dr.ir. V.J. Cortes Arevalo (Juliette)

About Me

I am a post-doc researcher interested in participatory approaches for the (online) communication of river research and the collaborative monitoring of environmental variables to better manage natural hazards.

My research perspective was shaped from the experience as Civil Engineer in Colombia, my home country. There, I worked for about four years in proposals for engineering projects with the public and private sectors. I was also field engineer for the construction of riverbank protections at critical locations along main national highways. I also attended a flood emergency in La Mojana, Magdalena (Colombia), with the support of local communities as first responders.

Curious about how models could help water management, I came to IHE-Delft for my master studies.  For my thesis, I co-designed a website to support a collaborative modeling approach for the ranking of flood risk management alternatives. I moved to Padova (Italy) for my Ph.D. studies, which was co-supervised by TUDelft. There, I developed with the Civil Protection a prototype web-tool for the use of volunteer's information in the early inspection and maintenance of protective structures.

In about 8-years of research, I learned about the participatory design of web tools to better communicate and support knowledge exchange between societal actors. I aim at the improved preparedness and planning of sustainable measures against water-related hazards. An online example of my work is the current website of the RiverCare program (www.rivercare.nl), where we proposed visual storytelling to make scientific results more accessible via the storylines for practice.



  • May 2015 - date: Researcher at RiverCare Project, University of Twente for the Knowledge base & communication
  • Oct 2011 – Oct 2014: Early Stage Researcher in the CHANGES Project. Marie Curie funding.
  • Apr 2007 - Sep 2009+Oct 2005 - Mar 2006: Project and Civil Engineer, Hidroconsulta Ltda. Bogota-Colombia.
  • Mar 2006 - Apr 2007: Project and Civil Engineer, Constructora Douquem Ltda. Bogota-Colombia.
  • Feb 2005 - Jun 2005: Student assistant of the Department of Hydraulics. Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Earth & Environmental Sciences
Meteorological Hazard
Risk Management
River Management
Engineering & Materials Science


My research interests are towards the more inclusive and sustainable management and communication of water management strategies both at urban and catchment level. I use participatory methods for communication. Thereby, I supported community-based monitoring strategies to assist project managers and advisors, for example, in the maintenance of hydraulic structures. Working with the users and a multi-disciplinary editorial team, I co-designed decision and information support tools that integrate different forms of communication (videos, interactive visuals, and maps). I am looking forward to continue learning and developing my expertise in other natural hazards, particularly in countries in development.

During my post-doc, we designed the RiverCare website (www.rivercare.nl) and proposed a series of steps to prepare visual storylines for more accessible research outputs to project managers and advisors.

For my Ph.D., we developed a protocol for the inspection of check dams by volunteers of the Civil Protection in Italy. Explore below about:

For my MSc thesis, we prepared an exercise for the collaborative evaluation of flood risk management strategies in a case study in Hamburg and London.


Other Contributions

Key publications:

  • Cortes Arevalo, V.J.; Verbrugge, L.N.H.; Sools, A; Brugnach, M; Wolterink, R; van Denderen, R.P.; Candel, J.H.J. and Hulscher, S.J.M.H. Storylines for practice: a visual storytelling approach to strengthen the science-practice interface. Sustainability Science (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-020-00793-y
  • den Haan, R-J., Fliervoet, J. M., van der Voort, M. C., Cortes Arevalo, V. J., & Hulscher, S. J. M. H. (2018). Understanding actor perspectives regarding challenges for integrated river basin management. International journal of river basin management. https://doi.org/10.1080/15715124.2018.1503186
  • Mazzoleni, M., Cortes Arevalo, V. J. , Wehn, U., Alfonso, L., Norbiato, D., Monego, M., Ferri, M. & Solomatine, D. P. (2018). Exploring the influence of citizen involvement on the assimilation of crowdsourced observations: A modelling study based on the 2013 flood event in the Bacchiglione catchment (Italy) In: Hydrology and earth system sciences. 22, 1, p. 391-416 26 p. DOI: 10.5194/hess-22-391-2018
  • Cortes Arevalo, V. J., Sterlacchini, S., Bogaard, T., Junier, S., & van de Giesen, N. (2016). Decision support method to systematically evaluate first-level inspections of the functional status of check dams. Structure and infrastructure engineering, 12(11), 1487-1504. DOI: 10.1080/15732479.2016.1144619
  • Aye, Z. C., Sprague, T., Cortes Arevalo, V. J., Prenger-Berninghoff, K., Jaboyedoff, M., & Derron, M-H. (2016). A collaborative (web-GIS) framework based on empirical data collected from three case studies in Europe for risk management of hydro-meteorological hazards. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 15, 10-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.12.001.
  • Prenger-Berninghoff, K., Cortes, V.J., Sprague, T., Aye, Z.C., Greiving, S., Głowacki, W.,Sterlacchini, S., 2014. The connection between long-term and short-term risk managementstrategies for flood and landslide hazards: examples from land-use planning and emergencymanagement in four European case studies. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science 14,3261–3278. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-14-3261-2014.

Google Scholar Link


RiverCare project is a Dutch research program studying the effects of recent interventions in the river behavior to contribute with methods and prototype tools towards more sustainable river mangement.

Besides my experience in Colombia and The Netherlands, I joined two more projects in Europe.  The Project DIANE-CM which had two case studies one in Hamburg (Germany) and London (UK). The CHANGES project which had four European study areas in mountain areas.


Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

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