development affected by human interventions and climate change. In A. I. Stamou, & V. Tsihrintzis (Eds.), 7th IAHR Europe Congress: Innovative water management in a changing climate: September 7-9, 2022, Athens, Greece: Abstract book (pp. 92-93). IAHR. https://www.iahreuropecongress.org/PDF/IAHR2022_ABSTRACT_BOOK.pdf
Other Contributions
Peer-reviewed journal papers
  • Willemsen, P.W.J.M., Horstman, E.M., Borsje, B.W., Fries, D.A., Dohmen-Janssen, C.M., 2016. Sensitivity of the sediment trapping capacity of an estuarine mangrove forest. Geomorphology, 273, pp 189-201. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.07.038
  • Willemsen, P.W.J.M., Hulscher, S.J.M.H., Vermaas, T., 2015. Methods for analysing morphodynamics of tidal inlets. SURE! 1, pp. 1-4.

Conference proceedings
  • Willemsen, P.W.J.M., Borsje, B.W., Vuik, V., Janssen, S.K.H., Bouma, T.J., Hulscher, S.J.M.H., 2016. Long-term biogeomorphological behavior of coupled bare intertidal flats and vegetated foreshores. NCK-days 2016, Ouddorp, The Netherlands.
  • Willemsen, P.W.J.M., Vermaas, T., Hulscher, S.J.M.H., 2014. Morphological development of the Ameland inlet/Boschplaat in the Dutch Wadden Sea. NCK-Days 2014, Delft, The Netherlands, pp. 78.
  • Willemsen, P.W.J.M., Vermaas, T., Hulscher, S.J.M.H., 2014. Morphological development of the Ameland inlet/Boschplaat in the Dutch Wadden Sea. NCK-Days 2014, Delft, The Netherlands, pp. 78.


  •  MSc thesis Sensitivity of sediment trapping capacity of estuarine mangrove forests (still confidential).
  • BSc thesis Morfologische veranderingen Amelander Zeegat: een methodische aanpak, Morphological changes of the Amelander Zeegat (in Dutch).

UT Research Information System

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

Navigate to location

Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands