Dr H. de Moel

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+31 20 59 83992
faculteit der aard- en levenswetenschappen ( dep. water & climate risk )
Researcher/ Lecturer


Hans de Moel has been employed at the Institute for Environmental Studies since 2003 and currently works as an assistant professor in the field of flood risk management, climate change and adaptation. He is a certified university lecturer and teaches various BSc (Earth and Economy and Earth Sciences programs) and MSc (Environment and Resource Management program) courses. He aims to look in an integrated way at the natural system with its hazards, the impacts it can have on society and how this relates to the management of these hazards.

Academic interests are in the fields of flood risk management, water resources, hydrological modelling, land-use change, climate change (past and future), adaptation, and uncertainty analyses. The main focus of his research has been on flood risks, particularly the development and application of models assessing the consequences (damage/risk) of flooding. He has developed flood and risk models for, amongst others, the Netherlands (local and national scale), New York City and Ho-Chi-Minh City. He uses such models to support risk-based decision making by evaluating various adaptation measures and strategies, assessing the impact of climate change and socio-economic growth, and investigate uncertainties and sensitivities of such assessments and subsequent decisions.

Besides flood risk management, he is also involved in various other research fields. He uses hydrological modelling at various scales (small catchments to global) to investigate water scarcity, impacts of climate change and land management on coral reefs and the provisioning of ecosystem services. Additionally, he has worked on ocean acidification, land-use change, and food losses. Currently, he is involved in EU FP7 TURAS project on urban resilience and sustainability, the Dutch Knowledge for Climate project ‘Climate-proof Flood Risk Management’ and the TEEB for Tana study in Kenya.


  • GIS and spatial analyses, flood risk analysis and management, hydrological modelling, climate change impacts on hydrology

Academic training

2012PhD degree. Thesis entitled ‘Uncertainty in Flood Risk’. Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam.
2006MSc in Earth Sciences (cum laude) – Quarternary geology/ geo-ecology. Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam.
2004BSc in Earth Sciences – physical geography. Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam.

Professional Employment history

2010-presentResearcher and lecturer, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam
2006-2010PhD Researcher, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam
2003-2006Research assistant, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam

Recent projects

2014-presentTEEB for Tana. Investigating the impact of interventions in the Tana river system (such as dams) on the provisioning of ecosystem services in the catchment.
2011-presentTransitioning towards Urban Resilience And Sustainability - TURAS (EU FP7). Assessing and evaluating adaptation options to increase urban resilience.
2011-presentKnowledge for Climate – Theme 1. Climate-proof flood risk management.
2010-2012Coral reefs and global change - MASMA. Investigating the interactions between continental watersheds and coastal coral reef areas.
2010-2012Climate change and spatial structures in Flanders – Research project (CcASPAR). Developing spatial adaptation strategies to climate change for Flanders.
2006-2012Climate Change Spatial Planning – LANDS project (IC3). Translating land use change and climate change scenarios into adaptation strategies and regional measures.
2009-2010Knowledge for Climate – HSGR07. Options for climate proof flood defences for specific case studies along the Dutch rivers.
2006-2009Asialink – CLIMA. Training in climate change management issues and fostering cooperation between Asian and European scientists
2007-2008Hotspot Zuidplaspolder. Adaptation to climate change of new developments in a low-lying polder in the Netherlands.


2014Nomination for Teaching Award VU
2014Teacher of the year award FALW, VU University
2013Social Impact Award VU University (junior).
2013Best paper award Risk Analysis. (Aerts et al., 2013)
2010Best paper award Environmental Research Letters. (Kummu et al., 2010)
2007M.C. Esher award for best MSc dissertation in earth sciences.

Peer-reviewed Publications

Link to full publication list at IVM since 2006

Aerts J.C.J.H., W.J.W. Botzen, K. Emanuel, N. Lin, Moel, H. de and E. Michel-Kerjan (2014). Evaluating Flood Resilience Strategies for Coastal Mega-Cities. Science Vol 344, pp. 473-475, 2 May 2014. doi:10.1126/science.1248222 

Moel, H. de, Vliet, M. van & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2014). Evaluating the effect of flood damage-reducing measures: a case study of the unembanked area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.Regional Environmental Change 14(3), 895-908. doi:10.1007/s10113-013-0420-z

Lasage, R., T. I. E. Veldkamp, Moel, H. de, T. C. Van, H. L. Phi, P. Vellinga, and J. C. J. H. Aerts (2014). Assessment of the effectiveness of flood adaptation strategies for HCMC. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 14, 1441-1457. doi:10.5194/nhess-14-1441-2014

Moel, H. de, Bouwer, L.M. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2014). Uncertainty and sensitivity of flood risk calculations for a dike ring in the south of the Netherlands. Science of the Total Environment, 473-474(1), 224-234. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.12.015

Koks, E.E., Moel, H. de, Aerts, J.C.J.H. & Bouwer, L.M. (2014). Effect of spatial adaptation measures on flood risk: study of coastal floods in Belgium. Regional Environmental Change 14(1), 413-425. Doi:10.1007/s10113-013-0514-7. doi:10.1007/s10113-013-0514-7

