Participants

The short bios are presented in alphabetical order. This shall give speakers and fellow participants an idea about the professional backgrounds of the attendees of the forthcoming summer school.

Last Update May 06


ANTWI, Sarpong Hammond
is a PhD Candidate at Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland, where his research focuses on governance and management of water resources.
Born and raised in Ghana, Hammond obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development from the University for Development Studies (Wa, Ghana) and a Masters of Science Degree in Energy Policy from the Pan African University Institute (Tlemcen, Algeria).

He is particularly interested in Water-Energy-Climate nexus with a keen interest in gender mainstreaming and partnership for community development.
BAKAR, Abdalla
is an Environmental and disaster risk management expert based at The State University of Zanzibar, with a MSc in Disaster Risk Management. He has deep understanding and broad experience in environmental issues particularly natural resources management. Abdalla holds cumulative experience of more than 9 years in research and project in areas of climate change, water quality, disaster management, risk assessment and, environmental and social impacts assessments. He has deep expertise in working in small islands and coastal zones researches. Furthermore, he has experience in conducting numbers of environmental and social safeguards, hazard studies, risk assessments and management plan to the various coastal and inlands projects in Zanzibar islets. Finally, Abdalla has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation various projects. He has deep experience working with various international stakeholders and donors such as WHO, UNICEF, JICA, European Union, World Bank and DFID.
BEIER, Felicitas
studied International Economics at Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen (Germany) and Georg-August University in Göttingen (Germany) with research stays abroad at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) and Fudan University (Shanghai, China). During her studies her focus was Empirical Economics, International Trade and Development Economics. Her master thesis on the topic of "Determinants of Virtual Water Trade - The Case of Agricultural Production" sparked her interest in Resource and Water Economics. Since 2018, Felicitas works as junior researcher in the Land-Use Modeling Group at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK) as part of the MAgPIE (Model of Agricultural Production and Its Impact on the Environment) team. In 2019, she started working on her PhD thesis on Irrigation Water in Global Land-Use Modeling. So far, she developed a River Routing Algorithm to determine the allocation of freshwater resources under different management assumptions for global economic optimization models to better integrate spatially-explicit data on discharge and runoff form the global vegetation model LPJmL into the global land-use model MAgPIE.
BRUSCOLINI, Margherita
is an interdisciplinary young geoscientist holding a MSc in Earth Science from the University of Milano (Italy) with a thesis on a meaningful environmental issue linked to climate change, the human impact on the environment, and a focus on the cement sector, proposing an eco-friendly solution to reduce CO2 emitted during manufacturing. Her passion for innovation, sustainable development, and the humanitarian sector, brought her to work in a start-up based in Luxembourg, using remote sensing and drone technologies to address the problems of our times related to water-risks and the climate crisis
CAO, Xixin
I'm from China. I'm currently doing my Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Research Center Cities, Territories, Environment, and Society (UMR CNRS 7324 CITERES) at University of Tours in France. I have been working in Europe, China, and Japan. I also have many fieldwork experiences in different cultural contexts. My research topic is about the river culture and the relationships between the river and humans in cities. In many cities worldwide, there is a current trend to re-discover water civilizations, strengthen man-river linkages, the de-fragmentation of the urban green infrastructure and their re-connections, etc., However, this trend is at the same time a chance and a risk (many cities copy-paste solutions from elsewhere), with additional pressures from climate change impacts. I'm very happy to study the water-related topic in the Potsdam Summer School 2021!

CARRATTA, Giorgia
is a PhD Candidate at the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany) and an Early Stage Researcher for the research project called “LimnoPlast - Microplastics In Europe’s Freshwater Ecosystems: from sources to solutions” (EU’s Horizon 2020 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860720). Currently she addresses the issue of (micro)plastic pollution in freshwater ecosystems, from both a legal- and a business-oriented perspective.
Before joining HHL and LimnoPlast, she obtained in Italy a Master’s Degree in Law at the University of Salento (2019) and worked as a trainee lawyer for the international law firm Greenberg Traurig. In 2020 she also obtained a five-year diploma on advanced social studies in ISUFI (“University Institute of Interdisciplinary Training”).
Since the beginning of her university studies, the protection of the environment has been at the center of her research interests. She truly believes that the solution to transnational and multi-faceted environmental issues, such as the water-related ones, lies at the intersection of different disciplines.
