DURHAM, N.C. -- Amilcare Porporato, the Addy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering and Nicholas School of the Environment, has been named the winner of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Hydrologic Sciences Award.
Originally established in 1956 as the Robert E. Horton Award, the honor is given for outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of hydrology. It is the highest disciplinary recognition for senior scientists within AGU’s hydrology section.
A prolific and widely cited researcher with more than 140 peer-reviewed papers to his credit, Porporato’s work encompasses a broad range of topics including nonlinear and stochastic dynamical systems, hydrometeorology and soil-atmosphere interaction, soil moisture and plant dynamics, soil biogeochemistry and ecohydrology.
His recent studies have shown that certain regions of the tropics will likely experience growing unpredictability of their seasonal cycles of rain and drought, and that global population growth could outpace water supply by mid-century if current levels of consumption continue.
The latter study, published in 2015 in the journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, was conducted with Gabriel G. Katul, the Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology at the Nicholas School, and PhD student Anthony Parolari.
In addition to his scientific papers, Porporato, who was elected an AGU Fellow in 2012, is also co-author of the book Ecohydrology of Water Controlled Ecosystems (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004) and editor of Dryland Ecohydrology (Springer, 2005).