Veronica Minaya Maldonado

PhD fellow


Water and nature are my passion. I’m Veronica Minaya, graduated as Civil Engineer and holding a Msc in Hydraulic design and water resources, both obtained at the Escuela Politecnica Nacional in my home country Ecuador. After some professional experience as Environmental Engineer and hydrologist, I move abroad to complement my previous technical background with an environmental training at UNESCO-IHE, where I got my Msc in Limnology and Wetland Ecosystems, attending modules in The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Austria. My thesis was carried out in the upper and middle catchment of the Mara River Basin in Kenya, where I was particularly interested in the land use and rural activities effect on the benthic macroinvertebrates in the headwater streams.


Development of methodologies, environmental indexes, indicators and programs for integral environmental evaluation and restoration of degraded systems


  • Conference paper, topic: “Operational Modelling Applications for Coastal Engeneering: new developments” in the “10th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment”, Rhodes – Greece, October 2011
  • Conference paper, topic: “Variations in benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages with stream physico-chemical characteristics in headwater streams, Mara River Basin, Kenya” in the “3rd International Multidisciplinary Conference in Hydrology and Ecology, ecosystems, surface and groundwater”. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna – Austria, May 2011
  • Conference paper: Penning, W.E., Minaya, V., Gourvendu, Ngoc, P., Singer, G. “Relative effects of macrophytes, biofilm and bedforms on transient storage and ecosystem productivity in unidirectional flows” in the “Interdisciplinary International Conference in the predictions of hydrology, ecology and water resources, HydroPredict 2012, Vienna – Austria.
  • Minaya, V., McClain, M., Moog, O., Omengo F., Singer, G. 2013. Scale-dependent effects of rural activities on benthic macroinvertebrates and physico-chemical characteristics in headwater streams of the Mara River, Kenya. Ecological Indicators. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.03.011.
  • Publication in the proceedings for the “Earth Science – Sixth Phase” Conference in Escuela Politecnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador, November 2006

Other information

Research Summary

I’m currently enrolled in a PhD research in the alpine grasslands in Ecuador since February 2012. My main focus is looking at the interaction between water and nutrient cycles (C&N) of the main growth forms of vegetation through the coupling of a biogeochemical (BIOME-BGC) and a hydrological model (PC-RASTER + FIESTA). This eco-hydrological model will quantify and assess the ecological services mainly the carbon storage in the different plant components (how this contributes to global carbon fluxes) and the hydrological regulation. The hydrological model will include fog interception by vegetation, which is an important hydrological parameter that should be taken into account as another source of water input in these biomes.




Extern supervisor: Dr. Remigio Galarraga (EC)

Funding Source: SENESCYT + NUFFIC