CHOW, Ka Hei
is a graduate student in Applied Earth Observation and Geoanalysis (M.Sc.) at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany. She is also a student researcher working on the Open Data Cube software project, as well as a volunteer data analyst for environmental and scientific journalism at a global non-partisan Think Tank. Ka Hei has worked on remote sensing of polar glaciers and ice sheet, with current focuses on data products from the Landsat and Copernicus programme. In her undergraduate study, she discerned the importance of Artificial Intelligence and Earth Observation to natural hazard management. Her research interests lie in the climate change impacts on the water resources in South Asia given the increasingly adverse impacts on huge population’s subsistence. Her vision is to empower and facilitate better decisions for the global communities using scientific knowledge and geospatial Big Data.
COELHO, Andre
is an environmental researcher focusing on water and sustainability science and technology. He obtained his Master's degree in Sustainable Development Practice at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, part of the Global Master's program in Development Practice. His career goals are to teach at the university level and implement sustainable water management in vulnerable communities to help reduce water, sanitation, and hygiene access inequalities. Andre also holds a degree in Environmental Management and a postgraduate degree in Environmental Engineering and Basic Sanitation. He has eight years of technical experience working in environmental, health, and safety for logistics companies. Andre started teaching percussion and music history to children in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In the lessons, he teaches students how to recycle materials to build instruments and play them, promoting both sustainability and the culture of his home country Brazil.
CORRADI, Sofia
is a Civil Engineer and a specialization candidate in Geoprocessing. She currently works with hydraulic and hydrological modeling at HIDROBR, a consultancy in Brazil, subsidizing dam breaks studies for the mining sector. In addition, she is also involved in the company’s sustainability team, developing new projects and processes towards increasing its social and environmental impacts.
Sofia is interested mainly in analyzing human and climate influences on hydrological systems with a transboundary approach. She is also enthusiastic about geospatial applications and technology.
Furthermore, she is part of the Water Youth Network, Youth Climate Leaders, The Climate Reality Project, Global Shapers, and The Economy of Francesco and Chiara communities
DOWLATI FARD, Reza
With a background in water engineering at University of Tehran, I started my journey of water interest with agricultural use of water and its narrative for management. I followed this dream through my master's working om water resources management for Lake Urmia, located in the North West of Iran. As a student in water resources engineering and management at SBU, worked on many topics for different courses such as water quality management, floods, surface and ground water management and hydrology.
During my years at Master's, I started working at the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM-Thran) under the auspices of UNESC; in which I was appointed as research assistant. My work there was consisted of planning, holding and reporting the workshops, sessions and Governing Boards of RCUWM. Along with these duties, I also conducted research on water economics, water security, drought and major floods in Iran, which many of them resulted in papers and books.
Since the pandemic hit, I was forced to leave this centre and started looking for open positions. Fortunately, very recently I was accepted as the environmental specialist at Tehran Municipality's Urban Planning Agency (Tehran-UPA) working on Tehran Master Plan. Our agenda at Tehran-UPA -a newly-stablished agency- is to gather all the information and experts to plan for next 20 years of Tehran Metropolitan, in various aspects of jousting, environment, sustainable infrastructure, etc.
FATIMA, Eshrat
is currently, a Ph.D. Student at Institute of Environmental Science and Geography, University of Potsdam, Germany, and affiliated as Associated member with DFG - Research Training Group "NatRiskChange" & doing her Research with Subsurface Hydrology Research Group at UFZ, the project is funded by DAAD. Her Area of Research is on the Quantification of drought losses in agriculture, Ground Water, Climate Change, and Hydrological Model i.e mHM. She is from the Northern Area of Pakistan. Previously She worked as an Early Stage Researcher with the REDD++ Ministry of Climate Change in Pakistan and also involved in a Teaching and Mentoring Position at Two different Universities in Pakistan.
JOHNSON, Shaji
is a Geographer. He got his Masters Degree (M.Sc) in Geography from the University of Kerala (Trivandrum, India) with First Rank in 2009. He has a PhD in Geography from the University of Kerala (2017). He has qualified National Eligibility Test conducted by the University Grants Commission (Government of India) in December 2008. His area of research includes coastal zone management, river basin studies, coastal vulnerability assessment, social vulnerability, and sustainable development. He is a passionate teacher, and he has worked in the Department of Geography, University College, Trivandrum as an Assistant Professor for two and half years.
