Dr Luuk Fleskens
Associate Professor in Environmental Change
+31(0) 317 485467
Email address: email@example.com
Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute
I am interested in assessing the impacts of environmental change, and particularly how land and water management interventions can increase resilience of agro-ecosystems. Using integrated environmental models and participatory methods I consider impact in both physical and economic terms, at different scales, and taking into account diverging socio-cultural perceptions of various stakeholders. This ranges from a farmer who, based on his or her perceived benefits and constraints decides to adopt or not to adopt technologies, to environmental policy-making where the objective of equitable and sustainable resource use and rural development is easier claimed than reached. I am also interested in the role science can play to bring together stakeholders at different levels and to resolve conflicts of interest.
I currently hold a joint appointment at the Soil Physics and Land Management Group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. In total I have over 15 years experience working on sustainable land management in advisory, research, and consulting positions with a focus on Africa and Southern Europe. Previous experiences include working as a technical advisor for capacity building of research on soil and water conservation in Eritrea, and as a consultant for a wide range of organizations and projects in Mozambique. Recent consultancy assignments include the development of a payment for watershed services programme for UNDP in Malawi, a study on prioritizing rural public works interventions for IFDC in Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Congo DRC and on including environmental conservation in an integrated environmental health project for AMREF in Kenya.
- MSc Tropical Land Use (1997)
- PhD Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (2007), Wageningen University
I am an associate editor of the journal Frontiers in Agroecology and Land Use Systems, and member of the editorial boards of the journals Regional Environmental Change and The Scientific Word Journal, and of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management.
- Sustainable land management
- land degradation
- water harvesting
- integrated environmental modelling
- participatory processes
- farmer decision-making
Current research projects
- iSQAPER (2015-2020, funding by EU Horizon2020), on interactive soil quality assessment in Europe and China for agricultural production and environmental resilience
- RECARE (2013-2017, funding by EU FP7), on preventing and remediating degradation of soils in Europe through land care
- CASCADE (2012-2016, funding by EU FP7), on catastrophic shifts in Mediterranean drylands and development of management schemes for sustainable resource use and conservation of ecosystem services.
- WAHARA (2011-2016, funding by EU FP7), on water harvesting for rainfed Africa to enhance food production and resilience, with study sites in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Zambia.
- Transforming water scarcity through trading (2011-2014, funding by EPSRC), looking at market opportunities to enhance distributed water storage in the UK and developing country context.
Past research projects
- DESIRE (2007-2012, funding by EU FP6), a large research project on promising alternative land use and management conservation strategies in sixteen degradation and desertification hotspots around the world.
Current PhD student supervision
- Mr Thomas Swinscoe - Transforming water scarcity through trading: agricultural water use and farm economics (Co-supervised with Prof John Barrett and Christof Knoeri; funded by EPSRC studentship, 2011-2015).
Completed PhD students
- Ms Sarah Lebel- Assessing the potential of rainwater harvesting as an adaptation strategy to climate change in Africa (Co-supervised with Prof Piers Forster and Dr Brian Irvine; funded by University of Leeds FIRS studentship, 2011-2014).
- Ms Uzma Aslam - Assessing the scope of PES in relation to GHG emissions in agri-ecosystems (Co-supervised with Prof Mette Termansen; funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, 2009-2013).
- Mr Doan Nainggolan - On the operationalization of a spatially explicit evaluation of the complexity of land use trajectories in semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystems (Co-supervised with Prof Mette Termansen; funded by University of Leeds ORS, DESIRE, and Aarhus University, 2007-2012).
