Project properties

Title Modelling the impacts of global change on the sustainable development of a coupled socio-ecological system
Group Soil Physics and Land Management group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Jantiene Baaartman, Javier Martinez-Lopez
Examiner(s) Coen Ritsema
Contact info
Begin date 2021/05/25
End date
Description The Mar Menor coastal lagoon is a singular socio ecosystem that hosts several endemic species and provides various recreational services to the local population and tourists. In 2016 the lagoon underwent an ecological crash after 40 years of continuous nutrient inputs, mainly coming from irrigated agricultural areas that started flourishing in the catchment area of the lagoon in the early 80 ' when water became available due to the opening of the Tagus Segura water catchment. The negative environmental status of the lagoon strongly affects other sectors like tourism, fisheries and local populations restoration of the socio ecosystem to provide environmental, social, and economic benefits is one of the main current environmental and socio political challenges.

Research Objective/Question

The European H 2020 COASTAL project aims to identify novel synergies between coastal and rural areas that promote a more sustainable social and economical development and the restoration of the lagoon. For this purpose, a system dynamic ( model has been developed in a participatory setting, which include the main drivers, pressures and impacts coming from and affecting to different sectors, such as local populations, tourism, agriculture, etc. The main objective of the proposed MSc thesis topic is to assess how external drivers based on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways might affect model input variables and model outputs. Besides, model sensitivity analyses will be performed using the set of affected input variables in order to quantify uncertainty in model outputs.

What is expected from the student (type of research)

The student should be proactive and willing to learn about environmental, economic, and social development indicators, apply an existing System Dynamics model using Vensim software, be able to summarize quantitative information and perform data analysis. Reading skills in Spanish are an advantage.
Used skills