School of Earth and Environment

Anna Wesselink Dr Anna Wesselink

Visiting Researcher

Email address:

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


After studying tropical Land and Water Management at Wageningen Unversity and research Centre I have gained 11 years professional experience as a hydrologist in water resource research and practice. My positions included Higher Scientific Officer with the Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford (UK) in the Engineering Hydrology Division, where I was working on the European project FRIEND (Flow Regimes of International Experimental and Network Data) as well as several shorter commissioned projects. In my roles as Associate Expert, first with the UN World Meteorological Organisation in the Central African Republic and then with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Madagascar, I performed water resources studies with limited data availability and spent much time and effort in improving the latter. As Area Hydrologist with Environment Agency in Bridgwater (UK), I came across similar problems of needing to answer questions where data and models were not sufficient.

Research interests

In my PhD research at Twente University I looked at the way knowledge input influences decision making in water resources management. I studied the ways the problems are framed in these processes of (social) learning and negotiation. I am now exploring further how decision making in natural resource management integrates different kinds of expertise in the context of policies and politics.

I am particularly interested in the implementation of policies, and eventually in the reflection on implementation during the formulation of new policies. Second, I wish to explore if and how the findings can be used to improve existing practices of both academics and practitioners. In this way I hope to build a bridge between natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities as well as between academic understanding and professional practices, both intellectually and practically. I hope to make a theoretical contribution to the fields of

  • social studies of science/scientists , specifically with respect to inter- and transdisciplinary research for natural resources management
  • studies of policy making and implementation, planning, regulation and governance
  • water management and/or biodiversity management

My research itself is therefore an interdisciplinary enterprise, where reflection on epistemology, ontology and axiology are a necessary foundation of any enterprise.

Past projects

Current research

Research Officer "Enhancing the Impacts of Climate Change Research on Policy and Practice" working with the Centre for Low Carbon Futures and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy


  • Jolibert C; Wesselink A (2012) Research impacts and impact on research in biodiversity conservation: The influence of stakeholder engagement, Environmental Science and Policy, 22, pp.100-111. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.06.012
  • Wesselink A; Warner J; Kok M (2012) You gain some funding, you lose some freedom: The ironies of flood protection in Limburg (The Netherlands), Environmental Science and Policy, . doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.10.018
  • Wesselink A; Hoppe R (2011) If Post-Normal Science is the Solution, What is the Problem?: The Politics of Activist Environmental Science, SCI TECHNOL HUM VAL, 36, pp.389-412. doi: 10.1177/0162243910385786
  • Wesselink A; Paavola J; Fritsch O; Renn O (2011) Rationales for public participation in environmental policy and governance: practitioners' perspectives, Environment and Planning A: international journal of urban and regional research, 43, pp.2688-2704. doi: 10.1068/a44161
  • Wesselink A; Warner J (2010) Reframing floods: proposals and politics, Nature & Culture, 5, pp.1-14.
  • Wesselink A; De Vriend H; Barneveld H; Krol M; Bijker W (2009) Hydrology and hydraulics expertise in participatory processes for climate change adaptation in the Dutch Meuse (Water Science and Technology 60, 3, (583-595)), Water Science and Technology, 60, pp.1369. doi: 10.2166/wst.2009.5_Erratum1
  • Wesselink A (2009) The emergence of interdisciplinary knowledge in problem-focused research, AREA, 41, pp.404-413. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2009.00882.x
  • Wesselink A; de Vriend H; Barneveld H; Krol M; Bijker W (2009) Hydrology and hydraulics expertise in participatory processes for climate change adaptation in the Dutch Meuse, WATER SCI TECHNOL, 60, pp.583-595. doi: 10.2166/wst.2009.412
  • Wesselink A; de Vriend H; Barneveld H; Krol M; Bijker W (2009) Hydrology and hydraulics expertise in participatory processes for climate change adaptation in the Dutch Meuse (vol 60, pg 583, 2009), WATER SCI TECHNOL, 60, pp.1369-1369. doi: 10.2166/wst.2009.5_Erratum1
  • Wesselink A; Bijker WE; de Vriend HJ; Krol MS (2007) Dutch dealings with the Delta, Nature and Culture, 2, pp.188-209. doi: 10.3167/nc2007.020203
  • Wesselink A (2007) Flood safety in the Netherlands: The Dutch response to Hurricane Katrina, Technology in Society, 29, pp.239-247. doi: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2007.01.010
  • Wesselink A; Merkx F (2007) Transdisciplinarity for integrated coastal zone management. Report on an Expert Meeting, Coastal Defence Project, .
  • Wesselink AJ; Reuber J; Krol M (2006) Anticipating climate change: knowledge use in participatory flood management in the river Meuse, European Water, pp.4-14.
  • Wesselink A (2006) Verkenningen Hoogwaterbeheer Maas. Een studie naar besluitvorming als verweving van expertise en belangen [Flood management investigations on the Meuse river. A study into decision making as interweaving of expertise and interests], CE&M research report, .
  • Wesselink A (2001) By Brook low flow investigations, Environment Agency Final Report, .
  • Wesselink A (2001) Chalfield Brook low flow investigations, Environment Agency Final Report, .