Academic CV (pdf file)
- Sietz D; Fleskens L; Stringer LC (2017) Learning from non-linear ecosystem dynamics is vital for achieving land degradation neutrality, Land Degradation and Development, . doi: 10.1002/ldr.2732
- Stringer LC; Reed MS; Fleskens L; Thomas RJ; Le QB; Lala-Pritchard T (2017) A new dryland development paradigm grounded in empirical analysis of dryland systems science, Land Degradation and Development, . doi: 10.1002/ldr.2716
- Baptista I; Irvine B; Fleskens L; Geissen V; Ritsema C (2016) Assessing the Biophysical Impact and Financial Viability of Soil Management Technologies Under Variable Climate in Cabo Verde Drylands: The PESERA-DESMICE Approach, Land Degradation and Development, 27, pp.1679-1690. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2552
- Jones N; Fleskens L; Stroosnijder L (2016) Targeting the impact of agri-environmental policy - Future scenarios in two less favoured areas in Portugal, Journal of Environmental Management, 181, pp.805-816. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.07.001
- Leventon J; Fleskens L; Claringbould H; Schwilch G; Hessel R (2016) An applied methodology for stakeholder identification in transdisciplinary research, Sustainability Science, 11, pp.763-775. doi: 10.1007/s11625-016-0385-1
- Schwilch G; Bernet L; Fleskens L; Giannakis E; Leventon J; Marañón T; Mills J; Short C; Stolte J; Van Delden H; Verzandvoort S (2016) Operationalizing ecosystem services for the mitigation of soil threats: A proposed framework, Ecological Indicators, 67, pp.568-597. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.03.016
- Fleskens L; Kirkby MJ; Irvine BJ (2016) The PESERA-DESMICE Modeling Framework for Spatial Assessment of the Physical Impact and Economic Viability of Land Degradation Mitigation Technologies, Frontiers in Environmental Science, 4, . doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2016.00031
- Lebel S; Fleskens L; Forster PM; Jackson LS; Lorenz S (2015) Evaluation of In Situ Rainwater Harvesting as an Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change for Maize Production in Rainfed Africa, Water Resources Management, 29, pp.4803-4816. doi: 10.1007/s11269-015-1091-y
- Jin K; Wang F; Wang F; Wang F; Chen D; Jiao Q; Xia L; Xia L; Fleskens L; Fleskens L; Mu X; Mu X; Mu X (2015) Assessment of urban effect on observed warming trends during 1955-2012 over China: a case of 45 cities, Climatic Change, . doi: 10.1007/s10584-015-1446-7
- Wang F; Mu X; Li R; Fleskens L; Stringer LC; Ritsema CJ (2015) Co-evolution of soil and water conservation policy and human-environment linkages in the Yellow River Basin since 1949, Science of the Total Environment, 508, pp.166-177. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.055
- Baptista I; Fleskens L; Ritsema C; Querido A; Tavares J; Ferreira AD; Reis EA; Gomes S; Varela A (2015) Soil and Water Conservation Strategies in Cape Verde (Cabo Verde in Portuguese) and Their Impacts on Livelihoods: An Overview from the Ribeira Seca Watershed, LAND, 4, pp.22-44. doi: 10.3390/land4010022
- Bongers G; Fleskens L; Van De Ven G; Mukasa D; Giller K; Van Asten P (2015) DIVERSITY in SMALLHOLDER FARMS GROWING COFFEE and THEIR USE of RECOMMENDED COFFEE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES in Uganda, Experimental Agriculture, 51, pp.594-614. doi: 10.1017/S0014479714000490
- Stringer LC; Fleskens L; Reed MS; de Vente J; Zengin M (2014) Participatory evaluation of monitoring and modeling of sustainable land management technologies in areas prone to land degradation, Environmental Management (New York): an international journal for decision-makers, scientists and environmental auditors, 54, pp.1022-1042. doi: 10.1007/s00267-013-0126-5
- Fleskens L; Nainggolan D; Stringer LC (2014) An exploration of scenarios to support sustainable land management using integrated environmental socio-economic models, Environmental Management (New York): an international journal for decision-makers, scientists and environmental auditors, 54, pp.1005-1021. doi: 10.1007/s00267-013-0202-x
- Fleskens L; Stringer LC (2014) Land management and policy responses to mitigate desertification and land degradation, Land Degradation and Development, 25, pp.1-4. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2272
- Carreiras M; Ferreira AJD; Valente S; Fleskens L; Gonzales-Pelayo O; Rubio JL; Stoof CR; Coelho COA; Ferreira CSS; Ritsema CJ (2014) Comparative analysis of policies to deal with wildfire risk, Land Degradation and Development, 25, pp.92-103. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2271
- Perkins J; Reed M; Akanyang L; Atlhopheng J; Chanda R; Magole L; Mphinyane W; Mulale K; Sebego R; Fleskens L; Irvine B; Kirkby M (2013) Making land management more sustainable: experiences implementing a new methodological framework in Botswana, Land Degradation & Development, 24, pp.463-477. doi: 10.1002/ldr.1142
