Britta Schmalz

Prof. Dr. habil. Britta Schmalz

Head of the Department of Engineering Hydrology and Water Management

+49 6151 16-20868
+49 6151 16-20865

Franziska-Braun-Straße 7
64287 Darmstadt

Office: L5|01 311

More information


  • Head and representation of the department in research and teaching
  • Organization and execution of teaching of the department
  • Supervision of PhD, Bachelor and Master thesis


  • Catchment hydrology
  • Measuring and modelling of landscape water and matter balances and transport
  • GIS-based modelling of hydrological processes
  • Integrated ecohydrological modelling of aquatic ecosystems
  • Integrated river basin management
  • Estimating the impact of climate and land use change on hydrological regimes
  • Planning and equipping a study catchment in Hesse for continuous monitoring as well as high resoluted measuring campaigns

Contribution in working groups and scientific journals:

  • IHP/HWRP-working group „FRIEND/ERB“ (Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data/ European Network of Experimental and Representative Basins): Member since 2008, head since 2015
  • Working group „Ökohydrologische Prozesse“ of the German Hydrological Association: Member since 2012
  • Scientific journal „Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung“: Associated editor since October 2015
  • Reviewer for inter-/national scientific journals: Advances in Geosciences, Ecological Complexity, Ecological Indicators, Environmental Earth Sciences, Hydrological Processes, Hydrological Sciences Journal, Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung, Journal of Environmental Management, Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Regional Environmental Change, Science of the Total Environment, Transactions of the ASABE

Professional career:

  • since 15.02.2016: Full professor at TU Darmstadt
  • 05/2015-02/2016: Assistant professor (akademische Rätin) at Kiel University (CAU Kiel) as well as subproject leader of the research project „SASCHA – Sustainable land management and adaptation strategies to climate change for the Western Siberian Grain Belt“ (BMBF)
  • 05/2013-04/2015: Postdoc at CAU Kiel in the research project „SASCHA – Sustainable land management and adaptation strategies to climate change for the Western Siberian Grain Belt“ (BMBF)
  • 05/2010-04/2013: Postdoc at CAU Kiel in the research project „Integrated modelling of the response of aquatic ecosystems to land use and climate change in the Poyang lake region, China“ (DFG)
  • 10/2005-04/2010: Scientific assistant (wissenschaftliche Assistentin) at ecology centre at CAU Kiel, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management.
  • 2002-2005: Research associate at Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Dep. Groundwater quality/-protection, in the research project „Groundwater quality in the Weser catchment“.
  • 1998–2001: Research assistant at CAU Kiel in the research project „Preferential pathways – 3D Water- and matter dynamics in heterogeneous media“ (DFG; Institute for Water Management and Landscape Ecology).“

Academic education:

  • 2015: Habilitation at CAU Kiel as well as Venia Legendi for Hydrology and Physical Geography. Title of habilitation thesis: „Integrated ecohydrological modeling of aquatic ecosystems“.
  • 2002: Promotion (Dr. agr.) in Soil Science at Rostock University. Title: „Räumliche Variabilität des Wasserflusses in sandigen Böden“ (Spatial variability of water flow in sandy soils).
  • 1998: Diploma degree (Dipl.-Geol.) at Faculty of Geosciences at Hamburg University. Diploma theses: I „Grundwasserbeschaffenheit im Bereich Lübeck/Untertrave unter dem Aspekt der Grundwasserversalzung“ (Groundwater quality in the region of Lübeck/lower Trave with regards to groundwater salinisation), II „Quartärgeologische Kartierung in einem Teilbereich des Alten Landes“ (Quaternary geological mapping of a subarea of the region Altes Land).


Peer-Reviewed Publikations


SADA, R., SCHMALZ, B., KIESEL, J. & FOHRER, N. (2019): Projected Changes in Climate and Hydrological Regimes of the Western Siberian Lowlands. Environmental Earth Sciences 78(2): 56. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-019-8047-0. ISI (2018) 1.871.

SCHMALZ, B., DIETRICH, S. & DE LIMA, J. L. M. P. (2019): Preface: Innovative monitoring techniques and modelling approaches for analysing hydrological processes in small basins. Adv. Geosci. 48: 49-51. DOI: 10.5194/adgeo-48-49-2019.

SCHMALZ, B. & KRUSE, M. (2019): Impact of land use on stream water quality in the German low mountain range basin Gersprenz. Landscape online 72: 1-17. DOI 10.3097/LO.201972.


