Martha Lucia Villamizar Velez

Contact details

Type of addressPostal address
Postal codeYO10 5DD
CountryUnited Kingdom
Address lines
  • Environment and Geography
    University of York
    Heslington
    York
    YO10 5DD

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Dr. Martha Lucia Villamizar Velez

Catchment Modeller

Research interests

My main research area of interest is the use of hydrology modelling to understand drivers controlling field and catchment-scale losses of solutes, mainly from agriculture. Solutes that I have been working with include pesticides, phosphorus, sediments and other organic chemicals. In addition, I combine hydrological modeling with Geographical Information Systems to simulate and evaluate mitigation measures to reduce the risk of flooding in different catchments in the UK.

Biography

I completed my Ph.D in 2014 in the Environment Department at the University of York. The aim of my thesis was to identify major differences in contaminant behaviour tropical and temperate regions, determine the drivers for those differences and to understand the implications for model structure appropriate to the two countries. I developed modelling frameworks and methodologies to study the dynamic of solutes in water systems, mainly surface water at the field and catchment level. Solutes that I studied included pesticides and brominated flame retardants.

Then, I worked as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Water Friendly Farming project in the Environment department at the University of York. This collaboration project aimed to implement mitigation measures to reduce diffuse pollution of nutrients and pesticides of different catchments located in the Upper Welland in the UK. My research as part of this Environment Agency-funded project was to use and develop hydrological models to simulate mitigation measures and their impact on peak flow. For this research, I have developed a series of models to simulate the hydrology of detention ponds and small dams using visual basic, GIS and python programming.

In May 2015, I joined the NutCat project (Estimating nutrient transport in catchments in 2050) working as a hydrological and solute modeller in a multidisciplinary team based in the Centre for Engineering Sustainability, School of Engineering at the University of Liverpool. My work involved the simulation, calibration and validation of phosphorus and sediment transport in headwater catchments across England using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for the application of climate change scenarios. I also participated in meetings with farmers to increase our understanding of agricultural practices that would be affected under climate change. In addition, I developed code to simulate in-stream phosphorus processes at the study catchments using the Lattice-Boltzmann method.

Since August 2016, I work as a catchment (flood risk) modeller in the Environment Department in different projects.