Koen Siteur

I am an interdisciplinary environmental scientist with experience in all environmental compartments. Although my interests are broad, I particularly like to capture the environment in equations and scripts. In addition, I enjoy communicating my knowledge to the general audience, policy makers and students, and across scientific fields.


Researcher air quality and nitrogen deposition modelling

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

I work with (and on) RIVM's operational air quality model (OPS). The model is used to monitor both the air quality in the Netherlands and the nitrogen deposition on sensitive N2000 habitats. It is also used to compute the contribution of individual projects to the nitrogen deposition. My work includes research on the uncertainty of nitrogen deposition modelling, research on improving the modelling of deposition on coniferous forests, and research on improving air quality modelling in urban areas through inverse modelling and high resolution computations. Finally, I supervise students in their graduation research.

May 2020 - present

Post-doctoral researcher

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) & East China Normal University (ECNU)

I was part of an EU Horizon 2020 project “Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas” (MERCES) in collaboration with various European partners. We developed an indicator framework to guide restoration of coastal ecosystems. This framework was based on spatially explicit models that I developed and analysed. In addition to my research activities, I lectured at University College Utrecht (UCU) on sustainable resource management and supervised MSc students in their graduation research.

November 2016 - October 2019

Junior Assistant Professor

Utrecht University

I developed courses and exams, supervised seminars and lectured in the courses of the Bachelor programme Environmental Sciences and the Master programme Sustainable Development. I was involved in the courses Ecosystem Modelling and Mathematics and System Analysis.

September 2015 - February 2016

PhD candidate

Utrecht University

I established new theory on tipping points in ecosystems by developing and analysing (spatially explicit) models. The focus of my research was on water limited ecosystems and the way these ecosystems cope with the rapidly changing climate. My teaching activities included supervision of students performing scientific research and fieldwork (BSc level), and modelling (MSc level). Besides research and teaching I was PhD representative in the Utrecht Geo Graduate council, organised (guest)lectures in the department, I was minutes secretary of departmental group meetings and co-founded a blog to communicate our department's research to the general audience.

September 2011 - August 2015

Research Intern

Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

I performed a systematic comparison of a number of global hydrological models for a selection of river basins and wrote a scientific report.

April 2011 - July 2011


PhD Environmental Sciences

Utrecht University

I followed courses on complexity science, theoretical ecology, spatial ecology and academic skills. I attended conferences and workshops on dryland ecohydrology, critical transitions and geosciences.

September 2011 - August 2015

MSc Hydrology

Utrecht University

I graduated Cum laude within the track Earth Surface Hydrology. I followed courses on land surface hydrology, stochastic hydrology, unsaturated zone hydrology, groundwater hydrology, remote sensing and environmental modelling.

September 2009 - July 2011

BSc Environmental Sciences

Utrecht University

I followed courses on hydrology, ecology, soil science, air pollution, landscape ecology, nature conservation, environmental system analysis, environmental modelling, mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics and academic skills.

September 2006 - July 2009


  • Spatial modelling & spatial statistics
  • Mathematics & model analysis
  • Teaching & supervision
  • Science communication
Programming Languages & Tools
  • R, Python & Matlab
  • MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Markup languages including HTML (CSS), LateX & Rmarkdown.
  • Collaboration through Gitlab and GitHub
  • Dutch (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (beginner)


Besides work my interests include:

  • Cycling I like to watch races, ride my own bikes, and go on cycling holidays.
  • Data analysis I like to analyse data of my cycling workouts and my weather station in my backyard.
  • Podcasts I like to listen to podcasts about science & technology and about cycling.


