M.L. Derkzen MSc.

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PhD researcher


Marthe Laura Derkzen started working as a PhD Researcher at the Environmental Geography Group, Vrije Universiteit, in May 2012. Her research focuses on ecosystem services analysis and is part of the EU FP7 project Transitioning towards Urban Resilience And Sustainability (TURAS). Under supervision of Peter Verburg and Astrid van Teeffelen she is developing various methodologies to assess urban ecosystem services. The final goal is to map and quantify a bundle of ecosystem services and to evaluate alternative scenarios as to help urban planning decisions, in order to come up with solutions for sustainable and resilient cities. She is working on climate adaptation strategies in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and the importance of lake ecosystems for low-income residents in Bangalore, India.

Prior to being employed at IVM, Marthe completed a MSc in Sustainable Development and a BSc in Human Geography and Planning at Utrecht University. She has a strong interest in multidisciplinary research, combining the natural with the social sciences. Her affiliation with International Development led to two research periods abroad (Indonesia and Brazil) of which the last one, focusing on urban green space, brought her to decide to continue working in the field of urban ecosystem services.


Urban ecology, climate adaptation, international development, spatial planning, land use and geospatial analysis.

Academic training

2012-presentPhD Researcher, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands
2009-2012MSc. Sustainable Development – International Development, Prestige Research Master (Cum Laude), Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
2005-2009   BSc. Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
2006-2008Environmental and Societal Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlandsempty

Professional employment history

2011Research intern, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, Brazil Thesis: Experiencing the Urban Green Space - An exploratory study of visiting behaviour, perceptions and preferences in the urban green spaces of São Paulo, Brazil
2010    Research intern, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Bogor, Indonesia in collaboration with WWF Indonesia Thesis: Conserve or Convert? Forest as the Fuel for Oil Palm – An assessment of rural livelihoods and their strategies to cope in an oil palm environment, Riau, Indonesia
2008Xperiment project team member, LEF Future Center, Rijkswaterstaat, Utrecht, Netherlands

Selected publications

Derkzen, M.L., van Teeffelen, A.J.A. & Verburg, P.H. (2015). Quantifying urban ecosystem services based on high-resolution data of urban green space: an assessment for Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52(4), 1020–1032. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12469