KIESEL, J., PFANNERSTILL, M., SCHMALZ, B., KHOROSHAVIN, V., SHELUDKOV, A., VESHKURSEVA, T. & FOHRER, N. (2018): Modelling of hydrological processes in snowmelt-governed permafrost-free catchments of the Western Siberian Lowlands. International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology 8(3): 289-316. DOI: 10.1504/IJHST.2018.10007182.

WAGNER, P.D., HÖRMANN, G., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2018): Charakterisierung des Wasser- und Nährstoffhaushalts im ländlichen Tieflandeinzugsgebiet der Kielstau. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 62(3): 145-158. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2018,3_4. ISI (2017) 0.8.


SONG, S., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2017): Improved structure of vertical flow velocity distribution in natural rivers based on mean vertical profile velocity and relative water depth. Hydrology Research 49(3): 878-892. DOI: 10.2166/nh.2017.258. ISI (2017) 1.801.

SONG, S., SCHMALZ, B., XU, Y.P. & FOHRER, N. (2017): Seasonality of roughness – the indicator of annual river flow resistance condition in a lowland catchment. Water Resources Management 31(11): 3299-3312. DOI: 10.1007/s11269-017-1656-z. ISI (2017) 2.644.

SONG, S., SCHMALZ, B., ZHANG, J.X. LI, G. & FOHRER, N. (2017): Application of modified Manning formula in the determination of vertical profile velocity in natural rivers. Hydrology Research 48(1): 133-146. DOI: 10.2166/nh.2016.131. ISI (2017) 1.801.


SCHMALZ, B., KRUSE, M., KIESEL, J., MÜLLER, F. & FOHRER, N. (2016): Water-related ecosystem services in Western Siberian lowland basins – Analysing and mapping spatial and seasonal effects on regulating services based on ecohydrological modelling results. Ecological Indicators 71: 55-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.06.050. ISI (2016) 3.898.

STREHMEL, A., JEWETT, A., SCHULDT, R., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2016): Field data-based implementation of land management and terraces on the catchment scale for an eco-hydrological modelling approach in the Three Gorges Region, China. Agricultural Water Management 175: 43-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2015.10.007. ISI (2016) 2.848.

STREHMEL, A., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2016): Evaluation of land use, land management and soil conservation strategies to reduce non-point source pollution loads in the Three Gorges Region, China. Environmental Management 58(5): 906-921, DOI: 10.1007/s00267-016-0758-3. ISI (2016) 1.878.


KIESEL, J., SCHRÖDER, M., HERING, D., SCHMALZ, B., HÖRMANN, G., JÄHNIG, S.C. & FOHRER, N. (2015): A new model linking macroinvertebrate assemblages to habitat composition in rivers: development, sensitivity and univariate application. Fundamental and Applied Limnology / Archiv für Hydrobiologie 186(1-2): 117-133. DOI: 10.1127/fal/2015/0625. ISI (2015) 0.786.

KUEMMERLEN, M., SCHMALZ, B., CAI, Q., HAASE, P., FOHRER, N. & JÄHNIG, S.C. (2015): An attack on two fronts: predicting how changes in land use and climate affect the distribution of stream macroinvertebrates. Freshwater Biology 60: 1443–1458. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12580. ISI (2015) 2.933.

SCHMALZ, B., KUEMMERLEN, M., KIESEL, J., CAI, Q., JÄHNIG, S.C. & FOHRER, N. (2015): Impacts of land use changes on hydrological components and macroinvertebrate distributions in the Poyang lake area. Ecohydrology 8(6): 1119-1136. DOI: 10.1002/eco.1569. ISI (2015) 2.138.

SCHMALZ, B., ZHANG, Q., KUEMMERLEN, M., CAI, Q., JÄHNIG, S.C. & FOHRER, N. (2015): Modelling spatial distribution of surface runoff and sediment yield in a Chinese river basin without continuous sediment monitoring. Hydrological Sciences Journal 60(5): 801-824. DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2014.967245. ISI (2015) 2.182.

SONG, S., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2015): Simulation, quantification and comparison of in-channel and floodplain sediment processes in a lowland area – A case study of the Upper Stör catchment in northern Germany. Ecological Indicators 57: 118-127. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.03.030. ISI (2015) 3.190.


KUEMMERLEN, M., SCHMALZ, B., GUSE, B., CAI, Q., FOHRER, N. & JÄHNIG, S.C. (2014): Integrating catchment properties in small scale species distribution models of stream macroinvertebrates. Ecological Modelling 277: 77-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.01.020. ISI (2014) 2.321.

