Dr. Riaan van der Merwe

Dr. Riaan van der Merwe

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering

Address: P.O. Box: 2533 (Abu Dhabi)

Telephone: +971 (02)6075219

Email: riaan.vandermerwe@ku.ac.ae

Dr. Riaan holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

His earlier work focused on the use of autonomous underwater vehicles and flow visualizations for the evaluation of submerged discharges with particular emphasis on the regulatory mixing zone.  He also conducted extensive in-situ research on the effects of elevated salinity on microbial abundance and coral photophysiology as a result of SWRO concentrate discharge into the marine environment.

Currently employed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, he focusses on Coastal Engineering and aims towards developing a better understanding of ecosystem resilience to environmental change.  Additionally, he will lead efforts on environmental policies, protection systems and sustainable procedures on Integrated Coastal management (ICM) and how those development efforts and biodiversity issues could be mainstreamed into adequate environmental governance.

He also has significant Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) experience and led more than 40 comprehensive EIAs within the oil & gas, mining, petrochemical, infrastructure and energy sectors

  • PhD, Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), KSA; 2014
  • MSc, Environmental Management, University of the Free State, RSA; 2007
  • BA, Geography, University of the Free State, RSA; 2001
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Coastal Zone Management
  • Marine Biology
  • Echohydrology
  • Environmental Legislation
  • Röthig, T., Ochsenkühn, M. A., Roik, A., van der Merwe, R., & Voolstra, C. R. (2016). Long‐term salinity tolerance is accompanied by major restructuring of the coral bacterial microbiome. Molecular Ecology, 25(6), 1308–1323. http://doi.org/10.1111/mec.13567
  • van der Merwe R., Röthig T., Voolstra C.R., Ochsenkühn M.A., Lattemann S. and Amy G.L. (2014). High salinity tolerance of the Red Sea coral Fungia granulosa under desalination concentrate discharge conditions: an in situ photophysiology experiment. Front. Mar. Sci. 1:58. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2014.00058
  • van der Merwe, R., Bleninger, T., Acevedo-Feliz, D., Lattemann, S., Amy, G.L. (2014). Combining autonomous underwater vehicle missions with velocity and salinity measurements for the evaluation of a submerged offshore SWRO concentrate discharge. J. Appl. Water Eng. Res. 2, 1–22. doi:10.1080/23249676.2014.980443
  • van der Merwe, R., Hammes, F., Lattemann, S., & Amy, G.L. (2014). Flow cytometric assessment of microbial abundance in the near-field area of seawater reverse osmosis concentrate discharge. Desalination, 343, 208–216. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2014.01.017
  • van der Merwe, R., Lattemann, S., & Amy, G.L. (2012). A review of environmental governance and its effects on concentrate discharge from desalination plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Desalination and Water Treatment, 51(1-3), 262–272. doi:10.1080/19443994.2012.693700