Paolo D'Odorico

Research Expertise and Interest

hydrology, ecohydrology, water resources, Water and Society, environmental sciences, Drylands, Desertification

Research Description

Paolo D'Odorico's research focuses on the role of hydrological processes in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Through the analysis of the soil water balance he has highlighted important nonlinearities in the coupling between soil moisture dynamics and plant water stress, biogeochemical cycling, land-atmosphere interactions, plant community composition, and soil susceptibility to wind erosion. Using field observations and process-based models, he is investigating new mechanisms of desertification and factors contributing to the resilience of the desert margins. His group's work has highlighted the role played by positive feedbacks with the physical environment on the resilience of savannas, dry tropical forests, desert shurblands, freshwater wetlands, mangrove swamps, and seagrass meadows. Their work has also shown how environmental noise may increase the complexity of ecosystem dynamics by inducing new states, bifurcations, or pattern formation. He is currently investigating the globalization of water through virtual water trade and international land investments, and its impact on water equity, societal resilience, environmental stewardship, and food security. This research is highlighting the crucial role of water in agriculture and energy production. They are focusing in particular on irrigation and the extent to which the local water resources constrain sustainable irrigation across major agricultural regions of the planet both under current and climate change conditions. They are also evaluating the value created by irrigation in agriculture.

In the News

AAAS Adds Ten New Fellows From UC Berkeley

Ten members of the UC Berkeley community – including nine faculty and one staff member — have been elected American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellows, one of the most distinctive honors within the scientific community.

Analysis reveals global ‘hot spots’ where new coronaviruses may emerge

Global land-use changes are creating “hot spots” favorable for bats that carry coronaviruses and where conditions are ripe for the diseases to jump from bats to humans, finds an analysis published this week by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan) and Massey University of New Zealand.

New research shows hydrological limits in carbon capture and storage

Our energy and water systems are inextricably linked. Climate change necessitates that we transition to carbon-free energy and also that we conserve water resources as they become simultaneously more in demand and less available. Policymakers, business leaders, and scientists seeking to address the urgency of climate change are increasingly looking to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to help meet global climate goals.
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