MÜLLER, E.N., VAN SCHAIK, L., BLUME, T., BRONSTERT, A., CARUS, J., FLECKENSTEIN, J.H., FOHRER, N., GEIßLER, K., GERKE, H.H., GRAEFF, T., HESSE, C., HILDEBRANDT, A., HÖLKER, F., HUNKE, P., KÖRNER, K., LEWANDOWSKI, J., LOHMANN, D., MEINIKMANN, K., SCHIBALSKI, A., SCHMALZ, B., SCHRÖDER, B. & TIETJEN, B. (2014): Skalen, Schwerpunkte, Rückkopplungen und Herausforderungen der ökohydrologischen Forschung in Deutschland. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 58(4): 221-240. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2014,4_2. ISI (2014) 0.486.

POTT, C.A., JADOSKI, S.O., SCHMALZ, B., HÖRMANN, G. & FOHRER, N. (2014): Temporal variability of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in a German catchment: Water sampling implication. Revista Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola e Ambiental 18(8): 811-818. DOI: 10.1590/1807-1929/agriambi.v18n08p811-818. ISI (2014) ISI 0.550.

SONG, S., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2014): Simulation and comparison of stream power in-channel and on the floodplain in a German lowland area. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics 62(2): 133-144. DOI: 10.2478/johh-2014-0018. ISI (2014) 1.486.

WU, N., HUANG, J.C., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2014): Modeling daily chlorophyll a dynamics in a German lowland river using artificial neural networks and multiple linear regression approaches. Limnology 15(1): 47-56. DOI: 10.1007/s10201-013-0412-1. ISI (2014) 1.117.

WU, N., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2014): Study progress in riverine phytoplankton and its use as bio-indicator – a review. Austin Journal of Hydrology 1(1): 9 p.


KIESEL, J., SCHMALZ, B., BROWN, G.L. & FOHRER, N. (2013): Application of a hydrological-hydraulic modelling cascade in lowlands for investigating water and sediment fluxes in catchment, channel and reach. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics 61(4): 334-346. DOI: 10.2478/johh-2013-0042. ISI (2013) 1.231.


FOHRER, N. & SCHMALZ, B. (2012): Das UNESCO Ökohydrologie-Referenzprojekt Kielstau-Einzugsgebiet – nachhaltiges Wasserressourcenmanagement und Ausbildung im ländlichen Raum. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 56(4): 160-168. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2012,4_1. ISI (2012) 0.605.

JÄHNIG, S.C., KUEMMERLEN, M., KIESEL, J., DOMISCH, S., CAI, Q., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Modelling of riverine ecosystems by integrating models: conceptual approach, a case study and research agenda. J. Biogeogr. 39(12): 2253-2263. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12009. ISI (2012) 4.863.

KOLYCHALOW, O., SCHMALZ, B., MATTHIESSEN, A., OSTENDORP, G., HIPPELEIN, M. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Pflanzenschutzmittelwirkstoffe und deren Metaboliten in privaten Trinkwasserbrunnen in Schleswig-Holstein. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 56(4): 193-202. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2012,4_4. ISI (2012) 0.605.

KUEMMERLEN, M., DOMISCH, S., SCHMALZ, B., CAI, Q., FOHRER, N., JÄHNIG, S.C. (2012): Integrierte Modellierung von aquatischen Ökosystemen in China: Arealbestimmung von Makrozoobenthos auf Einzugsgebietsebene. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 56(4): 185-192. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2012,4_3. ISI (2012) 0.605.

LAM, Q.D., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Assessing the spatial and temporal variations of water quality in lowland areas, Northern Germany. Journal of Hydrology 438-439: 137-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.03.011. ISI (2012) 2.964.

SCHMALZ, B., KUEMMERLEN, M., STREHMEL, A., SONG, S., CAI, Q., JÄHNIG, S. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Integrierte Modellierung von aquatischen Ökosystemen in China: Ökohydrologie und Hydraulik. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 56(4): 169-184. DOI: 10.5675/HyWa_2012,4_2. ISI (2012) 0.605.

SONG, S., SCHMALZ, B., HÖRMANN, G. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Accuracy, reproducibility and sensitivity of acoustic Doppler technology for velocity and discharge measurements in medium-sized rivers. Hydrological Sciences Journal 57(8): 1626-1641. DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2012.727999. ISI (2012) 1.541.

WU, N., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Development and testing of a phytoplankton index of biotic integrity (P-IBI) for a German lowland river. Ecological Indicators 13(1): 158-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2011.05.022. ISI (2012) 2.890.


LAM, Q.D., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2011): The impact of agricultural Best Management Practices on water quality in a North German lowland catchment. Environ Monit Assess. 183(1): 351-379. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-011-1926-9. ISI (2011) 1.400.

