Research focus: beach-dune interaction, coastal safety, blowouts, dune vegetation, bio-geomorphology, sand dune restoration
Gerben Ruessink is Professor Wave-dominated coastal morphodynamics within the team Living landscapes and member of the Water, Climate and Future Deltas platform within the Pathways to Sustainability research theme. He studies the natural and human-impacted dynamics of sandy beaches and dunes in response to the interaction between waves, wind, sand and vegetation. He is strongly motivated by the direct application of his research in the design, monitoring and evolution of nature-based solutions implemented by coastal and nature managers to ensure present-day and future safety and rich biodiversity of our beautiful coasts.
Restoration project Bloemendaal
Ruessink's and his colleagues are investigating strategies to restore sand dunes along the coast, such as in Bloemendaal (Dutch). Here, dune and nature managers have made openings in the most seaward dune to channel the sand blowing from the beach to the inland dunes. Through these openings, the area inland is raised and forms a buffer for future storms and rising seas. By building up the sand layer in this way, the landscape becomes more dynamic with a rich biodiversity, and thus also more adaptive to climate change.