Working group


Integrated Modelling and Optimization

Short description

The work of our group is focussed on a) the description of the impact of land use and management changes on water and matter balance and ecosystem services as well as b) the identification and mitigation of trade-offs among land use, ecosystem services and biodiversity. In addition, we also tackle methodological questions in modelling and simulation such as quantification and specification of scale dependencies in process description, uncertainty in data and models as well as developing optimization tools to support landscape and environmental management strategies. Our toolset of models ranges from process-based to statistical and optimization algorithms.

Methodological focus

  • Data-based modelling approaches to identify parsimonious modelling approaches and to derive optimised monitoring strategies.
  • Modelling and simulation of complex interactions and trade-offs based on problem-specific and process-oriented, but also on empirical and statistical approaches. Thus we aim at a range of different model approaches that serve as a landscape modelling toolset.
  • Validation, further development and test of models. For this we use information from monitoring and mapping, remote sensing and existing databases.
  • Techniques of optimization and uncertainty analysis are used to test models, and derive and test management strategies.


Prof. Dr. Martin Volk

phone: ++49 341 235 1956
fax: ++49 341 235 1939

Dr. Michael Strauch

phone: ++49 341 235 1464
fax: ++49 341 235 1939



Peter Allen, Baylor University, TX, USA (SWAT-development, base flow and low flow estimation methods)

Jeff Arnold, USDA-ARS, Temple, TX, USA (SWAT-development)

David Bosch, USDA-ARS, Tifton, GA, USA (SWAT-development)

Brad Barnhart, United States Environmental Protection Agency, USA (Development of optimization algorithms, tradeoff analyses, indicator development)

Tony Jakeman, Australian National University, Canberra, Australien (IHACRES-development, iEMSs-co-operation)

State Agency for flood protection and water management Saxony-Anhalt (LHW)

Leo Lymburner, Geoscience Australia, Remote Sensing Science & Strategy (Application of remote sensing data, Linkage of remote sensing data and models)

Saxonian State Agency for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology(SLULG) and State Environmental Operation Agency fort he Environment, Agriculture and Geology (BfUL) in Brandis (databases, model development, model parametrisation, monitoring)

Sven Lautenbach, Institute for Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn (Modelling, Optimization, Tradeoff-Analysis, indikator development)

Jerry Whittaker, USDA-ARS, Vorvallis, OR, USA (Development of optimization algorithms, tradeoff analyses, indicator development)

Related projects in our department (selection)

Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-Action ITN: Euro-FLOW



Products (data, methods, tools, models, software)

  • Rainfall-Runoff-Database for flood risk assessment
  • Model-GIS-Linkages (SAGA with IHACRES, GR4J or with a program for calculation of baseflow)
  • The Advanced Monitoring and Information System (AMIS)
  • Support of the development of the Soil and Water Assessment Tools (publicly available model of the USDA-ARS in Temple, TX, USA, SWAT) and development of tools for the pre-processing and derivation of model input data
  • ArcGis tools, analysis tools in R and C++
  • Optimization routines