M4PE Seminar – Fiona Johnson: Droughts, floods and statistics

Droughts and flooding rains – statistical methods for hydrological extremes

Wednesday the 17th of April 4pm-5pm

UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics, Red Centre room 2060 (level 2)

Talk summary
Hydrological extremes by their very nature are rare events and require careful use of statistical methods to ensure robust and reliable predictions. This presentation focuses on two case studies of application of statistical methods in hydrological engineering. The first example is the use of discrete wavelet transforms to better understand the drivers of multi year droughts in the Murray Darling Basin and how the frequency and severity of these events will change in the future. The second case study focuses on the other side of the metaphorical hydrologic coin – flooding rains and application of extreme value statistics to quantify the risk of extreme rainfall events historically and into the future.

Speaker Bio:
Fiona Johnson is a Senior Lecturer and Scientia Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is interested in changes to flooding, droughts and extreme events due to climate change and her research focuses on how best to use climate models in engineering design, with a particular interest in statistical methods that can answer these questions.  Through her research, Fiona aims to provide sustainable solutions to the water engineering problems faced by communities, particularly those in developing countries.


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