Amilcare Porporato

Amilcare Porporato

Addy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Primary Appointment

School of Engineering

Amilcare Porporato earned a Master Degree in Civil Engineering (summa cum laude) in 1992 and his Ph.D. in 1996 from Polytechnic of Turin. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Hydraulics of the Polytechnic of Turin, and he moved to Duke University in 2003, where he is now Full Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a secondary appointment with the Nicholas School of the Environment.

In June 1996, Porporato received the Arturo Parisatti International Price, awarded by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti. He was Research Associate at the Texas A&M University (USA) in 1998 and Visiting Scholar at Princeton University (USA), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, from 1999 to 2001. In 2008-2009 he was the first Landolt & Cie Visiting Chair in “Innovative Strategies for a sustainable Future” at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He was awarded the 2007 Professor Senol Utku’ award, the 2010 Earl Brown II Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty Award, and in 2011 he received a Lagrange fellowship from the Polytechnic of Turin, the CRT bank and the ISI (Institute for Scientific Interchange). In 2012 he was elected an AGU fellow.

His main research interests regard nonlinear and stochastic dynamical systems, hydrometeorology and soil-atmosphere interaction, soil moisture and plant dynamics, soil biogeochemistry, and ecohydrology.

Porporato has been Editor of Water Resources Research (AGU) (2004-2009), and he is currently editor for Hydrological Processes. He is also member of the editorial board of Advances in Water Resources and the Hydrologic Science Journal. Among other things, he was chairman and convener of the Ecohydrology sessions of the AGU Spring Meeting in 2001 and 2002 and of the EGU in 2004-2006. Porporato has been part of the Italian research groups of Turbulence and Vorticity and of Climate, Soil and Vegetation Interaction, an adviser for real-time forecasting in the Piedmont Region (Italy), and ecohydrology (US National Academy).

Porporato's didactic experience comprises courses in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Hydraulic Constructions, Statistical and Physical Hydrology, Ecohydrology, Nonlinear Dynamics and Stochastic Processes. He has also been the didactic coordinator for the International School "Hydroaid: Water for Development", co-organized by the Polytechnic of Turin and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Porporato is author of more than 140 peer-reviewed papers, several publications presented at national and international conferences and invited talks. He is also co-author of the book "Ecohydrology of water controlled ecosystems" (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004) and the edited the book "Dryland Ecohydrology" (Springer, 2005).

In The News


Bonetti, S, Manoli, G, Manes, C, Porporato, A, and Katul, GG. "Manning’s formula and Strickler’s scaling explained by a co-spectral budget model." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 812 (February 2017): 1189-1212.
Calabrese, S, and Porporato, A. "Multiple outflows, spatial components, and nonlinearities in age theory." Water Resources Research 53, no. 1 (January 2017): 110-126.
Yin, J, Albertson, JD, and Porporato, A. "A probabilistic description of entrainment instability for cloud-topped boundary-layer models." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 143, no. 703 (January 2017): 650-660.
Pelak, N, and Porporato, A. "Sizing a rainwater harvesting cistern by minimizing costs." Journal of Hydrology 541 (October 2016): 1340-1347.
Souza, R, Feng, X, Antonino, A, Montenegro, S, Souza, E, and Porporato, A. "Vegetation response to rainfall seasonality and interannual variability in tropical dry forests." Hydrological Processes 30, no. 20 (September 30, 2016): 3583-3595.


CEE 691: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE 691: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering)
CEE 686: Ecohydrology (CEE 686: Ecohydrology)
ME 759: Special Readings in Mechanical Engineering (ME 759: Special Readings in Mechanical Engineering)
CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering)
CEE 463L: Water Resources Engineering (CEE 463L: Water Resources Engineering)

Contact Information

127 Hudson Hall
Durham, NC 27708
Box 90287
Durham, NC 27708-0287


Ph.D., Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy) (1996)
M.S., Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy) (1992)