Brunings Lecture


The annual Christiaan Brunings Lecture brings together the scientists, practitioners and managers of rivers and estuaries.


Please take notice that this lecture will not be hybrid. However, it will be recorded and shared through this site afterwards.


Pangea hall, Victor J. Koningsberger Building (13:00 – 16:00)
Metronome (drinks), in the Earth Simulation Laboratory (16:00 – 17:00)

Please consider coming to the lecture by way of public transport as parking space is very limited. The halls are a short walk away from bus stop Botanische Tuinen and tram stop Padualaan.


13:00 Welcome and coffee/tea

María E. Maza Fernández13:30 Introduction and first speaker: Dr María E. Maza Fernández (Hydrodynamics and Coastal Infrastructures group, University of Cantabria, Spain)

Dr Maza Fernández’s research focuses on understanding the fundamentals and modelling the flow-ecosystem interaction, with the aim of obtaining new tools from basic science and thus promoting the use of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) as coastal protection measures.

Abstract: Are we ready to effectively design and implement nature-based solutions?

Multiple new initiatives include nature in our solutions for coastal disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. However, can we really assess coastal resilience by including such solutions? Can we draw parallels between conventional engineering and the design, between implementation and maintenance of nature-based solutions? Do we have the necessary tools to engineer nature-based solutions (NBS)?

Conceptual guidelines and a number of tools exist to analyze the performance of NBS for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation applications. However, there is still a need for comprehensive design, implementation and monitoring recommendations. Moreover, predictive tools are needed to assess the performance of NBS at larger spatial and temporal scales. This presentation will reflect on these aspects, which are crucial for incorporating NBS in the portfolio of solutions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

14:30 break

Bregje van Wesenbeeck15:00 Second speaker: Dr Bregje K. van Wesenbeeck (Coastal Engineering group, Delft University of Technology / Deltares, The Netherlands)

Dr  Van Wesenbeeck, a senior expert in nature-based solutions, is an associate professor at the Delft University of Technology in nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based adaptation for climate change and disaster risk reduction. She is also scientific director of Deltares, a Dutch research institute for water management.

Abstract: NBS 2.0 – next generation of nature-based solutions

Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are increasingly popular for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. Promises on NBS and services that it can deliver are sky-high, but how did that work out in practice? After a decade of NBS work this is a good time to reflect on the first generation of nature-based solutions projects. What lessons can we learn from these past projects? This presentation will reflect on what went well and what requires improvement to make NBS more effective from an engineering perspective and from an ecological perspective. Past projects and the latest developments in NBS science will be evaluated. The issue of scale for assessment of NBS will be specifically emphasized by evaluating the role of natural processes and envisioned effects of NBS at larger scales in space and time. These lessons can inform the next generation of NBS as well as set future expectations on NBS performance.

15:45 Brief talk about Christiaan Brunings by Prof. Maarten Kleinhans, Dept. of Physical Geography, Utrecht University

16:00 End of lecture; short walk to the Metronome for drinks