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Professor Thorsten Wagener

Professor Thorsten Wagener

Professor Thorsten Wagener
BSc(Siegen), MSc(Delft), PhD(Imperial)

Professor of Water and Environmental Engineering

Area of research

Analysis of Hydrologic Systems

Office 1.51
Queen's Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 5737


Hydrology analyses the movement and storage of water in complex environmental systems in which humans are important actors. A systems approach is needed to adequately understand this dynamic physical and socio-economic system with the goal to provide water security for people and nature. My group develops and applies systems methods to advance hydrologic theory, and to build and evaluate predictive models for sustainable water management. Particular current interests are predictions in ungauged basins, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, catchment classification, and the integrated assessment of change impacts.

A basic assumption in all my efforts is that education and research are inherently related and cannot be treated separately. Current educational interests include the development of freely available teaching material for hydrologists worldwide.

I am always looking for highly motivated graduate students and postdocs to join my group. If any of the above topics (both research and education) interest you, then please contact me.


2018 Visiting professor and Humboldt fellow at the University of Potsdam, Germany Since 2012 Professor of water and environmental engineering at the University of Bristol, UK 2010 Visiting professor and Humboldt fellow at the University of Freiburg, Germany 2009 Associate professor at the Pennsylvania State University 2004 Assistant professor at the Pennsylvania State University 2002 DAAD fellow at the University of Arizona, USA 2002 PhD degree in engineering hydrology from Imperial College London, UK 1998 MSc degree in civil engineering with a joint focus on hydrology/informatic from the TU Delft 1995 BSc in civil engineering from the University of Siegen 1994 Five months research stay at the Arba Minch Water Technology Institute, Ethiopia 1990 Studies civil engineering at the University of Siegen 1971 Born in Siegen/NRW, Germany 

Awards & Honours

2020 Member of the European Academy of Sciences 2019 Highly Cited Researcher (Web of Science/ 2019 Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE) 2018 Highly Cited Researcher 2017 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award 2017 Paul A. Witherspoon Lecture, American Geophysical Union 2017 Friedrich Willhelm Bessel Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2014 Biennial Medal of the Intern. Environmental Model. and Software Soc. (IEMSS) 2011 Education and Public Service in Water Resources Award by the US Universities Council for Water Resources (UCOWR) given to the NSF MOCHA project 2010 Walter L. Huber Engineering Research Prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers 2010 Best Paper Award of the Journal Environmental Modeling and Software in the Category Integrated Modelling 2010 Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt Found 2009 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Early Career Award 2009 Best Paper Award of the Journal Environmental Modeling and Software in the Category Integrated Modelling 2006 Early Career Research Excellence Prize of the IEMSS 2002 Unwin Prize, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London 1999 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Outstanding Student Paper Award


  • Hydrology
  • Catchment Classification
  • Predictions in Ungauged Basins
  • Global change
  • Global sensitivity analysis
  • Hydrologic services

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Professor Wagener currently teaches 1 courses:

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