Aerts, J.C.J.H., Botzen, W.J.W., Moel, H. de & Bowman, M. (2013). Cost Estimates for Flood Resilience and Protection Strategies in New York City. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1294, 1-104. doi:10.1111/nyas.12200

Aerts, J.C.J.H., Lin, N, Botzen, W.J.W., Emanuel, K & Moel, H. de (2013). Low probability flood-risk modeling for New York City. Risk Analysis, 33(5), 772-788. doi:10.1111/risa.12008

Maina, J., Moel, H. de, Zinke, J., Madin, J.S., McClanahan, T.K. & Vermaat, J.E. (2013). Human deforestation outweighs future climate change impacts of sedimentation on coral reefs. Nature Communications, 4. doi:10.1038/ncomms2986

Kummu, M.S., Moel, H. de, Porkka, M., Siebert, S., Varis, O. & Ward, P.J. (2012). Lost food, wasted resources: global food supply chain losses and their impacts on freshwater, cropland, and fertiliser use. Science of the Total Environment, 438, 477-489. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.08.092

Lauri, H., Moel, H. de, Ward, P.J., Räsänen, T.A., Keskinen, M. & Kummu, M.S. (2012). Future changes in Mekong River hydrology: impact of climate change and reservoir operation on discharge. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, 4603-4619. doi:10.5194/hess-16-4603-2012

Maina, J., Moel, H. de, Vermaat, J.E., Bruggemann, J.H., Guillaume, M.M.M., Grove, C.A., Madin, J.S., Merz-Kraus, R. & Zinke, J. (2012). Linking coral river runoff proxies with climate variability, hydrology and land-use in Madagascar catchments. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64(10), 2047-2059. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.06.027

Moel, H. de, Asselman, N.E.M. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2012). Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of coastal flood damage estimates in the west of the Netherlands. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 12, 1045-1058. doi:10.5194/nhess-12-1045-2012

Bubeck, P., Moel, H. de, Bouwer, L.M. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2011). How reliable are projections of future flood damage. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 11, 3293-3306. doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3293-2011

Kummu, M., de Moel, H., Ward, P.J., Varis, O. (2011). How close do we live to water? A global analysis of population distance to freshwater bodies. Plos ONE 6(6): e20578.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020578

Te Linde, A. H., Bubeck, P., Dekkers, J. E. C., de Moel, H., and Aerts, J. C. J. H. (2011). Future flood risk estimates along the river Rhine. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11(2), 459-473.      

Moel, H. de, Aerts, J.C.J.H. & Koomen, E. (2011). Development of flood exposure in the Netherlands during the 20th and 21st century. Global Environmental Change, 21(2), 620-627. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.12.005

Moel, H. de & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2011). Effect of uncertainty in land use, damage models and inundation depth on flood damage estimates. Natural Hazards, 58(1), 407-425. doi:10.1007/s11069-010-9675-6

Ward, P.J., Moel, H. de & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2011). How are flood risk estimates affected by the choice of return-periods? Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 11, 3181-3195. doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3181-2011

Kummu, M., Ward, P. J., de Moel, H., and Varis, O.  (2010) Is physical water scarcity a new phenomenon? Global assessment of water shortage over the last two millennia. Environmental Research Letters 5(3): 034006. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034006

De Moel, H., Alphen, J. van & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2009). Flood maps in Europe – methods, availability and use. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 9, 1-13, http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/9/289/2009/

Moel, H. de, Ganssen, G.M., Peeters, F.J.C., Jung, S.J.A., Kroon, D., Brummer, G.J.A. & Zeebe, R.E. (2009). Planktic foraminiferal shell thinning in the Arabian Sea due to anthropogenic ocean acidification? Biogeosciences, 6(9), 1811-1835. doi:10.5194/bg-6-1917-2009

Aerts, J.C.J.H., Lasage, R., Beets, W., Moel, H. de & Vries, A. de (2007). Robustness of sand storage dams under climate change. Vadose Zone Journal, 6, 572-580. doi:10.2136/vzj2006.0097

Hurkmans, R.T.W.L., De Moel, H., J.C.J.H. Aerts & Troch, P.A. (2008). Water balance versus land surface model to simulate Rhine river discharges. Water Resources Research, 44, W01418, doi:10.1029/2007WR006168

Gupta, J., Leeuw, K. van der, De Moel, H. (2007), Climate Change: A Glocal Problem Requiring Glocal Action. Environmental Science, 4 (3), pp. 139-148, doi:10.1080/15693430701742677

Renssen, H., Lougheed, B.C., Aerts, J.C.J.H., De Moel, H., Ward, P.J. & Kwadijk, J.C.J. (2007). Simulating long-term Caspian Sea level changes: the impact of Holocene and future climate conditions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 261(3-4), 685-693, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.07.037

Ward, P.J., Aerts, J.C.J.H., De Moel, H., Renssen, H. (2007). Verification of a coupled climate-hydrological model against Holocene palaeohydrological records. Global and Planetary Change,57(3-4), pp. 283-300, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2006.12.002

Aerts, J. C. J. H., Renssen, H., Ward, P. J., De Moel, H., Odada, E., Bouwer, L.M. & Goosse, H. (2006), Sensitivity of global river discharges under Holocene and future climate conditions. Geophysical Research Letters,33 (L19401), doi:10.1029/2006GL027493

Ancillary activities

Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017