2020/07/02 Dresden, Germany
By Isabella Georgiou
On 26 June 2020, the doctoral defence of Janis Kreiselmeier came as a conclusion of his PhD journey as part of the Joint PhD Programme in Integrated Management of Water, Soil, and Waste, implemented in cooperation between UNU-FLORES and the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) with magna cum laude.
Dr Kreiselmeier worked on his research for four years under the joint supervision of Prof. Karl-Heinz Feger (TU Dresden) and Dr Kai Schwärzel (UNU-FLORES, currently Thuenen Institute). The thesis defence was jointly evaluated by the dissertation committee led by Prof. Niels Schütze (TU Dresden) and consisted of Prof. Gerd Wessolek (TU Berlin) and Prof. Edeltraud Guenther (UNU-FLORES).
Under the current circumstances, the public defence took place partially in person and was livestreamed online where members of the public could tune in and take part in the discussions.
Janis Kreiselmeier (Germany) embarked on his PhD journey in October 2015 and he successfully defended his thesis entitled “Temporal changes in the soil pore size distribution and variability of soil hydraulic properties under long-term conventional and conservation tillage”.
Having identified a lack of data and understanding behind the processes of water in the soil over one cropping season or between land-use changes, he focused his research on the quantification of the temporal variability in soil pore distribution and the characterization of the soil structure. The aim of his research was to better understand the temporal changes in soil pore space and associated hydraulic properties on long-term tillage practices. The site of his study is located in East Germany, where three types of long-term tillage (conventional, non-conventional and no tillage) of wheat and sugar beet crops were applied.
Through his research, Dr Kreiselmeier confirmed the notion that on arable soils one-off measurements of soil hydraulic properties are not enough for their proper quantification and application in hydrologic models, stressing the need for periodic measurements over one cropping season.
The joint degree certificate from both UNU and TU Dresden was awarded to Dr Kreiselmeier, who in addition to the research work, also successfully completed the coursework on the basic concepts of the Water-Soil-Waste Nexus.