  • K. Siteur, J. Wesseling, ..., and R. Hoogerbrugge (2023). Chapter 3: Uncertainty in nitrogen deposition estimates per compound. In: R. Hoogerbrugge et al. (2023). Uncertainty in the estimated nitrogen deposition in the Netherlands. In preparation.
  • K. Siteur, J. Wesseling, and R. Hoogerbrugge (2023). Chapter 4: Uncertainty in total nitrogen deposition. In: R. Hoogerbrugge et al. (2023). Uncertainty in the estimated nitrogen deposition in the Netherlands. In preparation.
  • Z. Yin, K.L. Findell, ..., K. Siteur, ..., and A. Bernus (2023). Inspiration from Conway's Game of Life: how to radically probe spatial heterogeneity impacts on complex systems. Submitted.
  • A.S. van der Kaaden, S.R. Maier, ..., K. Siteur, ..., and D. van Oevelen (2023). Tiger reefs: self-organised regular patterns in deep-sea cold-water coral reefs. Accepted for publication in Ecosphere.
  • K. Siteur, Q.X. Liu, ..., and J. van de Koppel (2023). Phase-separation physics underlies new theory for the resilience of patchy ecosystems. PNAS 120 (2): 1-12.
  • R. Hoogerbrugge, G.P. Geilenkirchen, ..., K. Siteur, ..., and R.J. Wichink-Kruit (2022). Grootschalige concentratie- en depositiekaarten Nederland: Rapportage 2022. RIVM 2022-0059.
  • K. Siteur, H. Volten, ..., and R. Hoogerbrugge (2021). Nauwkeurige NO2-concentratiekaarten dankzij vrijwilligers. Tijdschrift Lucht 17(3): 12-16.
  • F. Neijnens, K. Siteur, ..., and M. Rietkerk (2021). Early-warning signals for rate-induced critical transitions in salt-marsh ecosystems. Ecosystems 2021: 1-12.
  • M.B. Eppinga, K. Siteur, ..., and M.J. Santos (2021). Long-term transients help explain regime shifts in consumer-renewable resource systems. Communications Earth and Environment 2(42): 1-12.
  • L.X. Zhao, K. Zhang, K. Siteur, ..., and J. van de Koppel (2021). Fairy circles reveal the resilience of self-organized salt marshes. Science Advances 2021(7): 1-12.
  • R. Hoogerbrugge, G.P. Geilenkirchen, ..., K. Siteur, ..., and R.J. Wichink-Kruit (2021). Grootschalige concentratie- en depositiekaarten Nederland: Rapportage 2021. RIVM 2021-0068.
  • V.C. Reijers, S. Hoeks, ..., K. Siteur, ..., and T. van der Heide (2020). Sediment availability provokes a shift from Brownian to Lévy‐like clonal expansion in a dune building grass. Ecology letters 24(2): 258-268.
  • V.C. Reijers, K. Siteur, ..., and T. van der Heide (2019). A Lévy expansion strategy optimizes early dune building by beach grasses. Nature communications 10(1), 2656.
  • E. Siero, K. Siteur, ..., and M.B. Eppinga (2019). Grazing away the resilience of patterned ecosystems. The American Naturalist 193 (3), 472-480.
  • M.L. Laengner, K. Siteur, and D. van der Wal (2019). Trends in the seaward extent of saltmarshes across Europe from long-term satellite data. Remote sensing 11 (14), 1653.
  • R. Bastiaansen, O. Jaibi, ..., K. Siteur, ..., and M. Rietkerk (2018). Multistability of model and real dryland ecosystems through spatial self-organization. PNAS 115 (44), 11256-11261.
  • K. Siteur, M.B. Eppinga, ..., and M. Rietkerk (2016). Ecosystems off track: rate‐induced critical transitions in ecological models. Oikos 125 (12), 1689-1699.
  • K. Siteur, J. Mao, ..., and M.B. Eppinga (2016). Soil water repellency: a potential driver of vegetation dynamics in coastal dunes. Ecosystems 19 (7), 1210-1224.
  • K. Siteur (2016). Off the beaten track: How ecosystems fail to respond to environmental change. Utrecht University.
  • E. Siero, A. Doelman, ..., and K. Siteur (2015). Striped pattern selection by advective reaction-diffusion systems: Resilience of banded vegetation on slopes. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science 25 (3), 036411.
  • K. Siteur, E. Siero, ..., and M. Rietkerk (2014). Beyond Turing: The response of patterned ecosystems to environmental change. Ecological Complexity 20, 81-96.
  • K. Siteur, M.B. Eppinga, ..., and M. Rietkerk (2014). How will increases in rainfall intensity affect semiarid ecosystems? Water Resources Research 50 (7), 5980-6001.
  • A. Doelman, J. Rademacher, ..., and K. Siteur (2013). Klimaatsverandering, verwoestijning en biljart. Nieuw archief voor wiskunde. Serie 5 14 (3), 200-204.