Gabriele Villarini

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Dr. Gabriele Villarini is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and at the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University. 

His research interests focus broadly on flood hydrology, extreme events, hydroclimatology, and climate predictions and projections. He has received a number of national and international awards, including the James B. Macelwane Medal by the American Geophysical Union (2016). He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2016). He has published over 240 peer-reviewed papers, including articles in Nature, Science, Nature Climate Change, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the Editor-in-Chief for Advances in Water Resources.

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If you are interested in joining my group, please check the available opportunity page for any openings. 


Flooded bridge

Research Interests

My core research interests revolve around process-driven flood frequency and projections. In the literature, most of the studies on flood frequency analyses treat flood extremes as coming from a single population. However, the approach I have been pursuing recognizes that not all flood events are coming from the same population, but rather that those events were caused by different flood-generating mechanisms, each one of them expected to control different parts of the flood peak distribution. 

In addition to the novelty in process attribution and statistical methods, this process-driven flood frequency method represents a viable way to investigate how flooding is projected to change in a warmer climate: we can use climate model outputs to examine how the drivers of these major flood agents are projected to change and then use this information to infer how flood frequencies are bound to change. This is because we cannot blindly extrapolate past trends or use the lack of detected trends in the historical records as evidence for lack of changes in the future.

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