The 2019 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists is awarded to Giulia Sofia for developing cutting-edge techniques for understanding geomorphic processes and land-use history with high-resolution topographic data, and quantifying human impact on the landscape.
Giulia Sofia is an emerging leader at the forefront of the field of geomorphometry, which is growing briskly thanks to rapidly evolving imaging and data-analysis techniques. In particular, Sofia has developed cutting-edge techniques for understanding geomorphic processes and land-use history with high-resolution topographic data. She has published very influential work on feature extraction for channel networks, on detection of errors and their impact on topographic metrics from lidar data, and on automated detection of floodplains. Her most recent contributions have added substantially to the debate on the impacts of the Anthropocene: crucially, her new methods of identifying agricultural terraces and other anthropogenic landscape forms are amongst the first to truly quantify the human impact on the landscape rather than just offer qualitative observations. Sofia has also been a community leader in the topic of geomorphometry, convening the main session on this topic at the EGU General Assembly continuously since 2015. For these reasons, GiuliaSofia is a very worthy recipient of a 2019 Arne Richter Awar for Outstanding Early Career Scientists.