Jan Friesen

AGYA Alumni Jointly building bridges into the future

 Jan Friesen
  • Ecohydrology

Areas of Expertise:
Ecohydrology; Novel monitoring sensors; Remote sensing; Water resources management; Precipitation partitioning; Urban forestry; Waste water management planning tools; Green infrastructure

2014 - 2019


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

Department of Catchment Hydrology
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig

+49 341 235 1082
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About me

AGYA has been a wonderful experience. On top of discussions and research collaboration with scholars from almost all disciplines, it has also given me a wealth of transcultural conversations and experiences.

My research combines ecohydrology with monitoring and remote sensing to explore new data sources and ways to measure how water interacts with vegetation. In my field of water resources management, interdisciplinary collaboration is common. Within AGYA, however, I experienced a new level of interdisciplinarity. I had discussions and pursued projects with colleagues from disciplines like microbiology, computer sciences, psychology, economics and many more, that truly broadened my mind and led to new ideas and research endeavours.

Amongst my most interesting AGYA projects was a workshop in Malta titled ‘Fluid Nature, Fluid Cultures: Malta and the Mediterranean’, as well as a science communication project in which several AGYA members and I worked with a professional artist to turn the findings of a joint review article into a science comic. Science comics have since become a hobby of mine. 
In the context of the current pandemic and climate change, applying research results in the real world is more relevant than ever. Through the series of AGYA projects on ‘Smart & Sustainable Cities’, I was able to link my research on ecohydrology – usually conducted in remote nature settings like forests and savannahs – to urban forestry and green infrastructure.

Besides projects with classic outputs like scientific publications or conferences, AGYA gave me the opportunity to realize bold and innovative project formats for which funding is often hard to secure elsewhere. As an alumnus, I will continue to engage in Tandem Projects and to build project consortia from the AGYA network. 

Academic Career

2014 - today

Research Associate, Catchment Hydrology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

2012 - 2014

Research Associate, Coordination and Integration of Water Sciences, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

2009 - 2012

Research Associate, Computational Hydrosystems, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

2004 - 2008

PhD in Hydrology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

2002 - 2004

Research Assistant at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Department of Ecology and Resources Management, University of Bonn, Germany


Diploma in Physical Geography, University of Bonn, Germany  


My Commitment to AGYA
Former AGYA Co-President 2018–2019
Former Member of the AGYA Steering Committee 2018–2019
Former Member in Charge of the Working Group 'Energy, Water & Environment'
Task Force Salon Sophie Charlotte 2019–2020
Task Force AGYA General Assembly 2018–2019
Selection Committee “New AGYA Members” 2015, 2017, 2018
My advice to future AGYA members

Be open to explore the disciplinary abundance that AGYA has on offer and use the opportunities AGYA provides to think and act outside of the box. Do enjoy this unique experience!