- Fleskens L; Nainggolan D; Termansen M; Hubacek K; Reed MS (2013) Regional consequences of the way land users respond to future water availability in Murcia, Spain, Regional Environmental Change, 13, pp.615-632. doi: 10.1007/s10113-012-0283-8
- Qasim M; Hubacek K; Termansen M; Fleskens L (2013) Modelling land use change across elevation gradients in district Swat, Pakistan, Regional Environmental Change, 13, pp.567-581. doi: 10.1007/s10113-012-0395-1
- Fleskens L; Hubacek K (2013) Modelling land management for ecosystem services, Regional Environmental Change, 13, pp.363-366. doi: 10.1007/s10113-013-0465-z
- Nainggolan D; Termansen M; Fleskens L; Hubacek K; Reed MS; de Vente J; Boix-Fayos C (2012) What does the future hold for semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystems? - Exploring cellular automata and agent-based trajectories of future land-use change, Applied Geography, 35, pp.474-490. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.09.007
- Reed MS; Buenemann M; Atlhopheng J; Akhtar-Schuster M; Bachmann F; Bastin G; Bigas H; Chanda R; Dougill AJ; Essahli W; Evely AC; Geeson N; Fleskens L; Glass JH; Hessel R; Holden J; Ioris AAR; Kruger B; Liniger HP; Mphinyane W; Nainggolan D; Perkins J; Raymond CM; Ritsema CJ; Schwilch G; Sebego R; Seely M; Stringer LC; Thomas R; Twomlow S; Verzandvoort S (2011) Cross-scale monitoring and assessment of land degradation and sustainable land management: A methodological framework for knowledge management, Land Degradation & Development, 22, pp.261-271. doi: 10.1002/ldr.1087
- Fleskens L; Graaff JD (2010) Conserving natural resources in olive orchards on sloping land: Alternative goal programming approaches towards effective design of cross-compliance and agri-environmental measures, Agricultural Systems, 103, pp.521-534. doi: 10.1016/j.agsy.2010.05.005
- Fleskens L; Jorritsma F (2010) A behavioral change perspective of maroon soil fertility management in traditional shifting cultivation in suriname, Human Ecology, 38, pp.217-236. doi: 10.1007/s10745-010-9307-5
- de Graaff J; Duarte F; Fleskens L; de Figueiredo T (2010) The future of olive groves on sloping land and ex-ante assessment of cross compliance for erosion control, LAND USE POLICY, 27, pp.33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2008.02.006
- Fleskens L; Duarte F; Eicher I (2009) A conceptual framework for the assessment of multiple functions of agro-ecosystems: A case study of Tras-os-Montes olive groves, J RURAL STUD, 25, pp.141-155. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2008.08.003
- Duarte F; Jones N; Fleskens L (2008) Traditional olive orchards on sloping land: Sustainability or abandonment?, J ENVIRON MANAGE, 89, pp.86-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.05.024
- Fleskens L; de Graaff J (2008) A sustainable future for olive production on sloping land?, J ENVIRON MANAGE, 89, pp.73-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.05.017
- de Graaff J; Zuazo VHD; Jones N; Fleskens L (2008) Olive production systems on sloping land: Prospects and scenarios, J ENVIRON MANAGE, 89, pp.129-139. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.04.024
- Fleskens L (2008) A typology of sloping and mountainous olive plantation systems to address natural resources management, ANN APPL BIOL, 153, pp.283-297. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2008.00260.x
- Fleskens L; Stroosnijder L (2007) Is soil erosion in olive groves as bad as often claimed?, GEODERMA, 141, pp.260-271. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2007.06.009
- Fleskens L (2007) Conservation scenarios for olive farming on sloping land in the Mediterranean, Wageningen University.
- Fleskens L; Ataev A; Mamedov B; Spaan WP (2007) Desert water harvesting from Takyr surfaces: Assessing the potential of traditional and experimental technologies in the Karakum, LAND DEGRAD DEV, 18, pp.17-39. doi: 10.1002/ldr.759
- Fleskens L; Stroosnijder L; Ouessar M; De Graaff J (2005) Evaluation of the on-site impact of water harvesting in southern Tunisia, J ARID ENVIRON, 62, pp.613-630. doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2005.01.013
- Fleskens L; Stroosnijder L; Fetoui M (2002) Economic evaluation of on-site impact of water harvesting in southern Tunisia, In: Graaff JD; Ouessar M (Ed) Water harvesting in Mediterranean zones: an impact assessment and economic evaluation, Tropical Resource Management Papers, 40, Wageningen University, pp.89-100.
- Schiettecatte W; Fleskens L; Kabbachi B; Van der Voort D (2002) The role of seguias in soil and water conservation within the Talkjounte watershed, In: Graaff JD; Ouessar M (Ed) Water harvesting in Mediterranean zones: an impact assessment and economic evaluation, Tropical Resource Management Papers, 40, Wageningen University, pp.61-70.
- Geurts PMH; Fleskens L; Löwer J; Folmer ECR (1999) Nutrient balances at field level of mixed cropping systems in various agroecological zones in Mozambique., In: Smaling; A EM; Oenema; O; Fresco; O L (Ed) Nutrient disequilibria in agroecosystems: concepts and case studies, CABI, pp.191-210.