HS Hydrological Sciences
The 2022 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists is awarded to Niko Wanders for outstanding research in forecasting large-scale hydrological extremes and predicting global water cycle functions under rapidly increasing human-water interactions.
Niko Wanders’ research has contributed to understanding the large-scale relationships between hydrological extremes, climate change and human water use. Wanders’ work on predicting floods and droughts at (sub)-seasonal timescales has highlighted the benefits of using remotely sensed soil moisture for the calibration of large-scale hydrological models and for the improvement of timing errors in near-real time flood forecasting in large catchments. Wanders has also contributed to demonstrate the value of using several hydrological models to better assess total uncertainty in ensemble seasonal hydrological forecasting systems based on dynamic meteorological forecasts. Wanders’ scientific work has looked beyond the field of hydrology, with a strong interest in linking hydrological sciences with other disciplines to solve bigger science questions. Wanders has led studies on the impacts of human water use in the projections of future hydrological extremes under climate change, particularly when dealing with hydrological drought characteristics. A recent work has resulted in the development of a high-resolution global water temperature data set for hydrological and ecological impact assessments.
Niko Wanders is an active contributor to scientific societies and an excellent science communicator, with frequent appearances in national and international media. By developing strong communication skills, Wanders has helped spark societal awareness and stakeholder engagement for important hydrological problems under global change.