For the last thirteen and a half years, Flip Witte has integrated the scientific disciplines of hydrology, soil chemistry and vegetation science at KWR. He has also published a great number of papers, and been extraordinary Professor at the System Ecology group of VU University Amsterdam. Witte has made an extremely important contribution to PROBE, the innovative ecohydrological model for vegetation development, but now is taking early retirement and has handed the baton over to Ruud Bartholomeus.
Flip Witte truly embodies the transfer and sharing of knowledge. He is driven by the desire to reveal the relations between (ground) water, soil chemistry and vegetation in the context of climate change. At KWR, as leader of the Ecohydrology team, he contributed greatly to the integration of the scientific disciplines of hydrology, soil chemistry and vegetation science. During his period at KWR, he also published more than one hundred papers on a variety of subjects. Moreover, since March 2007, Witte has been extraordinary Professor at the System Ecology group of VU University Amsterdam, where he has supervised several PhD students and post-docs.
Witte has made an extremely important contribution to the innovative ecohydrological modelling of vegetation development (with PROBE), groundwater recharge and nitrate leaching under a changing climate. PROBE is an essential component of WaterVision Nature, a model that calculates the impact of climate change and water management on terrestrial vegetation in nature areas.
Witte now believes the time has come to take early retirement from KWR, though he will continue to do scientific work at his own company. Ruud Bartholomeus, a scientific researcher in hydrology, who is associated with Wageningen University, will succeed Witte as principal scientist. Based on his expertise in hydrology and his knowledge of the interplay between soil, plants and the atmosphere, Bartholomeus is involved in the development of both WaterVision Agriculture and WaterVision Nature. His work also focuses on knowledge development aimed at a robust freshwater supply in rural areas, in which different (and alternative) freshwater sources should be efficiently used.