He has been working in the River Management Centre of the Institute of Land and Disaster Management (ILDM), Government of Kerala, Trivandrum, India, for the last 9 years as a GIS Specialist. He is leading the River Bank Mapping and Sand Auditing Programme of Kerala, which focuses on developing a basic bio-physical inventory of river banks and assessing the available sand deposits to ensure sustainable sand mining management. This project is a pioneering initiative in India. He has co-authored a book entitled ‘Handbook on River Bank Mapping and Sand Auditing’ published by ILDM, Government of Kerala (2020). He is the Project Co-ordinator of Flood Level Marking Survey, a Government of Kerala Funded Project to permanently document flood height above Mean Sea Level recorded along the major rivers in Kerala during the massive flood 2018 and 2019. He is serving as a faculty member at ILDM, providing training to Government officials, NGOs and other stakeholders on river basin management, Vulnerability Assessments, and Geo-informatics.
He has published 10 research articles on coastal sensitivity, social vulnerability, land-use change analysis, and the impact of river sand mining in reputed international journals. He was awarded the Young Geographers Award of the National Association of Geographers India (NAGI) in 2013. Apart from this, he has been serving as the founder president of KRVGG village library in Kerala for the last eleven years.
KURNIAWAN, Tonni
got his PhD from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research focuses on the applications
of low-cost adsorbents to remove heavy metals from contaminated water. His work seeks to capture water from municipal wastewater using those materials. Significant contribution to research in the field has
earned him recognitions from the World Economic Forum. So far Tonni Kurniawan has been cited over 7,600 times with a Hirsch factor of 28 (Scopus). His most cited paper, entitled “Low-cost absorbents for heavy metals uptake from contaminated water” in Journal of Hazardous Materials, ranks among Scopus’ Top 25 Most Cited Articles in Chemical Engineering. Recently Institute for Scientific Information-Thompson Reuters has identified him among the top 1% of researchers in the field of Engineering according to Essential Science Indicators.
LEDEZMA, Juan Carlos
is the Regional Technical Specialist for the Americas Field Division at Conservation International, he has been working for Conservation International for more than 16 years, supporting the regional efforts and formerly the Bolivia office’s Land Use Planning, GIS and Project Management. He is a biologist with a specialized focus in natural resource management and earth observation. More recently, he has also been involved in global research related to carbon analysis, especially into the development of the Irrecoverable Carbon concept and spatial analyses.
LI, Yao
Since 2017, I have been engaged in researches about urban flooding management and the interaction between urban landscapes and urban disaster. My research career started from a heavy rainfall in Hangzhou at June, 2017. That severe rainfall triggered massive transport disruptions and caused massive economic losses. Therefore, I was wondering what I can do to help the people or government deal with the bad disaster. When I know one of my teachers has a related project called “Research on the Impact of Typical Disaster-pregnant Environment Changes on Urban Flood in Haining, China.”. I contacted him and joined his research group. After graduated, I applied his master position and went on our work on urban flood. My research paper focused on urban flood simulation. Part of my work 'An Improved Simplified Urban Storm Inundation Model Based on Urban Terrain and Catchment Modification' has been published.
In this research, an improved simplified urban storm inundation model (SUSIM) that integrates urban terrain, precipitation, surface runoff and inundation models was proposed to simulate the different inundation conditions quickly and accurately by modifying the urban terrain and catchments. We took Haining (30°30’N, 120°40’E) as study area. It lies in the center of Zhejiang Province, China. And it is a typical southeast coastal city, with earlier urbanization and dense river networks coupled with the relatively low terrain and a large area of impervious ground in the urban area, resulting in frequent waterlogging disasters in the case of short-term heavy rainfall. Just the urban inundation disasters during August 2018 had widely paralyzed the traffic, caused over US$4 million in economic losses. The results were as follows: (1) Detailed locations and depths of inundation were quickly calculated with high correlation coefficient (≥75%) compared to three actual rainfall events. (2) According to the simulation results, Haining Avenue, the West Mountain Park and the old urban area in the northeast part of the city would encounter the most extensive and severe inundation. Our results were submitted and adopted by Haining government then. The SUSIM provides better insights and tools for urban inundation simulation and planning strategies.
