Dr Francesca Pianosi
- Water resources management
- Sensitivity analysis
Senior Lecturer in Water and Environmental EngineeringDepartment of Civil Engineering
I am an environmental modeller by training and my main research interest is the application of mathematical modelling to advance the understanding and support the sustainable management of human-environment systems, and in particular water resource systems. My current research activity develops around two topical areas.
Water resource systems analysis and management. I develop simulation and optimisation models to reproduce the interactions between natural hydrological processes and human activities, such as abstractions or reservoir regulations to sustain water supply, hydropower production or flood mitigation. Ultimately the goal is to support water managers and policy-makers in their water management decisions, both at operational (short-term) and strategic (long-term) level, and across spatial scales – from catchment to regional or national. I am interested in both developing new models and methods, for instance to better handle multiple conflicting objectives under uncertainty, but also in making existing models more accessible and relevant to their intended users. More information on my current work on reservoir operation, including access to simulation and optimisation code, can be found at: resimop.info.
Quantification and attribution of uncertainty in mathematical models. I develop uncertainty and (global) sensitivity analysis techniques to quantify the impact of uncertain inputs and assumptions on model outputs, and identify key uncertainty sources. This is useful to prioritise efforts for model improvement and to assess the robustness of model predictions, and hence model-informed decisions, to unavoidable uncertainties underlying the model. Most of my applications in this field are relevant to hydrology and natural hazard, but the methods are completely generic and can (and are!) applied across all fields of science and engineering where models are used. More information on my activities in this area, including access to the open-source SAFE Toolbox for sensitivity analysis, can be found at: safetoolbox.info.
I hold a prestigious Early Career EPSRC Living with Environmental Change Fellowship, focused on "Robust and transparent planning and operation of water resource infrastructure” [EP/R007330/1].
Some short, non-technical account of my research interests and results can be found here:
- Blog post on On the value of seasonal forecasts for water resources management
- Presentation on Why we need better handling of uncertainty in mathematical models (with focus on the (re)insurance and water sector)
- Blog post on Hydrological modelling and pizza making
- Blog post on All models are wrong, but...
01/04/2021 to 31/03/2024
DescriptionFlood hazard and risk maps form the evidence base for decision-marking regarding issues such as land use planning, insurance and capital provision, emergency response and disaster preparedness. None of these…
Managing organisational unitSchool of Geographical Sciences
16/10/2018 to 30/12/2021
DescriptionRainfall-triggered landslides are increasing in tropical developing countries due to rapid urbanisation and road construction. Hillside communities experience frequent ‘everyday disasters’ while larger storms cause hundreds of landslides that block…
01/03/2018 to 31/07/2018
DescriptionEnsuring a reliable and safe supply of water is essential for the socioeconomic and environmental sustainability of our society. In the UK, several water companies are responsible for supplying clean…
01/07/2017 to 23/12/2022
Understanding the sensitivity of karst groundwater recharge to climate and land cover changes at a large-scale
An open-source package with interactive Jupyter Notebooks to enhance the accessibility of reservoir operations simulation and optimisation
Environmental Modelling and Software
How Do Climate and Catchment Attributes Influence Flood Generating Processes? A Large-Sample Study for 671 Catchments Across the Contiguous USA
Water Resources Research
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
- E-pub ahead of print
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
How successfully is open-source research software adopted? Results and implications of surveying the users of a sensitivity analysis toolbox
Environmental Modelling and Software