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Department of Geography

Elham Freund
Elham Freund, Dr.

Hydrology and Climate

Room number: Y25 L 92

Current project


FLAME: Future resiLient forest in a chAnging cliMatE

Funding: EU Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant (101033274) - July 23 - Present


Previous studies have attempted to improve the mechanistic understanding of ecosystem response to dry conditions or climate change by focusing either on vegetation water availability or plant physiological adaptation strategies, but the combined effects of shifting terrestrial water availability and atmospheric demand have not been mechanistically investigated. FLAME will use a newly developed high-frequency in-situ measurements of stable water isotopes (18O and 2H) in soil and xylem as a unique natural signature to trace the origin of vegetation water uptake and its residence time in subsurface. It will combine these observations with a high resolution physically based water and vegetation uptake model to track water flow paths and constrain the spatiotemporal heterogeneities in terrestrial ecosystems at the soil-vegetation interface. 

Peer-reviewed publications


J18. Elham Rouholahnejad Freund, Hansjörg Seybold, Scott Jesechko, James W. Kirchner, Groundwater's fingerprint in stream network branching angles, Geophysical Research Letters, 2023, accepted, DOI: 10.1029/2023GL103599.


J17. Zweifel et al., Networking the forest infrastructure towards near real-time monitoring – a white paper, Science of the total Environment, 872:162167, 2023.  doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162167. [pdf].



J16. Gessler, Arthur, Bächli, Lukas, Rouholahnejad Freund, Elham, Treydte, Kerstin, Schaub, Marcus, Haeni, Matthias, Weiler, Markus, Seeger, Stefan, Marshall, John, Hug, Christian, Zweifel, Roman, Hagedorn, Frank, Rigling, Andreas, Saurer, Matthias, Meusburger, Katrin, Drought reduces water uptake in beech from the drying topsoil, but no compensatory uptake occurs from deeper soil layers, New Phytologist,, 2021. [pdf].



J15. E. Rouholahnejad Freund, M. Zappa, J. W. Kirchner, Averaging over spatiotemporal heterogeneity substantially biases evapotranspiration rates in a mechanistic large-scale land evaporation model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5015–5025, 2020. [pdf].



J14. E. Rouholahnejad Freund, Y. Fan, J. W. Kirchner, Global assessment of how averaging over heterogeneity of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration affects modeled evapotranspiration rates, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, 2019 [pdf].


J13. Fan, Y., M. Clark, D. M. Lawrence, S. Swenson, L. E. Band, S. L. Brantley, P. D. Brooks, W. E. Dietrich, A. Flores, G. Grant, J. W. Kirchner, D. S. Mackay, J. J. McDonnell, P. C. D. Milly, P. L. Sullivan, C. Tague, H. Ajami, N. Chaney, A. Hartmann, P. Hazenberg, J. McNamara,  J. Pelletier, J. Perket, E. Rouholahnejad‐Freund, T. Wagener, X. Zeng, E. Beighley, J. Buzan, M. Huang, B. Livneh, B. P. Mohanty, B. Nijssen, M. Safeeq, C. Shen, W. van Verseveld, J. Volk, D. Yamazaki, Hillslope hydrology in global change research and Earth system modeling, Water Resources Research, 55, doi:10.1029/2018WR023903, 2019 [pdf].



J12. Rouholahnejad Freund, E., Abbaspour, K. C., Lehmann, A. Water Resources of the Black Sea Catchment under Future Climate and Landuse Change Projections, J. of Water, 9(8), 598, 2017 [pdf].


J11. A. Lehmann, Y. Guigoz, N. Ray, E. Mancosu, K. C. Abbaspour, E. Rouholahnejad Freund, K. Allenbach, A. De Bono, M. Fasel, A. Gago da Silva, R. Baer, P. Lacroix, G. Giuliani, A regional platform from past to future land use, climate, demography, hydrology and beaches on the Black Sea catchment, Nature Scientific Data, 4, 170087, 2017 [pdf].


J10. E. Rouholahnejad Freund, J. Kirchner, A Budyko framework for estimating how spatial heterogeneity and lateral moisture redistribution affect average evapotranspiration rates as seen from the atmosphere, HESS, 21, 217-233, 2017 [pdf]. 



J9. P. Lacroix, Y. Guigoz, N. Ray, E. Rouholahnejad, G. Giuliani, SCOPED-W: SCalable Online Platform for Extracting Environmental Data and Water-related model outputs, Transactions in GIS, doi:10.1111/tgis.12227, 2016 [pdf].


J8. M. Fasel, C. Brethault, E. Rouholahnejad, M.A. Lacayo-Emery, A. Lehmann, Blue water scarcity in the Black Sea  catchment: identifying key actors in the water nexus, Environmental Science and Policy, 66, 140-150, 2016 [pdf]. 



J7. K. C. Abbaspour, E. Rouholahnejad, S. Vaghefi, R. Srinivasan, H. Yang, and B. Klöve, European Continent Scale Hydrology and water quality model: Calibration and Uncertainty of a high-resolution large-scale SWAT model, J. of Hydrology, 524, 733–752, 2015 [pdf]. 

J6. R. Bär, E. Rouholahnejad, K. Rahman, K. Abbaspour, A. Lehmann, Climate Change and Agricultural Water Resources: A vulnerability assessment of the Black Sea catchment, Environmental Science and Policy, 46, 57-69, 2015 [pdf].



J5. E. Rouholahnejad, K. Abbaspour, R. Srinivasan, V. Bacu, A. Lehmann, Water resources of the Black Sea Basin at high spatial and temporal resolution, WRR, 50 (7), 5866, 2014 [pdf].


J4. D. Mihon, V. Bacu, D. Rodila, K. Abbaspour, E. Rouholahnejad, D. Gorgan, Grid based hydrologic model calibration and execution, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 187, 279-293, 2013 [pdf].


J3. D. Gorgan, V. Bacu, D. Mihon, D. Rodila, K. Abbaspour, E. Rouholahnejad, Grid based calibration of SWAT hydrological models, Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 12 (7), 2411-2423, 2013 [pdf].



J2. E. Rouholahnejad, K. Abbaspour, M. Vejdani, R. Srinivasan, R. Schulin, A. Lehmann, A parallelization framework for Calibration of hydrological models, Environment Modelling and Software, 31, 28-26, 2012 [pdf].



J1. E. Rouholahnejad, S. A. Sadrnejad, Numerical simulation of   leachate transport into the groundwater at landfill sites, Proceeding of International Congress on Modelling and simulation, MODSIM09, 2009 [pdf].