Hallway Conversations – Francesca Pianosi (October 2019)

A –Streams of Thought– contribution by Wouter Knoben (WK)pianosi

Francesca Pianosi is a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol. She currently holds a prestigious Early Career EPSRC “Living with Environmental Change” Fellowship and was awarded the EGU Arne Richter award for Outstanding Young Scientists in 2015. Her research focuses around uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, and water resources management. She is the lead developer of the SAFE Global Sensitivity Analysis toolbox (Matlab/R/Python: www.safetoolbox.info).

WK: Can you tell us a little about your background, your formal education?

I did an MSc in Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Milano and stayed there to do a PhD in Informatics Engineering. This is essentially the engineering version of computer science. The department had people working on a wide variety of topics but I was part of a small group inside it that applied mathematical theory to environmental problems (my PhD project focused on water resources modelling). There were three professors there working on atmospheric systems, population dynamics and water systems respectively, so we used to say “Air, Animals and Water are covered” (we missed Earth!). On the one hand it was very nice to be part of such a varied department, because I got exposed to many different topics and that is good for building confidence. On the other hand, I would sometimes end up in seminars about stabilizing space rockets during landing, which was not really directly useful for my work!

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Hallway Conversations – Serena Ceola (September 2019)

A –Streams of Thought– contribution by Sina Khatami (SK)

BZ7T3427_EGU_Foto_Pfluegl_190410_SCSerena Ceola is a senior assistant professor at University of Bologna, Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering. At EGU 2019 General Assembly, Serena received the Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award of Hydrological Sciences Division for her outstanding contributions to the understanding of the interplay of river dynamics, fluvial ecology and human activities (link).

SK: Can you tell us a little about your background and education?

I was born in Padova, Italy, and studied environmental engineering at the University of Padova, from which I obtained a master’s degree in 2009. Since my bachelor’s studies, I was fascinated by hydrology: both my bachelor’s and master’s theses dealt with the availability of river discharge. Then, in 2009 I moved to Lausanne in Switzerland and I continued my studies with a PhD at the Laboratory of Ecohydrology of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). My PhD thesis focused on the implications of river discharge availability on river ecosystems (namely algae and macroinvertebrates). Since 2013, I have been based at the University of Bologna, Italy, and currently as an assistant professor. Now my main research project focuses on the relationship between river discharge availability and human activities, both at local and global scales.

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Hallway Conversations – Martyn Clark (August 2019)

A –Streams of Thought– contribution by Sina Khatami (SK)

Martyn on the summit of Ha Ling Peak, Alberta, Canada

Martyn is a Professor of Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan, Associate Director of the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for Hydrology and the Canmore Coldwater Laboratory, Editor-in-Chief of Water Resources Research, and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Martyn’s research focuses in three main areas: (i) the developing and evaluating process-based hydrologic models; (ii) understanding the sensitivity of water resources to climate variability and change; and (iii) developing the next generation streamflow forecasting systems. Martyn has authored or co-authored over 150 journal articles since receiving his PhD in 1998.

I was in Vienna for EGU 2019 that I realized that Martyn Clark (MC) is also coming. I decided to ask him for an interview, and so I sent him an email. As thrilling as the opportunity for me was, I got anxious. I was thinking in my head to be professional, ask him good questions, don’t embarrass myself, not to waste his time, etc. Not to mention that an interview with a smart and intelligent scientist can be quite intimidating as well.  Martyn accepted my interview request cheerfully. As we were chatting over email to set the date and venue to meet, my anxiety morphed into comfort and further excitement. We set the meeting details, and his final email to me was “Cool bananas.. see you soon.

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YESS-YHS-APECS-AGU-WCRP Joint Early Career Researcher workshop

Water Cycle in a 1.5°C warmer world: interdisciplinary approaches

AGU Fall Meeting 2019 –  December 7, 2019
Afternoon (Tentative timeslot: 1-5 PM)

Co-organised by: YESS-APECS-YHS
Supported by: WCRP & AGU 

The joint early career researchers (ECR) workshop “Water Cycle in a 1.5°C warmer world: interdisciplinary approaches’’ aims to bring together students and early career researchers to discuss 1) a joint perspective on the water cycle and governance under climate change, from the fundamental processes to societal impacts, 2) to identify how the science of the upcoming generation of researchers can be integrated in the current WCRP Grand challenges and the new WCRP Strategy, and 3) to explore how the various early career researchers networks can work in a more integrative manner, benefit from each other, and improve their communications channels.

The call for applications is open now, apply here. 

Special emphasis will be put on proposing an ECR’s roadmap to address future of research on water related research in the context of climate change in an interdisciplinary manner. The workshop will serve to identify research topics in which ECRs could contribute to the current and future climate research while exerting their career paths in Earth system science, promoting inter- and cross-disciplinary approaches.

This workshop is jointly organized by the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS), the Young Hydrologic Society (YHS) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS); and is open to all networks of young scientists that have relevant research interest to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

Few things to note:

  • The workshop will be conducted in English, and all participants should have an adequate working knowledge of this language.
  • All selected participants shall attend the AGU Fall Meeting 2019.
  • Limited travel funding may be available, depending on need. Please indicate your needs in the application form.


  • Workshop application close: 7 September 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: 25 September 2019

More information can be found on the WCRP website

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Hallway Conversations – Grey Nearing

A –Streams of Thought– contribution by Sina Khatami.

20180403_headshots_17Asst/Prof. Grey Nearing is a hydrologist at the Department of Geological Sciences at
The University of Alabama (UA). Prior to joining UA, he has worked as Project Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Researchand, and Research Scientist at the NASA Hydrologic Sciences Lab. I’ve enjoyed an ongoing dialectical debate with Grey, intense yet delightful, on the philosophy of science particularly hydrological uncertainty. It’s been a pleasure to interview Grey.

Can you tell us a little about your background and education?
I studied Math in undergraduate because I felt that this would keep my options open in terms of future career paths. I went into the Environmental Sciences mostly because this is where I found a graduate assistantship (through the US Department of Agriculture). I chose my PhD adviser because I enjoyed reading his papers. Continue reading

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