Hugo de Boer joins Delta Climate Center

Further intensification of cooperation

Portret Hugo de Boer

Environmental scientist Hugo de Boer (Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University) will be the Faculty of Geosciences’ scientific lead for the Delta Climate Center in Vlissingen. This will further intensify the collaboration between the two institutes. At the Delta Climate Center, he looks forward to the development of innovative education and research with a focus on the role of ecosystem services in the transition to sustainable and climate-resilient deltas. ’The unique location of the center and  collaboration with knowledge institutions in Zeeland offers the opportunity  to try out new ideas on location and to learn from them.’

Hugo de Boer has been affiliated with Utrecht University since 2008, after having previously completed his studies there. He obtained his doctorate in 2012. Within his field of expertise, global ecohydrology and sustainability, he focuses on the dynamic role of plants and ecosystems as part of global changes in climate and land use. In addition, he participates in education at the university within the master's programme Sustainable Development and the Earth & Environment track at University College Utrecht.

Sustainable solutions for deltas

'It is great to see how much expertise the Delta Climate Center brings together and with how much enthusiasm the parties involved collaborate on the common goal of developing knowledge that contributes to a sustainable and climate-proof delta,' says de Boer. The collaboration with parties in Zeeland offers the opportunity to develop sustainable and innovative solutions that are focused on this unique region but are also relevant to other deltas worldwide. ‘It is my ambition to emphasise the role of ecosystem services in these solutions, both in education and research. In doing so, we can learn a lot from how natural processes and human influences have shaped the region in the past as well from new in-situ and remote observation technologies. In my view, this knowledge is crucial to give substance to the global sustainability goals on a regional scale and in a practical sense.'

It is great to see how much expertise the Delta Climate Center brings together

Important task

The Delta Climate Center, established in 2023, investigates how we can create sustainable, climate-resilient and prosperous deltas. This is an important task given that more than 500 million people worldwide live in deltas, and their quality of life is under pressure due to rising sea levels and ecosystem degradation, among other things.

Joining forces

In the Delta Climate Center, six educational and knowledge institutions are joining forces. In addition to Utrecht University, these are: the school for secondary vocational education Scalda, the Hogeschool Zeeland, University College Roosevelt, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research NIOZ and Wageningen University and Research. With the accession of de Boer, Utrecht University's participation in the Delta Climate Center will take on an even more substantive shape. Previously, Herman Kasper Gilissen from Utrecht University was appointed to the Delta Climate Center to shape the collaboration in the field of education and research.