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Modeling Water Fluxes in the Soil Plant System

The 1st International Summer school Advanced Soil Physics Modeling Water Fluxes in the Soil-Plant System



The 1st International Summer school on advanced soil physics “Modeling Water Transport in the Soil-Plant System'' will be held at UCLouvain, Belgium, from 21nd to 26th August 2022. This one-week intensive summer school aims at offering participants an overview of physical and biological principles, theory and modelling approaches of the soil-plant hydraulics. A combination of theory and practical sessions will provide participants with the bases to understand and simulate soil-plant water transport. The main topics of the summer school are

  • Understanding and determining root and soil hydraulic properties.
  • Modeling root water uptake: processes, principles and applications.
  • Overview of current hydraulic and simplified modelling approaches (R-SWMS, MECHA, CPLANTBOX, MARSHAL, ...) for root water uptake and transpiration flux.
Main Contacts
Mathieu Javaux by mail mathieu.javaux @
Ali Mehmandoostkotlar by mail soilplantmodeling-school @



The course's friendly, collaborative, and productive atmosphere allows the participants to foster connections with each other and the lecturers. Each participant will have access to computers with all required programs and codes. This positive environment opens opportunities to develop future collaboration as a driving force for excellence and extend the soil-plant water flow scientific community.

Prominent lecturers in soil-plant hydraulics will teach the different topics. In addition, keynote speakers will be invited to give talks on emerging issues or specific soil-plant water flow topics. You will build up up-to-date knowledge in topics such as rhizosphere impacts on water uptake, crop modelling, the need for more detailed soil root description, etc.


Target group

This summer school is designed for master and Ph.D. students, early-career scientists performing research active in the field of soil-plant interactions. Participants should be skilled in basic physics and mathematics.


Registration Process

The summer school offers a limited number of places; therefore, the registration process is selective. The candidates are requested to submit their curriculum vitae (CV) and a motivation letter (in one pdf document) to the organizing committee. Participants are encouraged to explain in the letter their level of familiarity with soil water plant atmosphere systems, their need for this summer school, how the contents covered in summer school can advance their research projects, and their expectations from this course. After reviewing the candidates’ admissions, the admitted candidates are announced and given a week to complete their registration.

Registration fees will be 700 € including all course material, accommodation & breakfast, as well as a dinner on the last day of the summer school. The registration fee has to be paid after the selection process.

The main lecturers are

Prof. Valentin Couvreur (UCLouvain)

Prof. Xavier Draye (UCLouvain)

Prof. Mathieu Javaux (UCLouvain, Forschungszentrum Juelich - Germany)

Prof. Guillaume Lobet (Forschungszentrum Juelich – Germany, UCLouvain)

Dr. Félicien Meunier (Ghent University)

Prof. Dr. Andrea Schnepf (Forschungszentrum Juelich)

Summer School Schedule


Main Topic




21- Aug




Icebreaking event


Challenges of soil physics

Root physiology


X. Draye

M. Javaux

Key note speak


Root Hydraulics and its link to physiology


V. Couvreur

G. Lobet



Root System: Hydraulic Architecture & Growth

Doussan, MARSHAL, CPlantBox or CRootBox

V. Couvreur

G. Lobet

F. Meunier

Surprise evening


3D modelling (Root and Soil interaction)

R-SWMS, or Dumux

M. Javaux

A. Schnepf

Talk of
Prof. Sarah Garre


Simplified approaches in soil plant water flow modelling


Round table: Which model for which purpose?

Couvreur et al (2012)

V. Couvreur

M. Javaux

Closing dinner
 in Brussels


Important Dates

by 20th April 2022    Announcement of the accepted participants

Location Information

The summer school will take place at UClouvain in Louvain-la-Neuve (LLN) located 30 km from Brussels. The town surrounded by beautiful countryside, offers an exceptional quality of life to students and researchers. Museums, cinemas, theatres, concert and exhibition halls, restaurants

 and cafés, commerce and green spaces all combine to form a whole that is renowned for its convivial and dynamic ambiance. Louvain la Neuve is entirely pedestrian city which eases access to all academic buildings and creates an environment in which students, researchers, professors and residents repeatedly cross each other’s paths, weaving a unique social, cultural and economic fabric.



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