W. Verhagen MSc.

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PhD Researcher


Willem Verhagen has been working as a PhD researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since September 2013. Within the Environmental Geography group he will be working on the OPERAs project under supervision of Dr. A.J.A. van Teeffelen and Prof. P.H. Verburg. His PhD research focuses on operationalizing the concept of ecosystem services for landscape planning and management. Alongside his PhD project Willem also received funding by SESYNC to work on an international synthesis project on the relationship between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Prior to starting a PhD at the IVM, Willem completed his Bachelor in Earth sciences and Economics at the VU University and his Master in Sustainable Development – Global Change and Ecosystems at Utrecht University. During his studies Willem developed a profound interest in human-environment interactions resulting in projects related to transport and environmental economics, green roofs in Amsterdam, climate change and uncertainty in SCBA and forest research in Spain. For his master thesis at Johns Hopkins University Willem used a hydrological model to test the effect of wetland restoration on stream flow in an US agricultural basin and discussed the implications of wetland restoration for erosion control and ecosystem services. 


Landscape ecology, Ecosystem Services, Spatial analysis, Land use Land cover, Human-environment systems, Sustainable Development, ArcGIS, R statistical software.

Academic training

2011-2013MSc Sustainable Development – Global Change & Ecosystems (Cum Laude), Utrecht University
2006-2010BSc Earth Sciences and Economics, Vu University Amsterdam

Professional employment history

2013-presentPhD Researcher, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2013Research project Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
2011-2010Research assistant FEWEB Internship Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

Recent projects

2013-presentEarly career researcher fund by SESYNC to participate in project on the trade-off between land use, biodiversity and ecosystem services. LUBDESproject
2013-presentOPERAs: Ecosystem Service Science for Policy and Practice. http://www.operas-project.eu/empty

Selected publications

Research papers

Xia, Y., van Ommeren, J.N., Rietveld, P. & Verhagen, W. (2013). Railway infrastructure disturbances and train operator performance: The role of weather. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment,18, 97–102. doi:10.1016/j.trd.2012.09.008

Book chapters

Verhagen, W., Verburg, P.H., Schulp, N. & Stürck, J. (2015). Mapping ecosystem services. In van Beukering, P.J.H. & Bouma, J. (eds), Ecosystem Services: from concept to practice (p. 22). Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press.


Koetse, M., Koomen, E., Koopmans, C., Rietveld, P. & Verhagen, W. (2011). Klimaatverandering en klimaatonzekerheid in MKBA’s. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. http://dare.ubvu.vu.nl/handle/1871/33263