Koen Siteur

I am an environmental scientist who likes to capture the environment in equations and scripts. I enjoy translating my findings for the general audience, policy makers, and between scientific fields. I have a background in environmental sciences, with an emphasis on hydrology and (theoretical) ecology.


Post-doctoral researcher

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) & East China Normal University (ECNU)

I was part of an EU Horizon 2020 project “Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas” (MERCES) in collaboration with various European partners. We developed an indicator framework to guide restoration of coastal ecosystems. This framework was based on spatially explicit models that I developed and analysed. Besides my research activities I lectured at University College Utrecht (UCU) on sustainable resource management, represented post-doctoral researchers in the young scientist representative council of NIOZ-EDS, and supervised MSc students in their graduation projects.

November 2016 - October 2019

Junior Assistant Professor

Utrecht University

I developed courses and exams, supervised seminars and lectured in the courses of the Bachelor programme Environmental Sciences and the Master programme Sustainable Development. I was involved in the courses Ecosystem Modelling (now Environmental Systems Analysis) and Mathematics and System Analysis.

September 2015 - February 2016

PhD candidate

Utrecht University

I established new theory on tipping points in ecosystems by developing and analysing (spatially explicit) models. The focus of my research was on water limited ecosystems and the way these ecosystems cope with the rapidly changing climate. My PhD thesis and associated peer-reviewed publications can be found in the section Publications below. My teaching activities included supervision of students performing scientific research and fieldwork (BSc level), and modelling (MSc level). Besides research and teaching I was PhD representative in the Utrecht Geo Graduate council, organised (guest)lectures in the department, I was minutes secretary of departmental group meetings and co-founded a blog to communicate our department's research to the general audience.

September 2011 - August 2015

Research Intern

Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

I performed a systematic comparison of a number of global hydrological models for a selection of river basins and wrote a scientific report.

April 2011 - July 2011


PhD Environmental Sciences

Utrecht University

Followed courses on complexity science, theoretical ecology, spatial ecology and academic skills. Attended conferences and workshops on dryland ecohydrology, critical transitions and geosciences.

September 2011 - August 2015

MSc Hydrology

Utrecht University

Graduated Cum laude within the track Earth Surface Hydrology. Followed courses on land surface hydrology, stochastic hydrology, unsaturated zone hydrology, groundwater hydrology, remote sensing and environmental modelling.

September 2009 - July 2011

BSc Environmental Sciences

Utrecht University

Followed courses on hydrology, ecology, soil science, air pollution, landscape ecology, nature conservation, environmental system analysis, environmental modelling, mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics and academic skills.

September 2006 - July 2009


  • Spatial modelling & spatial statistics
  • Mathematics & model analysis
  • Teaching & supervision
  • Science communication
Programming Languages & Tools
  • Python (libraries: pandas, matplotlib, numpy, numba) and Matlab
  • MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Markup languages including HTML (CSS) and LateX.
  • Javascript, php and MySQL
  • Dutch (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (beginner)


Besides work my interests include:

  • Cycling I like to watch races, ride my own road bike, and go on cycling holidays.
  • China I am fascinated by Chinese culture and food.
  • Data analysis I like to analyse data of my cycling workouts and my weather station in my backyard.
  • Podcasts I like to listen to podcasts about science & technology and about cycling.