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Dr. Theresa Blume

Group Leader
Dr. Theresa Blume
Building C 4, Room 2.25 (Büro)
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

Senior Scientist
Leader of the Working Group Landscape Hydrology

Scientific Speaker of TERENO NorthEast (Environmental Observatory)

Speaker of the DFG Research Unit on Subsurface Stormflow (jointly with Marburg University)

Research Interests:

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

  • Influence of geomorphology, geology, vegetation, subsurface structures and preferential flow on hydrological response and water storage
  • Hillslope-stream connectivity
  • Soil moisture as a control for runoff response
  • Root water uptake
  • 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"
3&5/2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow University of Birmingham, UK
4/2009 – present Scientist at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.
1-2/2010 Guest Scientist at the University of Keele, UK.
4/2008–3/2009 Acting Head (Lehrstuhlvertretung) of the Chair „Water- and Matter Transport in Landscapes“, Leader of the working group „Hydrological Processes“, University of Potsdam.
1/2007-3/2008 Research associate within the Project „Room for the river/Retaining water in the landscape“- ERANET CRUE, Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam.
8/2002 – 12/2007 PhD student at the Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam.
3/2002-8/2002 Research Assistant, Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam.
9/2000-8/2001 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Bioresource Engineering, Oregon State University.
3-4/1999 Internship at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Limnophysics.
3-4/1998 Internship at the Institut of Terrestrial Ecology, Bangor, Wales, UK, Department of Geobiochemistry.


12/2007 Defense of Doctoral Thesis. Title:  „Hydrological processes in volcanic ash soils – Measuring, modeling and understanding runoff generation in an undisturbed catchment“
8/2002 – 12/2007 PhD student, Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam (a total of 12 months spent in Chile).
8/2001 Defense of M.S. Thesis. Title: “ Effect of Salinity on Particle Release and Changes in Hydraulic Conductivity in Sediments”.
9/1999-9/2001 Oregon State University, Corvallis. Department of Bioresource Engineering, M.S. Program.
10/1996- 9/1999 Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Major: Hydrology
10/1995-9/1996 University of Kaiserslautern, Major: Chemistry


  • DFG Research Unit (Forschungsgruppe) FOR 5288:  Fast and invisible: Conquering Subsurface Stormflow through an Interdisciplinary Multi-Site Approach (Duration 2022-2026)
      • PI in Project D: SSF TRANSFORM - Monitoring the generation and transformation of subsurface storm ow from hillslopes through the riparian zone
      • PI in Project E: SSF CONNECT - Longitudinal Patterns of SSF-Stream Connections
      • Speaker of the Research Unit, together with P.Chifflard, Marburg University
  • DFG Research Unit (Forschungsgruppe) 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: 2012-2021)
      • PI in Project G,Phase II: "Hydrological connectivity and its controls on hillslope- and catchment scale stream flow generation"
      • PI in Project D,Phase II: Spatio-temporal dynamics of water storage, mixing and release
      • PI in Project G, Phase I: "Linking internal pattern dynamics and integral responses - Identification of dominant controls with a strategic sampling design"
      • PI in Project H,Phase I: "Residence times across scales: from plot to catchment scale”
      • Co-PI in Project I,Phase I: "From subsurface structures to functions and texture - linking virtual realities and experiments at the plot and hillslope scales”
  • DFG Project HILLSCAPE (HILLSlope Chronosequence And Process Evolution):
    Identifying dominant controls on hillslope functioning and feedback processes by
    interdisciplinary experiments along chronosequences
  • DFG Research Unit COSMIC SENSE, PI in Project HydroGravimetry
  • 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
  • MOSES (Helmholtz Initiative)
  • 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:

  • Chief Executive Editor for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS)
  • Deputy Chair of the EGU Publication Committee
  • Scientific Speaker of TERENO NorthEast, Member of the TERENO Steering Committee
  • Speaker of the DFG Research Unit on Subsurface Stormflow SSF (jointly with Marburg University)
  • Member of the AGU Hydrology Executive Committee
  • past Chair of the AGU Technical Committee on Catchment Hydrology
  • Member of the steering committee of the German Hydrological Society (DHG)
  • Member of the AGU Award Committee for the Langbein Award
  • Coordinator of the “Outstanding Student Poster Award for the Hydrological Sciences Division” at the EGU meetings (2011-2014)
  • Convener at EGU and AGU meetings
  • Member of the EGU Subdivision on Catchment Hydrology
  • EGU-Short Course: Field-instrumentation of research catchments
  • 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 of Frontiers in Earth Science
  • Referee for the German Science Foundation (DFG) and 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


  • 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow University of Birmingham
  • 2009-2010 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

Recent invited talks

  • Gordon Conference on Catchment Science 2019
  • Catchment Science Symposium Berkeley 2019
  • AGU 2018
  • EGU 2017
  • 1st Workshop on Improving the Theoretical Underpinnings of Hydrologic Models, Bertinoro, 2016
  • Birmingham 2016

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