Water Resources, Land-use and Forestry

Prof. Alberto Montanari – Director

Alberto Montanari is full professor of Hydrology and Water Resources Management for the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Material Engineering at the University of Bologna. He is currently president of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). From 2013 to 2017 he was Editor in Chief of Water Resources Research, published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). From 2009 to 2017 he chaired the Union Awards and Medals Committee of EGU. In 2017 he was awarded the Union Service Award by EGU and was elected Fellow of the AGU. In 2018 he was awarded the Henry Darcy Medal by EGU. In 2019 he was awarded the Dooge Medal by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, World Meteorological Organisation and UNESCO. Alberto’s research interests span over water resources assessment, sustainable exploitation of water resources, climate change assessment, impact and adaptation.

Prof. Jonathan Bamber

Jonathan Bamber is professor of glaciology and Earth Observation, University of Bristol and Tech. University Munich and Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre. He has a degree in physics and a PhD in geophysics. He specialises in the analysis of airborne & satellite data sets from the polar regions, and in combining these data with models of the Earth system. He is an expert on the ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland and their contribution to sea level. He has also published extensively in the general field of geodesy, sea level variations in time and space and measuring mass exchange between the land and oceans due to melting of land ice and the hydrological cycle.

Porf. Günter Blöschl

Günter Blöschl is Senator of the Helmholtz Association for the Research Field Earth and Environment and Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources at Vienna University of Technology, Austria. He holds a diploma in civil engineering (1985) and a PhD in hydrology (1990), both from the Vienna University of Technology. In 1989 he was a research fellow at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, followed by research positions at the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra and at the University of Melbourne, Australia, from 1992 to 1994. After receiving a senior doctorate (Habilitation) in 1997 he held the position of Associate Professor of Hydrology at the Vienna University of Technology until he was appointed full professor in 2007. Since 2012 he has been Head of the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at the Vienna University of Technology. Professor Blöschl is best known for his research on floods, droughts and transport of matter in the landscape.

Prof. Lisa Borgatti

Lisa Borgatti has a PhD in Earth Sciences and she currently is full professor of Engineering Geology at the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering DICAM, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italy.

The research activity is focused on natural and engineered slopes. Factors predisposing and triggering instability at different time scales, mapping, prospecting, in situ and remote sensing monitoring, numerical modeling, and design of mitigation measures are analysed. The study areas are located in the northern Apennines, in the eastern Alps, and in Northern America. Have authored more than 100 original scientific papers on engineering geological and geomorphological applications, 78 of which are indexed in Scopus.

Prof. Alessandro Gargini

Alessandro Gargini is full professor of Hydrogeology and Head of the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA) at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. He got MSc in Geological Sciences and PhD in Applied Hydrogeology. He is currently component of the Italian Chapter of IAH (International Association of Hydrogeologists). Alessandro’s research interests span over Plume characterization and isotopic fingerprinting in porous aquifers; Impacts of tunnelling on water resources; Groundwater flow systems in fractured aquifers; Climate change and groundwater.

Prof. Giovanna Grossi

She is Associate Professor in Hydraulic Structures at the University of Brescia, member of the Academic Senate and Deputy Head of International Affairs. Her research activity mainly focuses on sustainable urban drainage, real time flood forecasting and the effects of climate change on water resources. She coordinates WatShop, a science shop on “Sustainable water resources management, control and consumption in a changing climate” (www.watshop.it). She is also the coordinator of a new Knowledge for Change Hub (https://www.unescochair-cbrsr.org/) in Brescia. She currently teaches Hydraulics and hydraulic infrastructures and Climate change adaptation and mitigation for engineering students.

Prof. Giuliana Panieri

Giuliana Panieri is a Professor in Geology and Environment and Climate at The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø (UiT), and research scientist in the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE). Giuliana has also an Adjunct Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in USA. She holds a PhD degree in Paleontology and a Research Post-Doctorate in Micropaleontology and Geochemistry. She seeks to answer questions regarding the timing, periodicity, and intensity of methane emissions with the final goal of assessing their evolution through time and understanding possible connections to climate change in the Arctic.

