Personal profile:

Profile photo of  Dr. Theresa Blume

Dr. Theresa Blume

Section 5.4: Hydrology

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Building C 4, room 2.25
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-1512
e-mail: theresa.blume(at)


About the person

Function and Responsibilities:


Leader of the Working Group Hillslope- and Ecohydrology

Research Interests:


Investigation of hydrological processes with innovative experimental methods and numerical modelling:

    • Influence of geomorphology, geology, vegetation, subsurface structures and preferential flow on hydrological response and water storage
    • Soil moisture as a control for runoff response
    • Use of tracers for the investigation of hydrological processes: stable isotopes, dye tracers, geogenic tracers, temperature
    • Investigation of groundwater-surface water interactions with various methods, e.g. high spatial resolution fibre optic temperature sensing
    • Dynamics and controls of groundwater recharge
    • Connecting paleo-climatic proxy time series with recent hydrological data sets


since 2015                        Leader of the Working Group "Hillslope and Ecohydrology"

March/May 2016               Distinguished Visiting Fellow University of Birmingham, UK

April 2009 – present              Scientist at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

Jan.-Feb. 2010                        Guest Scientist at the University of Keele, UK.

April 2008–March 2009       Acting Head (Lehrstuhlvertretung) of the Chair „Water- and Matter Transport in Landscapes“, Leader of the working group „Hydrological Processes“, University of Potsdam.

Jan.2007-March 2008            Research associate within the Project „Room for the river/Retaining water in the landscape“- ERANET CRUE, Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam.

Aug.2002 – Dec.2007             PhD student at the Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam.

March 2002-Aug.2002           Research Assistant, Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam.

Sept. 2000-Aug. 2001        Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Bioresource Engineering, Oregon State University.

March/April 1999                  Internship at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Limnophysics.

March/April 1998                  Internship at the Institut of Terrestrial Ecology, Bangor, Wales, UK, Department of Geobiochemistry.


December 18th 2007             Defense of Doctoral Thesis. Title:  „Hydrological processes in volcanic ash soils – Measuring, modeling and understanding runoff generation in an undisturbed catchment“

Aug. 2002 – Dez.2007            PhD student, Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam (a total of 12 months spent in Chile).

August 21st 2001                Defense of M.S. Thesis. Title: “Effect of Salinity on Particle Release and Changes in Hydraulic Conductivity in Sediments”.

Sept. 1999-Sept. 2001            Oregon State University, Corvallis.

Department of Bioresource Engineering, M.S. Program.

Oct. 1996- Sept. 1999            Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Major: Hydrology

Oct. 1995-Sept. 1996             University of Kaiserslautern, Major: Chemistry




  • DFG Research Unit (Forschergruppe) FOR 1598 From Catchments as Organised Systems to Models based on Dynamic Functional Units (CAOS) - Synthesizing remote sensing, geophysics and process hydrology with a suitable mathematical framework to improve hydrological modelling at the lower mesoscale (Duration: 2012-2018)

Phase II:

PI in Project G: "Hydrological connectivity and its controls on hillslope- and catchment scale stream flow generation"

PI in Project D: Spatio-temporal dynamics of water storage, mixing and release

Phase I:

PI in Project G: "Linking internal pattern dynamics and integral responses - Identification of dominant controls with a strategic sampling design" –

Co-PI in Project H: "Residence times across scales: from plot to catchment scale”

Co-PI in Project I: "From subsurface structures to functions and texture - linking virtual realities and experiments at the plot and hillslope scales”

  • H2020 Marie Curie RISE project HIFREQ: Smart high-frequency environmental sensor networks for quantifying nonlinear hydrological process dynamics across spatial scales
  • TERENO (Duration: 2011-2025): Coordinator of the hydrology work package
  • ICLEA – Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analysis (Duration: 2012-2017) – PI Work package 1: Hydrological and climate data
  •  Helmholtz Alliance Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics: WP H3: Development of GNSS reflectometry for soil moisture retrieval at the field scale and for global applications

Research Boards and Committees:

  • Coordinator of the “Outstanding Student Poster Award for the Hydrological Sciences Division” at the EGU meetings (2011-2014)
  • Convener at EGU and AGU meetings
  • Chair of the AGU Technical Committee Hydrology-Surface Water
  • Member of the EGU Subdivision on Catchment Hydrology
  • EGU-Short Course: Field-instrumentation of research catchments
  • Member of the steering committee of the German Hydrological Society (DHG)
  • Member of the steering committee of ICLEA – The Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analyses
  • Referee for ISI journals (Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Hydrological Processes, Journal of Hydrology, Water Resources Research,…)
  • Editor for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS)
  • Editor of Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Referee for the German Science Foundation (DFG)
  • Referee for the Swiss Science Foundation SNF
  • Initialization and maintenance of the “Experimental Hydrology Wiki”, a platform for the exchange of experiences with different types of hydrological equipment and the evaluation of sensors
  • Experimental presentations at the „Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften“, a scientific outreach program



  • 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow University of Birmingham
  • February 2009-February 2010 – selected participant within the  ProFiL-Programme for scientific leadership training of the Technical University Berlin, the Humboldt-University Berlin, the Free University Berlin and the University of Potsdam
  • 2008 YSOPP Award of the European Geosciences Union (Young Scientist Outstanding Poster Presentation Award)
  • 2004 Scholarship of the Graduate School “Earth Surface Processes”       
  • 2002 Scholarship of the State of Brandenburg
  •  2000 M.G. Cropsey Agricultural Engineering Scholarship
  • 1999 Scholarship of the Baden-Württemberg – Oregon Exchange Programme



  • EGU 2017
  • 1st Workshop on Improving the Theoretical Underpinnings of Hydrologic Models, Bertinoro, 2016
  • Birmingham 2016
  • EGU 2013
  • Keynote: Tag der Hydrologie 2013, Bern
  • University of Freiburg, Kolloquium 2013
  • Conference on Hydropedology 2012
  • Drylands, Deserts and Desertification, Israel, November 2012
  • IAHS Meeting, Delft 2012
  • AGU 2011
  • University of Keele 2010