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New CERC professorship: Hydrology and Climate Impacts

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The Climate Change, Extremes and Natural Hazards in Alpine Regions Research Centre CERC, based at the SLF, has a new professor: on 14 July 2022, the ETH Board appointed Manuela Brunner as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Hydrology and Climate Impacts in Mountain Regions. The professorship is shared between the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and ETH Zurich.


Manuela Brunner (born in 1989) has a Master of Science in Climate Sciences and gained a PhD in Hydrology from the University of Zurich and Université Grenoble Alpes. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Freiburg in Germany. Her primary interest is in extreme climatic and hydrological events such as flooding and drought. In this context, she researches how climate change affects the water cycle and how extreme droughts or floods can be predicted. For example, she develops statistical models that simulate extreme events and estimate the dimensions of floods.

While her career is still young, Brunner has already received several scientific awards and grants, including the Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award from the Hydrological Sciences Division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and an Ambizione fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Brunner's new position is a joint professorship between ETH Zurich (Department of Environmental Systems Science) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL, where she will be part of the SLF's new research centre CERC, meaning that she will be based in Davos. Her research there will focus mainly on the influence of climate change on different types of extreme events in mountain areas. Brunner says: "I look forward to engaging with stakeholders from Grisons and other mountain regions to find out where the greatest challenges lie in terms of extreme events and climate change. Our research aims to help society prepare as effectively as possible for future extreme events."