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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Projects | IRI THESys | People | Prof. Dr. Doerthe Tetzlaff

Prof. Dr. Doerthe Tetzlaff


Ecohydrology of rivers and landscapes


  • Spatial and temporal variability of how catchments function eco-hydrologically at different scales
  • Use of tracers to understand sources, pathways and age of water, nutrients and particles
  • Sensitivity and ability of catchments to mediate implications of climate change

"Our ability to predict the consequences of climate and land-use changes on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water resources is a formidable challenge and requires novel, interdisciplinary approaches. The strongly interdisciplinary IRI THESys team provides a platform to apply novel, integrated methods and approaches in my research through new collaborations." Doerthe Tetzlaff

Prof. Dr. Doerthe Tetzlaff is Professor in Ecohydrology at the Department of Geography at the HU and Head of the Department 1 Ecohydrology at the IGB Leibniz Institute. Over the past 15 years, she has pursued a research vision in ecohydrology which integrates insights from both field and modelling approaches; particularly in northern regions.

Research has been undertaken with the basic aim of understanding the spatial and temporal variability of how catchments function hydrologically at different scales; understanding the physical processes that generate stream flow, and the way these processes influence the hydrochemistry and hydroecology of streams. This has explored an interdisciplinary interface that seeks to understand the interaction between physical and biological processes in catchments and river systems to aid understanding of the sensitivity and ability of catchments to mediate implications of climate change.

Doerthe possesses modelling experience which spans a spectrum from the application of simple conceptual models to more complex semi-distributed ones. Novel to her research is the incorporation of tracer data into hydrological models in order to assess appropriate model complexity and structures. She was awarded a prestigious ERC grant in 2013. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Hydrological Processes, (one of the top ranking journals in the ISI Water Resources subject area). Doerthe is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Young Academy. In 2017, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, UK. She has served as an invited Chair and member on several committees of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Doerthe became a member of IRI THESys in 2018.

Selected Publications

Kuppel S, Tetzlaff D, Maneta MP, Soulsby C. (2018) EcH2O-iso: Water isotopes and age tracking in a process-based, distributed ecohydrological model. Geoscientific Model Development. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-25. , 25, 1-41. doi: 10.1080/23308249.2016.1209160. 

Sprenger M, Tetzlaff D, Buttle J, Carey SK, McNamara JP, Laudon H, Shatilla NJ, Soulsby C. (2018) Storage, mixing and fluxes of water in the critical zone across northern environments inferred by stable isotopes of soil water. Hydrological Processes, https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13135.

Tetzlaff D, Carey S, McNamara J, Laudon H, Soulsby C. (2017) The essential value of long-term experimental data for hydrology and water management. Water Resources Research, doi: 10.1002/2017WR020838.

Tetzlaff D, Buttle J, Carey SK, McGuire K, Laudon H, Soulsby C. (2015).Tracer-based assessment of flow paths, storage and runoff generation in northern catchments: a review. Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10412. 29, 3475–3490.

Tetzlaff D, Birkel C, Dick J, Geris J, Soulsby C. (2014) Storage dynamics in hydropedological units control hillslope connectivity, runoff generation and the evolution of catchment transit time distributions. Water Resources Re-search. DOI: 10.1002/2013WR014147.

Full list of publications