Brunings Lecture


The 8th Brunings Lecture with the theme “Nature, and our solutions” was held on January 24, 2023. For those who missed it, or for those who’d like to see it again: please watch the videos below.

Introduction Maarten Kleinhans

Lecture by Dr María Maza

María E. Maza FernándezDr 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.

Lecture by Dr Bregje van Wesenbeeck

Bregje van WesenbeeckDr 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.

Lecture slides Bregje van Wesenbeeck

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.

Lecture by Prof. Dr Maarten Kleinhans

On knowledge practices around Christiaan Brunings at the end of the 18th century