Research Interests

Drought Indices, Drivers, & Forecasts

My research has focused on improving the calculation of relative drought indices, such as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), along with an R package designed to easily implement these findings.

I have begun to use these indices to address the complex issue of seasonal drought forecasting, identifying the drivers of major historical and recent drought events.

Relevant work
  • Candidate distributions for climatological drought indices (SPI and SPEI) [Paper] [Response]
  • European-scale drought: understanding connections between atmospheric circulation and meteorological drought Indices (Paper)
  • The European 2015 drought from a climatological perspective [Paper]
  • The European 2015 drought from a hydrological perspective [Paper]
  • ...


    Impacts of Hydrologic Extremes

    Drought events produce a myriad of social, economic, and environmental impacts. I have designed logistic regression models to relate drought indices with the likelihood of agricultural losses, wildfires, and public water supply deficits

    This work depends on the European Drought Impact Report Inventory, a public drought impact database, which I helped to program.

    I am interested expanding to more comprehensive impact models that could be used in concert with drought forecasts to predict impacts in real-time or to project the effects of climate change.

    Relevant work
  • Modeling drought impact occurrence based on meteorological drought indices in Europe [Paper]
  • Impacts of European drought events: insights from an international database of text-based reports (Paper)
  • Estimating drought risk across Europe from reported drought impacts, drought indices, and vulnerability factors [Paper]

  • Water Resources Management and Optimization

    To address droughts and water shortages, it is important to improve water resources decision-making during these extreme events. I study this through systems modeling and optimization.

    My work has used multi-objective evolutionary algorithms to provide decision-makers with clear risks and benefits from which they can decide the most appropriate risk trade-off, balancing societal needs with environmental function.

    Relevant work
  • Evolutionary algorithm optimization of a multireservoir system with long lag times [Paper]
  • ...


    Climate Change and Drought

    My research deals with the effect of climate change on extreme events and water resources, also using paleo-records to place future changes into a long historical context.

    I have developed stochastic methods to simulate streamflow changes driven by climate change and an initial method to disaggregate monthly streamflows from annual paleo-records. This work also includes a conmparison of drought indices across Europe under projected climate change.

    Relevant work
  • Future Meteorological Drought: Projections of Regional Climate Models for Europe [Paper]
  • A nonparametric stochastic method for generating daily climate-adjusted streamflows [Paper]
  • A probabilistic approach for attributing temperature changes to synoptic type frequency [Paper]

  • Grassed Swale Runoff Treatment

    Vegetated channels (grassed swales) are increasingly used to convey urban stormwater runoff, better approximating pre-development flow conditions.

    I am interested in understanding the hydrologic improvement and pollutant removal efficiency of these structures and how they can be designed to function better.

    Relevant work
  • Performance of grass swales for improving water quality from highway runoff [Paper]
  • Hydraulic performance of grass swales for managing highway runoff [Paper]
  • ...