Mr Maarten Wynants

Mr Maarten Wynants

Honorary Research Fellow

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Honorary research Fellow at University of Plymouth currently involved in the Jali Ardhi project. 


  • PhD in Physical Geography: University of Plymouth
  • Master in Biology: KU Leuven (Belgium)
  • Bachelor in Biology: KU Leuven (Belgium)

Professional membership

Early career member of:

- European Geoscience Union
- British Ecological Society
- British Society of Soil Science



Research interests

I am interested in the effects of land use change on soil erosion dynamics and the accompanied declining ecosystem service provisions in East-Africa. Our research goal is to contribute to sustainable land management plans safeguarding food security, people's livelihoods and biodiversity. Some of the tools we use to reach these goals are GIS, geochemical fingerprinting, Compound specific stable isotopes and ecological assessments.


Grants & contracts

Funding received:

Integrated community-driven engagement for sustainable enhancement of food production in East Africa: the Jali Ardhi project.

  • From 01-05-2020 to 31-10-2021

  • Funded by: BBSRC-NERC (BB/T012560/1)

  • Role: Co-investigator

  • PI: Prof. Dr. William Blake

  • Budget: £290,416

- SoilSCAN project: Soils, Science and Community Action.

  • From 17-02-2020 to 31-07-2020

  • Funded by: BBRSC (BB/T018704/1)
  • Role: Co-investigator

  • PI: Prof. Dr. William Blake

  • Budget: £19,248

-  Jali Ardhi project: Realising land management change in degraded Maasai grazing lands.

  • From 01-10-2018 to 20-04-2019

  • Funded by: NERC (NE/P015603/1)

  • Role: named Co-investigator

  • PI: Prof. Dr. William Blake

  • Budget:  £101,243

- Jali Ardhi project: Socio-ecological resilience to soil erosion driven by extreme climatic events: past, present and future challenges in East Africa.

  • From 01-11-2016 to 31-07-2017
  • Funded by: GCRF RCUK (NE/R009309/1)

  • Role: Co-investigator

  • PI: Prof. Dr. William Blake

  • Budget: £198,631

-  Contribution to a Decision Support System for the sustainable development of the Lake Manyara basin, Tanzania: environmental water requirements of a lake with high socio-economic importance.

  • From 01-09-2014 to 31-08-2016

  • Funded by: VLIR-UOS NSS

  • Role: Co-investigator

  • PI: Prof. Dr. Luc Brendonck

  • Budget: €74,800



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


Amasi A, Wynants M, Blake W & Mtei K (2021) 'Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation of Increased Sedimentation in the Hydropower Reservoirs of East Africa' Land 10, (6) 638-638 , DOI
Rabinovich A, Heath SC, Zhischenko V, Mkilema F, Patrick A, Nasseri M, Wynants M, Blake WH, Mtei K & Munishi L (2020) 'Protecting the commons: Predictors of willingness to mitigate communal land degradation among Maasai pastoralists' Journal of Environmental Psychology 72, 101504-101504 , DOI
Blake WH, Kelly C, Wynants M, Patrick A, Lewin S, Lawson J, Nasolwa E, Page A, Nasseri M & Marks C (2020) 'Integrating land‐water‐people connectivity concepts across disciplines for co‐design of soil erosion solutions' Land Degradation & Development 32, (12) 3415-3430 , DOI
Kelly C, Wynants M, Munishi LK, Nasseri M, Patrick A, Mtei KM, Mkilema F, Rabinovich A, Gilvear D & Wilson G (2020) '‘Mind the Gap’: Reconnecting Local Actions and Multi-Level Policies to Bridge the Governance Gap. An Example of Soil Erosion Action from East Africa' Land 9, (10) 352-352 , DOI Open access
Janssens de Bisthoven L, Vanhove MPM, Rochette A-J, Hugé J, Verbesselt S, Machunda R, Munishi L, Wynants M, Steensels A & Malan-Meerkotter M (2020) 'Social-ecological assessment of Lake Manyara basin, Tanzania: A mixed method approach' Journal of Environmental Management 267, 110594-110594 , DOI
Wynants M, Millward G, Patrick A, Taylor A, Munishi L, Mtei K, Brendonck L, Gilvear D, Boeckx P & Ndakidemi P (2020) 'Determining tributary sources of increased sedimentation in East-African Rift Lakes' Science of The Total Environment 717, 137266-137266 , DOI
Wynants M, Kelly C, Mtei K, Munishi L, Patrick A, Rabinovich A, Nasseri M, Gilvear D, Roberts CN & Boeckx P (2019) 'Drivers of increased soil erosion in East Africa’s agro-pastoral systems: changing interactions between the social, economic and natural domains' Regional Environmental Change , DOI Open access
Blake WH, Rabinovich A, Wynants M, Kelly C, Nasseri M, Ngondya I, Patrick A, Mtei K, Munishi L & Boeckx P (2018) 'Soil erosion in East Africa: an interdisciplinary approach to realising pastoral land management change' Environmental Research Letters 13, (12) 0-0 Author Site , DOI Open access
Wynants M, Solomon H, Ndakidemi P & Blake WH (2018) 'Pinpointing areas of increased soil erosion risk following land cover change in the Lake Manyara catchment, Tanzania' International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 71, 1-8 , DOI Open access
Lemmens P, Teffera FE, Wynants M, Govaert L, Deckers J, Bauer H, Woldeyes F, Brendonck L, Bouillon S & De Meester L (2017) 'Intra‐ and interspecific niche variation as reconstructed from stable isotopes in two ecologically different Ethiopian Rift Valley lakes' Functional Ecology 31, (7) 1482-1492 , DOI
Wynants M, Millward G, Patrick A, Taylor A, Munishi L, Mtei K, Brendonck L, Gilvear D, Boeckx P & Ndakidemi P 'Determining tributary sources of increased sedimentation in East-African Rift Lakes using a combination of sediment tracing and radioactive dating' , DOI
Taylor A, Kelly C, Wynants M, Patrick A, Mkilema F, Munishi L, Mtei K, Nasseri M, Ndakidemi P & Blake W 'Soils, Science and Community ActioN (SoilSCAN) to reduce land degradation in East Africa' , DOI
Other Publications
Wynants M, Patrick A, Munishi L, Mtei K, Bodé S, Taylor A, Millward G, Roberts N, Gilvear D & Ndakidemi P Dataset for paper pair 'Soil erosion and sediment transport in Tanzania'. Open access