Water and Environment

The Water and Environment theme is developed in response to the major challenges the world faces regarding freshwater resources and environmental sustainability. Steadily increasing global populations along with even greater agricultural production lead to increased pollution of surface and ground waters and enhance the pressure on the water resources used for drinking water supply, in food production and industry.

Furthermore, the current and predicted future climate change will result in a redistribution of precipitation and higher temperatures are to be expected, implying that droughts will spread to larger areas of the world than today. Therefore, food production will become concentrated within a smaller area, entailing an enhanced risk of increased pollution of ground waters and surface waters and loss of biodiversity.

Ways to combat the challenges are increasing water efficiency in agricultural production, creating more effective ways to control pollutants, improving freshwater quality and designing smarter integrated land and water management systems. Rethinking water use and management technologies is a huge industrial business opportunity as well as a societal necessity but requires integration of knowledge and management strategies.
A strong cross-national research foundation
Danish universities and research institutes have an internationally recognised position and Denmark is considered a leading country within the field of water and environment. Due to strong environmental legislation and enforcement, Danish public and private sector organisations have comprehensive expertise in implementing well-functioning water management policies in practice.

China is a region with vast and unique water challenges, and government and industry are committed to heavy investments in research and technology. Research is highly prioritised in China and the number of excellent research environments is increasing as well as the number and quality of research publications and candidates with a strong water and environmental profile.

Research opportunities within water and environment

The water and environment research area within the framework of SDC deals with freshwater science and it engages scientists with various backgrounds from environmental engineers and chemists and biologists to agronomists and specialists in environmental economy and planning.
The approach is cross disciplinary and based on catchment thinking. This means that the chemical, biological and physical processes and environmental aspects of studying groundwater, land, and lakes are placed in the catchment perspective. For example, how leaching of soil phosphorous from intensive agricultural production leaching can be limited and avoid pollution of freshwater ecosystems. The catchment thinking includes research on many scales from laboratory to field systems and description of new knowledge in computer models.

SDC PhD students are at the core of the research collaboration. They all work with both a Danish and a Chinese supervisor, do research in both countries and contribute to teaching the Master’s programmes at SDC in Beijing. This close connection provides the PhD students with a unique opportunity to establish personal and professional relationships and bring Danish and Chinese research environments closer together.

The collaboration provides scientists with an immense opportunity to be part of the fast developing science on water related issues in China and to undertake exceptional research on a large scale due to the climate of China spanning from subarctic to tropical and the topography ranging from gigantic mountains to lowlands and deserts.

Principal Coordinators

Peter Engelund Holm
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
University of Copenhagen
Phone: +45 35 33 24 14
Mobile: +45 30 50 77 14
Song Xianfang
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research
Chinese Academy of Sciences

To discuss proposals for research activities, which can strengthen SDC's activities within the research area or the related Master’s programme, please contact the Principal Coordinators.

MSc in Water and Environment

PhD students

View Tobias Kuhlmann Andersen's profile at
Tobias Kuhlmann Andersen
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Topic: Modelling the role of macrophytes and fish dynamics in lakes across a climatic gradient
Starting date: 1 November 2018
View Jonathan Hessner Lindhardt's profile at
Jonathan Hessner Lindhardt
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Topic: Biochar as catalyst for reductive dehalogenation of polyhalogenated compounds
Starting date: 1 October 2018
View Antoniuk Via's profile at
Vita Antoniuk
Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Topic: Multi-scale analysis of multispectral data for identifying plant water and nitrogen stress
Starting date: 1 September 2018
View Solvei Mundbjerg Jensen's profile at
Solvei Mundbjerg Jensen
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Topic: New developments in constructed wetland technologies for nutrient removal and recovery
Starting date: 1 August 2018
View Juan Pablo Pacheco Esnal's profile at
Juan Pablo Pacheco Esnal
Department for Bioscience, Aarhus University
Topic: Climate change effects on phytoplankton and periphyton in streams and shallow lakes​
Starting date: 15 June 2018
View Shane Carnohan's profile at
Shane Carnohan
DTU Environment, Environmental Fate and Effect of Chemicals
Topic: Visualizing a Leaner Approach to Participatory EDSS Development to Support Water Resources Management
Starting date: 1 April 2018
View Ditte Marie Reinholdt Jensen's profile at
Ditte Marie Reinholdt Jensen
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Topic: Planning tools for stormwater pollution management
Starting date: 1 December 2017
View Veronica Sobejano Paz' profile at
Veronica Sobejano Paz
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Topic: Crop water use efficiency from remote sensing: diffuse radiation and temperature effects
Starting date: 1 December 2017
View Simon Lassen's profile at
Simon Bo Lassen
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, KU
Topic: Toxic metals as co-selective agents for environmental dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes
Starting date: 15 June 2017
View Emil Jespersen's profile at
Emil Jespersen
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Topic: Phragmites in coastal wetlands - Diversity and ecosystem services in China and Europe
Starting date: 1 January 2017
View Gro Havskov Kirk's profile at
Gro Havskov Kirk
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Topic: Spartina invasions in coastal wetlands
Starting date: 1 January 2017
View Mark Taylor Randall's profile at Mark Taylor at
Mark Taylor Randall
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen
Topic: Modelling of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems at the City Scale
Starting date: 1 January 2016
View Ditte Arp Jensen's profile at
Ditte Arp Jensen
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University
Topic: Global-Change Ecology of Chinese Gymnosperms
Starting date: 1 november 2015
View Lucien Stolze's profile at
Lucien Stolze
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Topic: Mechanisms of release and transport of arsenic in groundwater of semi-arid basins in China
Starting date: 1 November 2015
View Ann-Sofie Gimlinge's profile at
Ann-Sofie Gimlinge
Department of plant and environmental sciences, Copenhagen University
Topic: Remediation of metal(loid) polluted soils
Starting date: 1 September 2015
View Mariú Abritta Moro's profile at
Mariú Abritta Moro
Department of Environmental Engineering, DTU
Topic: Contrasting the water innovation systems in Europe and China
Starting date: 1 December 2014
View Md Tariqul Islam Shajib's profile at
Md Tariqul Islam Shajib
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Topic: Urban flooding and contaminant flushes
Starting date: 1 March 2014