- Assistant Professor
Paolo works at the intersection of climatic changes, hydrology, natural hazards and climate adaptation. Presently, his efforts are in two main directions. On the one hand, to understand the climatic, hydrologic and socio-economic drivers of flood risk, and to attribute specific flood events to these multiple drivers. On the other hand, to understand climatic change and climate impacts by learning from past climates. Further, he operates in the area of adaptation to climate extremes and floods, aiming to scientifically underpin theories of decision making under deep uncertainty.
His background is in the environmental disciplines, and he specialized in climatology. He started his research investigating the paleoecology of the Pyrenees, and later wrote a PhD dissertation in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography, studying the dynamics of glacial-interglacial climate change, as recorded in marine sediment cores from the South Atlantic Ocean.
In his recent project “Last Interglacial Floods” he used paleo climate models, global hydrological and hydraulic models and geological proxies to reconstruct the hydrology and floods of a key past warmer climate. In the ongoing EU project KNOWING, Paolo leads the VU’s participation and is Work Package leader. Here, the team works on a new framework for the integration of climate impact, adaptation and mitigation, in case studies of fluvial and coastal flooding. Past EU projects where he participated include RISES-AM- and ECONADAPT.
Paolo lectures at VU Amsterdam, where he has coordinated and taught MSc course Water and Climate Systems, and BSc Honours’ course Climate Challenge. He is now lecturer and co-coordinator in various courses. He is also the PhD coordinator of the department IVM. Paolo has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, including in journals of the groups Science and Nature.