theoretical ecohydrology lab

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In brief

The Theoretical Ecohydrology Lab at the Institute of Geoecology builds and applies tools for the process-based modelling of interactions and feedbacks among hydrology, ecology, and microclimate in terrestrial and urban systems.

Our research foci are:

  • soil–plant–atmosphere continua
  • ecohydrology in water-limited systems
  • isotope-aided ecohydrology

We are located on the 4th floor of the Institute of Geoecology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Langer Kamp 19c, 38106 Brunswick, Germany.


  • Ilhan Özgen Xian, Assistant Professor
    Google Scholar: rAcj194AAAAJ
  • Mikael Gillefalk, Postdoctoral Researcher
    Google Scholar: eqn67VcAAAAJ


  • Rachel M. Johnson, Research Intern, co-supervised with Sergi Molins (Berkeley Lab)



  • Summer term 2022
    Ecohydrological Modelling (6ECTS; Özgen-Xian)
    Urban Ecohydrology (6ECTS; Gillefalk)
  • Winter term 2022–2023
    Fundamentals of Ecohydrology (6ECTS; Özgen-Xian & Gillefalk)
    Ecohydrological Research Project (6ECTS; Özgen-Xian & Gillefalk)


We are offering following topics for a BSc or MSc thesis:

  • Integrated hydrological modelling of partially sealed urban areas
  • Modelling vegetation self-organisation in arid catchments
  • Assessing realism of process representation in the SWAT model (in collaboration with Duke University)
  • Topics in high-performance computing for ecohydrology (in collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich)

Current work

Research topics

  • Explorative numerical studies of the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum
  • Isotope-aided ecohydrological modelling
  • Conceptual and numerical model development

Research tools

We contribute to and use the following research codes:

  • SERGHEI: Our flagship, portable high-performance code for ecohydrology, targeting exascale heterogeneous architectures through the Kokkos framework.
  • Advanced Terrestrial Simulator: High-performance code for ecosystem-based integrated hydrology.
  • EcH2O-iso: Process-based ecohydrological model with isotope modelling capabilities.