Prof. dr. ir. Niko Verhoest

Niko Verhoest received the engineering and the Ph.D. degrees in applied biological sciences, both from Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, in 1994 and 2000, respectively. In 1995, he was affiliated duringNiko Verhoest 6 months to Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) at NASA (Washington DC). He has been working at the Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management, Ghent University  ever since, first as scientist (1994-1998), then Teaching Assistant (1998–2000) and Assistant Professor (2000–2002). In 2002, he became Associate Professor of hydrology and water management at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, and he currently is the head of the Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management. He is (co-)responsible for several courses taught at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering: Fysical Transport Phenomena (partim Fluid Dynamics), Meteorology and Hydrology (partim Hydrology), Hydraulics, Hydrological Modelling, Groundwater Flow and Water Resources Engineering. His research interests focus on three main pillars: application of remotely sensed observations in hydrological models (including retrieval algorithms, hydrological modelling and data assimilation), stochastic hydrology and eco-hydrology.


Research topics: hydrologic modelling, remote sensing, data assimilation, stochastic hydrology, eco-hydrology


Address: Coupure links 653 - Room A2.006

               9000 Ghent, Belgium

Phone: +32 9 264 61 38



  • 2002 - Present: Professor in Hydrology and Water Management – Ghent University, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management
  • 2000 - 2002: Assistant Professor – Ghent University, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management
  • 1998 - 2000: Teaching Assistant – Ghent University, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management
  • 1994 - 1998: Researcher – Ghent University, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management
  • 1989 - 1994: Ghent University – Bioscience Engineer: option Agriculture


  • SAT–EX (BELSPO) – Global impacts of hydrological and climatic extremes on vegetation (2014–2018)
  • HYDRAS+ – Improving drought monitoring through assimilating multi-source remote sensing observations in hydrologic models (2010–2014)
  • SMOS+ET (ESA) ­– Assessment of the added value of SMOS for large-scale evaporation modelling (2014)
  • SMOS+HYDROLOGY (ESA) – Assessment of the added value of SMOS observations for flood forecasting (2011 – 2015)
  • WASETANA (VLIR) – Water and sediment budgets of Lake Tana for optimisation of land management and water allocation  (2010 – 2015)
  • Stochastic rainfall generation accounting for climate changes (FWO) (2011-2015)
  • Soil moisture retrieval from radar and radiometer remote sensing in support of water management (FWO) (2012-2015)
  • Evaluation of irrigation on the water balance of the Lake Tana Basin, Ethiopia (BOF – Ghent University) (2013-2017)
  • Use of in situ soil moisture observations for data assimilation in distributed hydrological modeling: Evaluation at the catchment scale (BOF – Ghent University) (2012-2016)

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (complete list here)

  1. Verhoest, N.E.C., van den Berg, M.J., Martens, B., Lievens, H., Wood, E.F., Pan, M., Kerr, Y., Al Bitar, A., Tomer, S.K., Drusch, M., Vernieuwe, H., De Baets, B., Walker, J.P., Dumedah, G., Pauwels, V.R.N. Copula-based downscaling of coarse-scale soil moisture observations with implicit bias correction, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 53(6), 3507–3521, 2015.
  2. Miralles, D.G., van den Berg, M.J., Gash, J.H., Parinussa, R.M., de Jeu, R.A.M., Beck, H.E., Holmes, T.R.H., Jiménez, C., Verhoest, N.E.C., Dorigo, W.A., Teuling, A.J., Dolman, A.J. El Niño–La Niña cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation, Nature Climate Change, 4(12), 122–126, 2014.
  3. Vandenberghe, S., Verhoest, N.E.C., De Baets, B. Fitting bivariate copulas to the dependence structure between storm characteristics: a detailed analysis based on 105-year 10 min rainfall, Water Resources Research, 46(1), W01512, 2010.
  4. Verhoest, N.E.C., Vandenberghe, S., Cabus, P., Onof, C., Meca-Figueras, T., Jameleddine, S. Are stochastic point rainfall models able to preserve extreme flood statistics?, Hydrological Processes, 24(23), 3439–3445, 2010.
  5. Verhoest, N.E.C., Lievens, H., Wagner, W., Álvarez-Mozos, J., Moran, M.S., Mattia, F. On the soil roughness parameterization problem in soil moisture retrieval of bare surfaces from Synthetic Aperture Radar, Sensors, 8(7), 4213–4248, 2008.
  6. De Lannoy, G.J.M., Reichle, R.H., Houser, P.R., Pauwels, V.R.N., Verhoest, N.E.C. Correcting for forecast bias in soil moisture assimilation with the ensemble Kalman filter, Water Resources Research, 43(9), W09410, 2007.
  7. Peters, J., De Baets, B., Verhoest, N.E.C., Samson, R., Degroeve, S., De Becker, P., Huybrechts, W. Random forests as a tool for predictive ecohydrological modelling, Ecological Modelling, 207(2–4), 304–318, 2007.
  8. Vernieuwe, H., Georgieva, O., De Baets, B., Pauwels, V.R.N., Verhoest, N.E.C., De Troch, F.P. Comparison of data-driven Takagi-Sugeno models of rainfall-discharge dynamics, Journal of Hydrology, 302(1–4), 173–186, 2005.
  9. Pauwels, V.R.N., Hoeben, R., Verhoest, N.E.C., De Troch, F.P. The importance of spatial structure of remotely sensed soil moisture in the improvement of discharge predictions for small-scale basins through data assimilation, Journal of Hydrology, 251(1–2), 88–102, 2001.
  10. Verhoest, N.E.C., Troch, P.A. Some analytical solutions of the linearized Boussinesq equation with recharge for a sloping aquifer, Water Resources Research, 36(3), 793–800, 2000.