Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Geography
Room F 8.67
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels | Belgium

+32-2-629 36 61

I am lecturer in geomorphology and natural hazards within the Department of geography of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. I holds a Master in Geography from the University Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and a PhD in Geology from Ghent University, Belgium.
I currently lead a research group in volcanology, geomorphology and natural hazards, supervising several PhD and post-doc researchers. Ours research focuses on:

  •     the study of the geomorphology and spatial distribution of volcanic edifices;
  •     on the effect of volcano-related instability and erosion processes on volcanic morphologies;
  •     on monitoring and assessing hazards in active volcano-tectonic regions of Africa;
  •     on characterizting landslides hazard and risk;
  •     on assessing vulnerability and adaptation strategies to geological hazards

I recently broadened my research interests to the study of the management and communication of geological risks and the build up of resilience within local communities in developing countries.

Our research combines observations from DEM and remote sensing analysis with analogue experiments and field observations. All our case studies concentrates on developing countries, mostly in Central Africa.

  • Tran H., Nguyen Q., Kervyn M., 2017. Household social vulnerability to natural hazards in the coastal Tran Van Thoi district, Ca Mau Province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Journal of Coastal Conservation. 21 (4) : 489-503.
  • Maes, J., Kervyn, M., de Hontheim, A., Dewitte, O., Jacobs, L., Mertens, K., Vanmaercke, M., Vranken, L., Poesen, J., 2017. Landslide risk reduction measures: A review of practices and challenges for the tropics. Progress in Physical Geography 41(2), 191-221. DOI: 10.1177/0309133316689344.
  • Barrette F., Poppe S., Smets B., Benbakkar M., Kervyn M., Spatial variation of volcanic rock geochemistry in the Virunga Volcanic Province: Statistical analysis of an integrated database. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 
  • Jacobs, L., Dewitte, O., Poesen, J., Maes, J., Mertens, K., Sekajugo, J., Kervyn, M., 2017. Landslide characteristics and spatial distribution in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 
  • Smets, B., d’Oreye, N., Kervyn, M., Kervyn, F. 2017 Gas Piston Activity of the Nyiragongo Lava Lake: First Insights from a Stereographic Time-Lapse Camera System. Journal of African Earth Sciences, AVCoR Special Issue,
  • Delcamp A., Kervyn M, Benbakkar M., Kwelwa S., Peter D., 2017. Large volcanic landslide and debris avalanche deposit at Meru, Tanzania. Landslide, DOI 10.1007/s10346-016-0757-8.
  • Quader A.M., Amanat U.K., Kervyn M., 2017. Assessing risks from cyclones for human lives and livelihoods in the coastal regions of Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 14(8), 831; doi:10.3390/ijerph14080831 (IF: 2.101)
  • Quader A.M., Agrawal S., Kervyn M., 2017. Multi-decadal land cover evolution in the Sundarban, the largest mangrove in the world. Ocean and Coastal Management. 139: 113-124.
  • Poppe S., Smets B.,  Fontijn K., Rukeza M.B., Migabo A., Milungu A.K., Namogo D.B., Kervyn F.,  Kervyn M. 2016. Holocene phreatomagmatic eruptions alongside the densely populated northern shoreline of Lake Kivu, East African Rift: timing and hazard implications . Bulletin of Voclanology. 78:82.
  • Mossoux S., Bartollini S., Poppe S., Canters F., Kervyn M. 2016. Q-LavHA: A flexible GIS plugin to simulate lava flows. Computer and Geosciences, 97:98-109.
  • Poppe S., Holohan E., Pauwels E., Cnudde V., Kervyn M. 2015. Sinkholes, pit craters, and small calderas: Analog models of depletioninduced collapse analyzed by computed X-ray microtomography. Geological Society of America Bulletin.127 (1-2): 281-296. doi:10.1130/B30989.1
  • Jacobs, L., Maes, J., Mertens, K., Sekajugo, J., Thiery, W., van Lipzig, N., Poesen, J., Kervyn, M., Dewitte, O., 2016. Reconstruction of a flash flood event through a multi-hazard approach: focus on the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. Natural Hazards. 84: 851-876 (I.F. in 2015: 1.746)
  • Smets, B., Delvaux, D., Ross, K.A., Poppe, S., Kervyn, M., d’Oreye, N., Kervyn, F., 2016. The role of inherited crustal structures and magmatism in the development of rift segments: Insights from the Kivu basin, western branch of the East African Rift. Tectonophysics. 683: 62-76.
  • Mertens, K., Jacobs, L., Maes, J., Kabaseke, C., Maertens, M., Poesen, J., Kervyn, M., Vranken, L., 2016. The impact of landslides on household income in tropical regions: a case study on the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, Science of the Total Environment. 5550: 1032-1043.
  • Jacobs L., Dewitte O., Poesen J., Delvaux D., Thiery W., Kervyn M. 2016. The Rwenzori Mountains, a landslide-prone region? Landslide. 13: 519-536. DOI 10.1007/s10346-015-0582-5.
  • Mossoux S., Delcamp A., Poppe A., Michellier C., Canters F., Kervyn M.. 2016 Hazagora: will you survive the next disaster? – A serious game to raise awareness about geohazards and disaster risk reduction. Natural Hazard and Earth System Science. 16: 135-147. doi:10.5194/nhess-16-1-2016.
  • Kervyn M., van Wyk de Vries B., Walter T.R., Njome S., Suh C.E, Ernst G.G.J., 2014, Directional flank spreading at Mt Cameroon volcano: Evidence from analogue modeling, Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, 119 (10): 7542-7563.
  • Delcamp A., van Wyk de Vries B., Petit S., Kervyn M., 214, Endogenous and exogenous growth of the monogenetic Lemptégy volcano, Chaîne des Puys, France. Geosphere: 10 (5): 998-1019. doi:10.1130/GES01007.1
  • Delcamp A., Delvaux D., Kwelwa S., Macheyeki A., Kervyn M. 2016. Sector collapse events at volcanoes in the North Tanzanian Divergence Zone and their implications for regional tectonics. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 128 (1-2):169-186. 
  • Li L., Solana C., Canters F., Chan J.C.W., Kervyn M. 2015. Impact of Environmental Factors on the Spectral Characteristics of Lava Surfaces: Field Spectrometry of Basaltic Lava Flows on Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Remote Sensing. 7, 16986–17012; doi:10.3390/rs71215864. 
  • Smets B., Kervyn M., d’Oreye N, Kervyn F. 2015. Spatio-temporal dynamics of eruptions in a youthful extensional setting: insights from Nyamulagira volcano (D.R. Congo), in the western branch of the East African Rift. Earth Science Reviews. 150: 305-328. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.08.008
  • Smets B, d’Oreye, N., Kervyn F., Kervyn M., Albino F., Arellano S.R., Bagalwa M., Balagizi C, Carn S.A., Darrah T.H., Fernández J., Galle B, González P.J., Head E., Karume K., Kavotha D., Lukaya F., Mashagiro N., Mavonga G., Norman P., Osodundu E., Pallero J.L.G., Prieto J.F., Samsonov S., Syauswa M., Tedesco D., Tiampo K., Wauthier C., Yalire M.M., 2014. Detailed multidisciplinary monitoring reveals pre- and co-eruptive signals at Nyamulagira volcano (North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo). Bulletin of Volcanology. 76:787. DOI 10.1007/s00445-013-0787-1
  • Wantim M. N., Kervyn M., Ernst G.G.J., del Marmol M., Suh C.E., Jacobs P., Numerical experiments on the dynamics of channelized lava flows at Mount Cameroon volcano with the FLOWGO thermo-rheological model. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 253: 35-53.
  • Che V.B., Kervyn M., Suh C.E., Fontijn K., Ernst G.G.J., Del Marmol M-A., Trefois  P., Jacobs P., 2012. Landslide susceptibility assessment in Limbe region (SW Cameroon): A field calibrated seed cell and information value method. Catena, 92: 83-98. doi:10.1016/j.catena.2011.11.014.