WU, N., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2011): A comparison of phytoplankton assemblages generated by two sampling protocols in a German lowland catchment. Ann. Limnol. – Int. J. Lim. 47: 313-323. DOI: 10.1051/limn/2011045. ISI (2011) 0.93.

WU, N., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2011): Distribution of phytoplankton in a German lowland river in relation to environmental factors. J. Plankton Res. 33(5): 807-820. DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbq139. ISI (2011) 2.079.


KIESEL, J., FOHRER, N. & SCHMALZ, B. (2010): Considering aquatic habitat properties in integrated river basin management – an ecohydrological modelling approach. IAHS Redbooks 338: 137-139.

KIESEL, J., FOHRER, N., SCHMALZ, B. & WHITE, M.J. (2010): Incorporating landscape depressions and tile drainages of a northern German lowland catchment into a semi-distributed model. Hydrol. Processes 24(11): 1472-1486. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7607. ISI (2010) 2.068.

LAM, Q.D., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2010): Modelling point and diffuse source pollution of nitrate in a rural lowland catchment using the SWAT model. Agric. Water Manage. 97(2): 317-325. DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2009.10.004. ISI (2010) 1.782

SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2010): Ecohydrological research in the German lowland catchment Kielstau. IAHS Publ. 336: 115-120.

SCHUMANN, S., SCHMALZ, B., MEESENBURG, H. & SCHRÖDER, U. (2010): Status and perspectives of hydrology in small basins. IHP/HWRP-Berichte H. 10, Koblenz: 69 p.


KIESEL, J., HERING, D., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2009): A transdisciplinary approach for modelling macroinvertebrate habitats in lowland streams. IAHS Publ. 328: 24-33.

KIESEL, J., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2009): SEPAL – A simple GIS-based tool to estimate sediment pathways in lowland catchments. Adv. Geosci. 21: 25-32.

LAM, Q.D., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2009): Ecohydrological modelling of water discharge and nitrate loads in a mesoscale lowland catchment, Germany. Adv. Geosci. 21: 49-55.

SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2009): Comparing model sensitivities of different landscapes using the ecohydrological SWAT model. Adv. Geosci. 21: 91-98.

SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2009): Ecohydrological research in the Kielstau catchment. Landschaftsökologie und Umweltforschung Heft 50: 237-241.

SCHMALZ, B., BIEGER, K. & FOHRER, N. (2009): Preface „Transdisciplinary concepts and modelling strategies for the assessment of complex environmental systems – Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Large-scale Hydrological Modelling“. Adv. Geosci. 21: 1.

SCHMALZ, B., SPRINGER, P. & FOHRER, N. (2009): Variability of water quality in a riparian wetland with interacting shallow groundwater and surface water. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 172(6): 757-768. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.200800268. ISI (2009) 1.595.


FOHRER, N., DEUNERT, F. & SCHMALZ, B. (2008): Integration von landwirtschaftlichen Dränagen in die Abbildung des Landschaftswasser- und -stoffhaushalts von Tieflandeinzugsgebieten. DWA-Themen „Dränung – Nährstoffausträge, Flächenerfassung und Management“: 32-38.

SCHMALZ, B., BIEGER, K. & FOHRER, N. (2008): A method to assess instream water quality – the role of nitrogen entries in a North German rural lowland catchment. Adv. Geosci. 18: 37-41.

SCHMALZ, B., SPRINGER, P. & FOHRER, N. (2008): Interactions between near-surface groundwater and surface water in a drained riparian wetland. IAHS Publ. 321: 21-29.

SCHMALZ, B., TAVARES, F. & FOHRER, N. (2008): Modelling hydrological processes in mesoscale lowland river basins with SWAT – capabilities and challenges. Hydrological Sciences Journal 53(5): 989-1000. DOI: 10.1623/hysj.53.5.989. ISI (2008) 1.216.


FOHRER, N., SCHMALZ, B. & HÖRMANN, G. (2007): Suitability of the eco-hydrological model SWAT for the assessment of water balance and quality in rural catchments. Progress in Hydro Sciences and Engineering. DKW-Series 3: 321-330.

FOHRER, N., SCHMALZ, B., TAVARES, F. & GOLON, J. (2007): Ansätze zur Integration von landwirtschaftlichen Drainagen in die Modellierung des Landschaftswasserhaushalts von mesoskaligen Tieflandeinzugsgebieten. Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung 51(4): 164-169.

