Biological & Environmental Engineering
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Cathelijne Stoof

Post-doctoral associate, Tammo Steenhuis

Visiting Address:
Riley Robb Hall
Dept. of Biol. and Env. Engineering, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone: (001) 607-255-4992
Personal Website


PhD (2011) Wageningen University (NL), Soil, water and fire sciences
MSc (2006) Wageningen University (NL), Soil science and hydrology. Cum laude
BSc (2003) Wageningen University (NL), Soil, water, atmosphere. Cum laude
minor (2001) Sogn og Fjordane University College (Norway), From Mountain to Fjord interdisciplinary Geology to Ecology program.

Research Focus

  • Impacts of human activity and natural hazards on soil and water resources.
  • Sustainable management of soil, water and landscapes.
  • Multi-scale interdisciplinary work from pore- to catchment scale.

My research focuses on the impacts of human activity and natural hazards on soil and water resources. Because I believe that sustainable management of soil, water and landscapes can only be attained using an integrative approach, my work is interdisciplinary and takes place from the pore- to the catchment-scale in the laboratory and in the field. My PhD research focused on the effects of fire on soils and hydrology and processes causing post-fire erosion and flooding, for which I designed my own proposal and experimentally burned a full 9-ha watershed in Portugal. Exposed to the Portuguese management of fire and fuel, I also started studying fire risk associated with fuels and climate in traditionally non-fire prone countries. I went to Cornell University to add another scale to my expertise and study potential pore-clogging of ash using digital microscopes. During my postdoc in the Soil and Water Lab, I got involved in studying impacts of perennial grass bioenergy production on marginal lands, for which I set up and conduct large-scale field studies to monitor trace gas emission from soils and conducted two review studies. Of the wide range of topics studied in our lab, I also joined and/or led studies on impacts of shale gas hydrofracking wastewater on colloid transport, flow instability in porous media, runoff and erosion processes in the Ethiopian highlands, water scarcity in the Mediterranean, and use of biochar from bioenergy production. Though these topics may be broad, the concepts remain the same: what are the impacts of humans and nature on the landscape, and how can I contribute with an interdisciplinary view that combines soils, hydrology, and their biotic environment.

Click here for more information about these projects.

Science Communication

I actively engage the general public as well as public media to communicate my research to the broader public, both through invited talks for laymen and through the spoken and written press. My work has been featured in national and international media in 7 different countries on 3 continents, and has led to (participation in) 5 tv-programs, 11 radio shows, 17 articles in popular-scientific magazines and > 130 articles in newspapers and on the web. For details, please visit my personal website.

Peer-reviewed publications

    Fire effects on soil and hydrology, fire management

  1. Stoof, C.R., E.C. Slingerland, W. Mol, J. Van den Berg, P.J. Vermeulen, A.J.D. Ferreira, C.J. Ritsema, T.S. Steenhuis, J.-Y. Parlange (2014). Preferential flow as a potential mechanism for fire-induced increase in streamflow. Water Resources Research.
  2. Stoof, C.R., D. Moore, P.M. Fernandes, J.J. Stoorvogel, R.E.S. Fernandes, A.J.D. Ferreira, and C.J. Ritsema (2013), Hot fire, cool soil, Geophysical Research Letters. doi/10.1002/grl.50299.
    1. This paper is the topic of a management brief Research Brief for Resource Managers: Keeley, Jon E.; Witter, Marti; van Mantgem, Liz. 2013. Hot fire, cool soils in a Mediterranean shrubland. Research Brief for Resource Managers. California Fire Science Consortium. 2 p
    2. This paper was featured as 'Hot fire, cool soil' in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (11), p. 229. Noreen Parks, ESA, 2013;
    3. This paper was also featured in Physics Today, ClimateWire, Natural History Magazine, SSSA Science Policy Report, Wildfire Today, KXL radio, and in a range of other media outlets.
  3. Fernandes, P.M., G.M. Davies, D. Ascoli, C. Fernández, F. Moreira, E. Rigolot, C.R. Stoof, J.A. Vega, and D. Molina (2013), Prescribed burning in southern Europe: developing fire management in a dynamic landscape, Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.
  4. Carreiras, M., A. J. D. Ferreira, S. Valente, L. Fleskens, O. Gonzales-Pelayo, J. L. Rubio, C. R. Stoof, C. O. A. Coelho, C. S. S. Ferreira, P. Palheiro and C. J. Ritsema (2013). Comparative analysis of policies to deal with wildfire risk. Land Degradation & Development.
  5. Shakesby, R.A., C.P.M. Bento, C.S.S. Ferreira, A.J.D. Ferreira, C.R. Stoof, E. Urbanek, and R.P.D. Walsh (in press), Impacts of prescribed fire on soil loss and soil quality: an assessment based on an experimentally-burned catchment in central Portugal, Catena.
  6. Stoof, C.R., R.W. Vervoort, J. Iwema, E. van den Elsen, A.J.D. Ferreira, and C.J. Ritsema. (2012). Hydrological response of a small catchment burned by experimental fire. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16, 267-285, doi:10.5194/hess-16-267-2012.
  7. Stoof, C.R., D. Moore, C.J. Ritsema, and L.W. Dekker. (2011). Natural and fire-induced soil water repellency in a Portuguese shrubland. Soil Science Society of America Journal 75: 2283-2295.
  8. Stoof, C.R., De Kort, A., Bishop, T.F.A., Moore, D., Wesseling, J.G., Ritsema, C.J. (2011). How rock fragments and soil moisture affect soil temperatures during fire. Soil Science Society of America Journal 75: 1133-1143.
  9. Stoof, C.R., Wesseling, J.G., Ritsema, C.J. (2010). Effects of fire and ash on soil water retention. Geoderma 159 (3-4), p. 276-285.
    1. This paper was awarded a Best Publication Award (3rd prize) by the PE&RC Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation in 2010.
    2. This paper was part of the ScienceDirect Top 25 List of Most Downloaded Articles, ranked 19th on the top 25 for Geoderma, Oct-Dec 2010.
  10. Bioenergy