Prof. Riccardo Valentini

Riccardo Valentini is full professor of forest ecology at the University of Tuscia and he is member of the Strategic Committee at CMCC Foundation.

His expertise concern the role of land use changes and forestry in the carbon cycle, biodiversity and bioenergy He was one of the pioneers of terrestrial carbon research working in several ecosystems placed in North and South America, Europe, Australia, China, Japan, Africa in different biomes including forests, crops, grasslands, savannahs, wetlands etc. He was involved as lead author in the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 3rd and 5th Special Reports.

Adaptation and sustainable risk management

Prof. Dr. Daniela Jacob – Director

Prof. Dr. Daniela Jacob is meteorologist and Director of the Climate Service Center Germany (GER-ICS), a scientific organizational entity of Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, and visiting professor at Leuphana University, Faculty of Sustainability. She was Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, and one of the Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group 2). Daniela Jacob is chair of the German Committee Future Earth (DKN) and co-chair of the WPN2030. She was member of the European Commission’s Mission Board on “Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation”. Additionally, she is member of the ‘Earth League’, an international alliance of prominent scientists from world‐class research institutions, as well as member of several other committees. Her main research fields and areas of interest are local and regional climate modelling, the hydrological cycle, climate services and adaptation to climate change. Moreover, Daniela Jacob is Editor-in-Chief of Journal “Climate Services”, a new scientific Journal she co-founded with Elsevier.

Dr. Laurens Bouwer

Dr. Laurens Bouwer is a senior scientist at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon. He is an expert on the assessment of climate risk, and has worked extensively on the use of impact and vulnerability models. Besides the research work, he has advised national and local governments, international organisations such as the World Bank, as well as insurance companies on how to manage these risks. Laurens has led several research and consultancy projects related to risks and adaptation including the development of impact and damage models, and approaches for adaptation planning. In addition, he has been participating as (lead) author in several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dr. Kristie L. Ebi

Dr. Kristie L. Ebi has been conducting research on the health risks of climate variability and change for 25 years, focusing on understanding sources of vulnerability; estimating current and future health risks of climate change; designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce risks in multi-stressor environments; and estimating the health co-benefits of mitigation policies. She has supported multiple countries worldwide in assessing their vulnerabilities and implementing adaptation policies and programs. She has edited fours books on aspects of climate change, has more than 200 publications, and has been an author on multiple national and international climate change assessments.

Prof. Dr. Maria Manez

María Máñez Costa applies system thinking and analysis to support climate services development. María is an expert in participatory modelling and has been working in the last 20 years on the development of participatory processes and models. Her research focuses on innovative transdisciplinary approaches to support the transitions to resilient societies. Her work repeatedly lies at the interface between science and society. Topic-wise, María works on adaptation themes related to water management including the interface between urban resilience and agriculture, or nature based solutions. María has been involved in the development of the field of climate services since 2009. Since the academic year 2013, she is a visiting professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and teaches Participatory Modelling and System Dynamics successfully. She also supervises PhDs and Master Students in different institutions.

Data science and machine learning for climate research

Prof. Stefan Klus – Director

Stefan Klus is an associate professor in mathematics at the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He has several years of experience developing data-driven methods for the analysis of high-dimensional dynamical systems, with applications in molecular dynamics, fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, agent-based modeling, and climate science. Before he joined the Heriot-Watt University, Dr. Klus worked at the University of Surrey, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the United Technologies Research Center, where he provided expertise in the areas of data science, machine learning, parallel computing, spectral and algebraic graph theory, and control of multi-agent systems, focusing on the analysis and optimization of numerical algorithms.