SCHMALZ, B., TAVARES, F. & FOHRER, N. (2007): Assessment of nutrient entry pathways and dominating hydrological processes in lowland catchments. Adv. Geosci. 11: 107-112.


SCHMALZ, B., LENNARTZ, B. & VAN GENUCHTEN, M.Th. (2003): Analysis of unsaturated water flow in a large sand tank. Soil Sci. 168(1): 3-14. DOI: 10.1097/ ISI (2003) 1.044.


SCHMALZ, B., LENNARTZ, B. & WACHSMUTH, D. (2002): Analyses of soil water content variations and GPR attribute distributions. J. Hydrol. 267(3-4): 217-226. DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1694(02)00152-X. ISI (2002) 1.272.

Beiträge zu Handbüchern

KIESEL, J., CONRAD, Y., MARCINIAK, H., SHELUDKOV, A., ABRAMENKO, K., CONRAD, M., TRETYAKOV, N., VESHKURSEVA, T., KHOROSHAVIN, V., TOLSTIKOV, A., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2018): Water quality in Siberian lowland catchments – Measurement campaigns and assessment. Chapter II/94: 438-442. DOI 10.25680/3313.2018.18.60.191. In: Sychev, V.G. & Mueller, L. (ed.) (2018): Novel methods and results of landscape research in Europe, Central Asia and Siberia. Monograph in 5 Volumes. Vol. II Understanding and Monitoring Processes in Soils and Water Bodies. Russian Academy of Sciences; FSBSI «All-Russian Research Institute of Agrochemistry. Moscow.

KIESEL, J., HERING, D., CEYLAN, M., KUEMMERLEN, M., JÄHNIG, S., SCHMALZ, B. & FOHRER, N. (2018): Modelling freshwater habitats and their macroinvertebrate communities. Chapter III/63: 301-306. DOI 10.25680/5045.2018.95.10.256. In: Sychev, V.G. & Mueller, L. (ed.) (2018): Novel methods and results of landscape research in Europe, Central Asia and Siberia. Monograph in 5 Volumes. Vol. III Landscape Monitoring and Modelling. Russian Academy of Sciences; FSBSI «All-Russian Research Institute of Agrochemistry. Moscow.

SCHMALZ, B., KANDZIORA, M., CHETVERIKOVA, N., MÜLLER, F. & FOHRER, N. (2015): Water-related ecosystem services – The Kielstau Basin case study. In: CHICHARO, L., MÜLLER, F. & FOHRER, N. (Eds.): Ecosystem Services and River Basin Ecohydrology. Springer. ISBN 978-94-017-9845-7. 215-232.

BIEGER, K., HÖRMANN, G., SCHMALZ, B., CAI, Q. & FOHRER, N. (2012): Diffuse Stoffeinträge im Einzuggebiet des Drei-Schluchten-Staudamms – Modellierung der Auswirkungen des Landnutzungswandels auf Wassermenge und Wasserqualität mit dem ökohydrologischen Modell SWAT. In: SCHOLTEN, T. & SCHÖNBRODT-STITT, S. (Ed.): Umweltforschung im Drei-Schluchten-Ökosystem in China. Tübinger Geographische Studien Heft 151. Kapitel 7: 176-242. ISBN: 978-3-88121-089-8.

SCHÖNBRODT-STITT, S. et al. (2012): Umweltforschung im Drei-Schluchten-Ökosystem in China – Eine Synthese. In: SCHOLTEN, T. & SCHÖNBRODT-STITT, S. (Ed.): Umweltforschung im Drei-Schluchten-Ökosystem in China. Tübinger Geographische Studien Heft 151. Kapitel 9: 283-291. ISBN: 978-3-88121-089-8.

VOLK, M., FOHRER, N., SCHMALZ, B. & ULLRICH, A. (2011): Application of the SWAT model for ecohydrological modelling in Germany. In: SHUKLA, M. (ed.): Soil Hydrology, Land Use and Agriculture. Chapter 7. CABI, pp. 176-195. ISBN: 978-1-84593-797-3.

FOHRER, N. & SCHMALZ, B. (2010): Be- und Entwässerung von Böden. Kapitel 2.5. Seiten 228-241. In: BLUME, H.-P., HORN, R., THIELE-BRUHN, S. (Hrsg.), Handbuch des Bodenschutzes, 4. vollständig überarbeitete Auflage. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. 758 Seiten.

LENNARTZ, B., SCHMALZ, B., WACHSMUTH, D. & STOFFREGEN, H. (2008): Assessing spatial and temporal soil water content variations with GPR. Chapter 25. Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics. CRC Press. 323-335.

Further information considering conference contributions, poster and oral presentations available on request.

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