  11. Richards, B. K., C.R. Stoof, I. J. Cary, P. B. Woodbury. (2014). Reporting on marginal lands for bioenergy feedstock production - a modest proposal. BioEnergy Research.
  12. Soil physics and colloid transport

  13. Sang, W., C.R. Stoof, W. Zhang, V.L. Morales, R.W. Kay, Y. Zhang, and T.S. Steenhuis (in press), Effect of hydrofracking fluid on colloid transport in the unsaturated zone, Environmental Science and Technology.
    1. This paper was selected as ACS Editor's Choice - open access
  14. Baver, C.E., J.-Y. Parlange, C.R. Stoof, D. DiCarlo, R. Wallach, and T.S. Steenhuis (in press), Dynamic contact angles and wetting front instability, Water Resources Research; special issue on the scientific legacies of Wilfried Brutsaert and Jean-Yves Parlange.
  15. Steenhuis, T. S., C. E. Baver, B. Hasanpoor, C.R. Stoof, D. A. DiCarlo, J. S. Selker and J.-Y. Parlange (2013). Pore scale consideration in unstable finger flow. Water Resources Research; special issue on the scientific legacies of Wilfried Brutsaert and Jean-Yves Parlange.
  16. Sang, W., Morales, V., Zhang, W., Stoof, C.R., Gao, B., Schatz, A.L., Zhang, Y., Steenhuis, T.S. (2013). Quantification of Colloid Retention and Release by Straining and Energy Minima in Variably Saturated Porous Media. Environmental Science and Technology.
  17. Wesseling, J.G., Ritsema, C.J., Oostindie, K., Stoof, C.R., Dekker, L.W. (2009). A new, flexible and widely applicable software package for the simulation of one-dimensional moisture flow: SoWaM. Environmental Modelling & Software 24 (9), p. 1127-1132.
  18. Soil hydrology, watershed hydrology

  19. Steenhuis, T.S., M. Hrnčíč, D. Poteau, E.J. Romero Luna, S.A. Tilahun, L.A. Caballero, C.D. Guzman, C.R. Stoof, M. Šanda, B. Yitaferu and M. Císlerová (2013). A saturated excess runoff pedo-transfer function for vegetated watersheds. Vadose Zone Journal.
  20. Moore, D., Kostka, S.J., Boerth, T.J., Franklin, M., Ritsema, C.J., Dekker, L.W., Oostindie, K., Stoof, C.R., Wesseling, J. (2010), The effect of soil surfactants on soil hydrological behavior, the plant growth environment, irrigation efficiency and water conservation. J Hydrol. Hydromech 58 (3), p 142-148.
  21. Wesseling, J.G., Stoof, C.R., Ritsema, C.J., Oostindie, K., Dekker, L.W. (2009). The effect of soil texture and organic amendment on the hydrological behavior of coarse-textured soils. Soil Use & Management 25 (3) p. 274-283.

For a list of all my publications, click here.