VUB SRP - Strategic Research Program: Tracing and Modelling of Past & Present Global Changes. Kervyn is co-PI.

VLIR UOS Inter-University Cooperation Arba Minch University (Ethiopia) Reducing land degradation through and for sustainable rural land use in the South Ethiopia Rift Valley. Kervyn: Co-PI. Kervyn is Project Leader for the Land degradation part of the project, including 3 PhD scholarships. 2017-2021. 

VLIR UOS TEAM Optimizing the valorization of water and rock resources for improved livelihoods in the Arusha volcanic region. Kervyn: PI. Academic cooperation projection between VUB and U Dodoma (Tanzania)  including 2 PhD scholarships. 2017-2020. 

VLIR UOS South Initiative. Enhancing community-based natural resources and hazard management in Rwenzori Mountains; Kervyn: PI. Academic cooperation projection between VUB and Mountain of the Moon University (Uganda). 2017-2019. 

FWO – Aspirant Mandate for Sam Poppe; Modeling the initiation, propagation and topographic control of magma-driven fractures in brittle rock. 2015-2018. Promoter Matthieu KERVYN.

AfReSlide – Landslide in Equatorial Africa: Identifying Culturally, Technically and Economically Feasible Resilience Strategies. Funding: BELSPO project 2014-2018. M. Kervyn is  project coordinator of a consortium of 5 research groups (VUB, KU Leuven, ULB, Royal Museum for Central Africa).


FWO Post-doc 2014-2017 – Dr. A. Declamp. Volcanic maar fields along major rift fault escarpments: a genetic link? Supervision: Prof. M. Kervyn.

GeoRisCA – Geo-Risk in Central Africa: integrating multi-hazards and vulnerability to support risk management. 2012-2017. Funding:  BELSPO-funded Science for Sustainable Development project : 1.000.000 Euro. M. Kervyn is one of project PI. 

VLIR UOS South Initiative Identification and analysis of land degradation hot spots, their socio-economical and physical controls and implications in the Mt Rwenzori region. Kervyn: PI. Academic cooperation projection between VUB  and U Busitema (Uganda). 2013-2015. 

VLIR UOS South Initiative Increasing teaching and research capacities on geological processes, resources and hazard management in the Northern Tanzania Volcanic Zone (NTVZ). Kervyn: PI. Academic cooperation projection between VUB  and U Dodoma (TZ). 2013-2015. 

PhD Theses


MSc Theses


BSc Theses