Now, I am pursuing my PhD degree in ITC, University of Twente in Netherlands. My research topic now is to predict and simulate the urban flood, from its causes to its bad health consequences. After more than seven years' GIS, RS and hydrology trainings, my research experiences equip me with in-depth knowledge and good research experiences. I think I can go to learn and share a lot during this summer school. Thanks for your reading and hope you can consider my application.
LINKE, Felicia
is a Ph.D. student at the Chair of Hydrology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. She investigates urban groundwater pollution. More than half the global population lives in cities where groundwater is a valuable resource and essential for future resilience. She is especially interested in entry pathways of micropollutants such as biocides to soil and groundwater. The research is part of the EU INTERREG-project NAVEBGO (Sustainable reduction of biocide inputs to groundwater in the Upper Rhine region).
Felicia holds a M.Sc. in Hydrology from the University of Freiburg. As part of her Master thesis, she spent several months at UC Davis, California. She is passionate about jointly working towards solving today’s challenges, especially the sustainable use of water.
MOUSLI, Fatimazahra
I am a State Engineer in water and environment engineering and graduated in 2017 from Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco. I worked as a project manager in water treatment projects for two years, I am currently a PhD student at the Research Center on Water, Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Sciences, Mohamed V University of Rabat, Morocco. My research interests include environmental studies, energy and water treatment and pollution studies, wastewater treatment processes, smart environmental systems, innovative technologies, solid waste recovery, modelling and simulation, climate change, etc.
MURDOCK, Heather
Heather's passion is urban infrastructure, water and resilient communities. As a civil engineer focused on flood risk management, she has developed skills in the areas of hazard and vulnerability assessment as well as planning, policy, and stakeholder engagement. She holds a masters from IHE-Delft and a Bachelor's from Queen's University and has worked on three continents. Her research interests include quantitative assessment methods for critical infrastructure resilience and flood risk modelling. In her current role as a Flood Risk Specialist and Hydrotechnical Engineer with Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Heather serves as technical lead and project manager for flood risk assessments and adaptation planning. In addition, Heather is the co-creator of the Flood Resilience Challenge game, which is a serious game designed to build the capacity of stakeholders to improve flood resilience and enhance flood risk governance. Heather is a member of the AGU’s Hazard Equity Working Group (HEWG), the Water Youth Network’s Disaster Risk Reduction Committee, and a registered professional engineer in Canada.
ORTIZ, Andrea
is a research assistant at the Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services (EVES) section of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security. She is originally from Bolivia but moved to Germany 4 years ago to pursue a master's in Geography, Risk, and Human Security. She holds around 4 years of experience in research of ecosystem services, climate change, forest management, NbS/EbA, and disaster risk reduction. She has worked with the German Development Institute (DIE), the European Forestry Institute (EFI), and the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction Office (UNDRR). The focus of her current work at EVES is Nature based solutions for flood risk reduction in Central Vietnam.
RETTIG, Katharina
is a PhD candidate at the Department of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Her research focuses on the effects of human activities on aquatic ecosystems as well as their contributions to the quality of life for people. With a view to improving the assessment and management of aquatic ecosystems, she currently develops models and support decision tools using a combination of empirical data, published research as well as expert and stakeholder opinion.
Katharina graduated with a B.Sc. in Geography from the University of Bonn, Germany, and later completed a M.Sc. in Environmental Planning and Engineering Ecology at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She was born in Germany and has lived in Cameroon, Uganda and the USA.

SAJID, Imran
is engineer by profession and currently a PhD candidate at Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University Germany. My PhD research is on Irrigation Water Management in the context of water distribution law. I have an educational and professional background in hydraulic structures and water management. I am really interested in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research topics on environment, climate change, land, water, food and energy.
SCHEIFFER, Rafaela
sees herself as a 21st-century biologist in the edge of science, arts and technology. From Curitiba, Brazil, she graduated in Biology at the Federal University of Paraná, with a period of studies in Evolution at the University of Münster, Germany. She concluded her MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College, with a particular interest in climate change narratives. Her interest for researching water cycles brought her to southern Portugal, where she is working towards the conclusion of her MSc Urban Water Cycle. Rafaela is involved with facilitation, delicate activism, bio-mimicry, transformative education, Donut economics, Water Sensitive Cities, amongst many others. She aims to use her knowledge and passion to start an action-based PhD project and is open to discuss research possibilities across international research groups.