Prof. Houman Owhadi

Houman is professor of applied and computational mathematics and control and dynamical systems at the California Institute of Technology. His interests include uncertainty quantification, numerical approximation, statistical inference/learning, data assimilation, stochastic and multiscale analysis. His research is focused on solving numerical approximation problems as learning problems, learning problems as numerical approximation problems, and uncertainty quantification problems as adversarial games. He was a plenary speaker at SIAM CSE 2015, a tutorial speaker at SIAM UQ 2016, the recipient of the 2019 Germund Dahlquist Prize (SIAM), and a SIAM Fellow (class of 2022). His research is supported by DARPA, the Department of Energy, NASA/JPL, AFOSR, ONR, National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Beyond Limits, and the National Science Foundation.

Prof. Joanna Slawinska

Joanna Slawinska is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Dartmouth College. She has a PhD in computational geophysics, in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She has obtained postdoctoral research training in applied mathematics from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University and has recently worked also as a Senior Researcher at the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Joanna Slawinska has extensive expertise on operator theoretic approaches  for dynamical systems, as well as extraction and predictions of spatiotemporal patterns in turbulent flows. Her interests include also predictability of high-dimensional and time-resolved datasets, and more recently quantum computing.

Recently published work concerns nonparameteric predictions of tropical dynamics, data-driven schemes for approximating Koopman operators for climate dynamics, and novel frameworks for modeling nonlinear dynamics on quantum computers

Prof. Jürgen Kurths

Jürgen Kurths is a mathematician and a physicist. He received the Ph.D.degree from the GDR Academy of Sciences and his Dr. habil. from the university of Rostock.. He was a Full Professor with the University of Potsdam, from 1994 to 2008. He has been a Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and the Chair of the Research Domain Complexity Science of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, since 2008.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Network Science Society and a member of the Academia Europaea. He received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in 2005 and 2021, the Richardson award from the European Geoscience Union in 2013 and the Lagrange Award in 2022.

The primary research interests of Jürgen Kurths include complex systems science, in particular synchronization, complex networks, and time series analysis and its applications in Earth Sciences, Physiology, engineering and others. Main recent studies are on inferring networks from data, improved predictions of extreme climate events, generalized stability concepts for and design of modern power grids, influence of Le´vy noise on complex systems and hypernetworks.

Prof. Feliks Nüske

Feliks Nüske received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Freie Universität Berlin in 2017. He then joined the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice University, U.S., for a postdoc. After a second postdoc in the Department of Mathematics at Paderborn University, Germany, he joined the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg, Germany, as a research group leader. His research is on data-driven methods for modelling and simulation of molecular systems.

Prof. Sarah Wolf

Sarah Wolf leads a MATH+ junior research group on „mathematics for sustainability transitions” at Freie Universität Berlin, where she works on agent-based modelling of complex socio-economic, -ecologic, and -technical systems and embeds these models and their simulations in stakeholder dialogues in the Decision Theatre format. Her research topics include sustainable mobility, as well as mechanisms behind a possibility of transitioning to Green Growth. While her background is in mathematics, she has worked in interdisciplinary research teams ever since her PhD studies, first at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and later at the Global Climate Forum, now at FU Berlin.

Prof. Cristiano De Nobili

Cristiano is a Theoretical Particle Physicist with a PhD in Quantum Information Theory at SISSA. Currently is the Lead AI Scientist at Pi School where he helps startups and companies to integrate AI in their process. He is a Deep Learning lecturer at the Master in High-performance Computing (Trieste) and at Bicocca University (Milan). At Pi School, he is mainly working in NLP and Deep Learning applied to environmental challenges. Last September, he took part in a scientific collaboration at the SIOS Remote Sensing Center in Svalbard to teach AI techniques to Arctic scientists. Currently he is part of a collaboration with the National Observatory of Athens and Pi School, working on Explainable AI for Wildfire Forecasting. He is highly interested in Quantum Technologies, especially in the Climate Tech sector. He just launched a newsletter on AI and Emergent Technologies: Turning bits into dreams.

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