My contribution to the field of Ecology as a geographer includes the development of a new spatially and temporally explicit modeling approach. This approach allows to better understand the impact of the hydrological cycle on ecosystem productivity and soil erosion. The novelty in this approach lies in the ability to simulate field (rather than synthetic) conditions of spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics using GIS. This allows confronting advanced mathematical models with ecosystem complexity by using experiments, observations and measurements. The research group I established introduced the concept of coupling numeric simulation using Richard's equations with real conditions of semiarid hillslopes using spatial databases. This way we were able to compute water budgets in the heterogeneous stony soils of dry environments. This modelling approach was also used to tackle current practical questions such as the effect of climate change on ecosystem productivity.
The broad view on ecohydrological processes helped me to get invited as Guest Editor to edit two special issues in two leading journals: Water Resources Research (WRR) and Geomorphology, and to author two review papers (published in Int. J. of Remote Sensing and in Movement Ecology). My experience allowed me also to initiate and lead an international workshop on Confronting Mathematical Models with Ecosystem Complexity, hosting distinguished scientists from all over the world.