SÖLLER, Linda
I am a PhD-candidate in the working group Hydrology at the Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe-University, Frankfurt. I am holding a M.Sc. in Physical Geography from Goethe-University with a focus on global freshwater resources and biodiversity and their modification through climate change and human interventions. I am currently working in an inter- and transdisciplinary project called regulate (regulation of groundwater in telecoupled social-ecological systems), in which we aim to develop and support sustainable groundwater management in Europe in close collaboration with stakeholders. In the project, I will investigate alterations in groundwater quantity due to climate change and human water use. Therein, I aim to integrate diverse and uncertain scientific and local knowledge using participatory modeling techniques to overcome disciplinary boundaries in solving water related problems.
SOLOMON, Melvin
is a civil engineer with a solid track career history in water industry. He earned his BS Civil Engineering from University of the Philippines Los Baños in 2004 and joined Manila Water Company. He moved to GHD Manila in 2008 as civil engineer and job manager for water and wastewater projects. Then, he earned his ME Civil Engineering from University of Tokyo in 2011. Upon his return, he served the academe as Assistant Professor in UPLB. After which, he moved to WCI Consultants as Senior Hydrologist and led the team of engineers dealing with various water resources projects. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in FEU Institute of Technology Manila. He is also a co-founder of Philippine Young Water Professionals.

Some of his fellowships include Isotope Hydrology at IAEA Vienna Austria and KAERI Daejeon Korea in 2008; Offshore Wind Energy in Yokohama Japan 2010; Wind Energy for EWEA in Copenhagen Denmark 2012; Water Cooperation Initiative in Hanoi Vietnam 2014; Climate and Water Sustainability at UNESCO ICHARM in Tsukuba Japan 2015; Young Water Leaders Summit in SIWW 2016; and Coastal Resiliency Urban Lab of IWA Copenhagen Denmark in 2018.
VENEGAS CORDERO, Nelson
is a PhD Student in the Department of Department of Hydrology, Meteorology and Water Management from Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland. He holds A Bachelor and Master-Equivalent in Geography at University of Costa Rica. He has been working on large environmental data analysis, programming, hydrological modeling and Geographic Information System. His previous research at Water and Global Change Observatory - University of Costa Rica, focused on downscaling and correction of global hydrometeorological data products for local-scale applications. Currently, his research focuses on detection and attribution of changes in river floods in Poland. He is passionate about water resources and enthusiastic to improve his research skills.
XERXA, Bardh
holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Zoology, from the University of Pristina, Kosovo. He also holds a MA in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University, as well as certificate in “Restoration Ecology” from Indiana University.
He is specialized in freshwater insect taxonomy and freshwater ecology. His expertise includes biodiversity, water quality assessment, conservation biology, and preservation of protected areas. He was involved in several projects dealing with protected areas, biodiversity, and freshwater ecology. He is engaged as an Ecologist in various water bio-monitoring projects in Kosovo and is a peer reviewer of scientific manuscripts in the field of freshwater ecology.
He has been working for over 10 years in the private and public sectors in the field of environment (water sector) and energy sector in policy drafting.
Besides, he has expertise in the EU acquis chapters (Environment, Energy and Climate Change) and EU Public Affairs.
Currently he works as a senior officer for energy policies in the Office of the Prime Minister.
ZANELLA CARRA, Sofia
is an Environmental Engineer with a Master's degree in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of Caxias do Sul (UCS), Brazil. Doctoral researcher in Germany (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - DAAD scholarship holder) at the Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie (ATB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Research group (ATB) “Precision Farming in Crop and Livestock Production” - "Water productivity in agriculture (AgroHyd)". Research project: “Evaluation of Water Productivity of Plant and Livestock Production in an Experimental Watershed Located in Southern Brazil”. This is the first study to apply the FAO LEAP Guidelines "Water use in livestock production systems and supply chains" for water productivity assessment on Brazilian livestock production. It has been developed under an international cooperation agreement between research institutions from Germany (ATB) and Brazil (UCS, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - Southeast Livestock).