My research focuses on forecasting harmful algal blooms (HABs) and Vibrio in the Chesapeake Bay. We are currently developing empirical habitat suitability models for a variety of HABs to predict the occurrence of HABs based on a set of physical-biochemical environmental conditions. Ultimately, these empirical habitat models will be coupled to the mechanistic well-established Chesapeake Bay Regional Ocean Modeling System (ChesROMS) Estuarine Carbon Biogeochemistry (ECB) model. This coupling will add HABs and Vibrio into our suite of forecasts available on the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Forecasting System website.
Research interests and background
I am particularly interested in constructing mathematical models of biochemical and physical dynamics in estuaries and applying them using observations. I am especially intrigued by biophysical interactions, such as the impact of phytoplankton on suspended sediment through flocculation, as studied during my Ph.D.
My Ph.D. research was very interdisciplinary. I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in theoretical Physics (both Magna Cum Laude) and did my Ph.D. research at the Department of Biology (Antwerp, Belgium) in close collaboration with Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics (Delft, Netherlands). I coupled an existing numerical hydro-sediment transport model, iFlow, to a flocculation and phytoplankton model, which I applied using extensive in situ observations in the Scheldt estuary (Belgium, Netherlands).
Horemans, D. M. L. (2022). Unraveling the coupled large-scale suspended sediment and phytoplankton dynamics in a turbid and tide-dominated estuary. PhD thesis, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. ISBN 978-90-5728-724-4. https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docstore/d:irua:10273 (pdf).
Horemans, D. M. L., Dijkstra, Y. M., Schuttelaars, H. M., Sabbe, K., Vyverman, W., Meire, P., & Cox, T. J. S. (2021). Seasonal variations in flocculation and erosion affecting the large-scale suspended sediment distribution in the Scheldt estuary: The importance of biotic effects. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126, e2020JC016805. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JC016805.
Horemans, D. M. L., Dijkstra, Y. M., Schuttelaars, H. M., Meire, P., & Cox, T. J. S. (2020). Unraveling the essential effects of flocculation on large-scale sediment transport patterns in a tide-dominated estuary. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 50(7). https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-19-0232.1
Horemans, D. M. L., Meire, P., & Cox, T. J. S. (2020). The impact of temporal variability in lightclimate on time-averaged primary production and a phytoplankton bloom in a well-mixed estuary. Ecological Modelling, 436, 109287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2020.109287