Professor Hayley Fowler
Professor of Climate Change Impacts

Hayley Fowler is Professor of Climate Change Impacts in the Water Resource Systems Engineering Group in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.


Hayley Fowler is a hydroclimatologist with >10 years of experience in analysing the impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological systems and has published more than 50 ISI-cited articles since 2000. She held a NERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-10) examining the links between atmospheric circulation patterns, extreme rainfall and flooding and was recently awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2011). She specialises in the analysis of the impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological and water resource systems, examining recent trends in extremes and future projections and their impacts on flood and drought risks. She has been instrumental in the analysis of climate model outputs and development of new downscaling techniques to bridge the gap between modellers and users of climate information (e.g. UKCP09 Weather Generator). She led the HYDRO sub-project of the AquaTerra FP6 Integrated Project from 2004-09 with a budget of €1M. She leads other funded research on extremes e.g. CONVEX (NERC CWC, 2011-14, PI) is developing high-resolution regional climate models to understand convective rainfall processes; SWERVE (EPSRC, 2008-11, PI) examined change to extreme weather events in SE London. She collaborates widely, particularly with NCAR, US, where she has held a number of visiting scientist positions.


Hayley did a BA in Geography at Cambridge University (1996) before moving to Newcastle University for an MSc in Water Resource Systems Engineering (1997) and PhD in climate change impacts on water resources (2000), staying at Newcastle for her post-doctoral training.

Roles and Responsibilities

She led the group's contribution to the British Science Festival which was held in Newcastle in Sep 2013. She sits on School Executive Committee and sat one of the REF impact case-study panels. She acts as a Career Pathways Review Adviser for Research Staff in SAgE. 

She is on the International Advisory Board of WIRES Water.


Elected Member of British Hydrological Society main committee, 2004-2007
Honorary Secretary of the British Hydrological Society, 2006-2008
Member of  British Hydrological Society (1997-)
Member of American Geophysical Union (2005-)

NERC Peer Review College (2010–), Core panel member of NERC Panel C (2013-)

Industrial Experience 

Hayley has experience of working with industry through consultancy contracts over the past 10 years covering climate change impact assessments, flood and drought risks, water resource modelling etc for: Royal Haskoning, WRc, Northumbrian Water Ltd, Willis Re., Environment Agency.

She has also been involved in the development of the UKCP09 Weather Generator for DEFRA.  


Hayley has been involved in many outreach activities including media interviews (print, radio and TV), public lectures, school's events, 6th form debates, cafe scientifique talks and has been consulted on the development of TV programmes on extreme weather and climate change. She gave the Joseph Lister Award lecture at this year's British Science Festival in Newcastle on Wed 11th Sep - What is happening to our weather? See this at:


Research Interests

Hayley has more than 10 years experience analysing the impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological systems and has published more than 50 ISI-cited articles since 2000.

She specialises in the analysis of the impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological and water resources systems, in particular examining recent trends in extremes and future projections and their impacts on flood and drought risks. She has also been instrumental in the analysis of climate model outputs and the development of new downscaling techniques, in particular the use of probabilistic methods and weather or rainfall generators, to bridge the gap between climate modellers and users of climate information.

Her current funded research includes four main themes:

i) improving projections of extreme rainfall change by developing high-resolution regional climate models to understand convective processes;

ii) examining climatic changes in the Karakoram Himalaya and their impacts on hydrology and water resources;

iii) producing new downscaling methods to enable improved climate information services for Europe; and

iv) developing web-based tools to allow downscaling methods to be used for climate change impact assessments outside academia.

Recent Invited Presentations

  1. Fowler, H.J. Quantifying robust changes to extreme rainfall under global warming. Invited seminar in the Dean’s seminar series, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 5th April 2013
  2. Fowler, H.J. Quantifying robust changes in extreme rainfall: recent advances in downscaling techniques for hydrological extremes. Invited Seminar at Durham University Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, 15th October 2012.
  3. Fowler, H.J. Quantifying Robust Changes in Extreme Precipitation. Invited talk atQuantifying robust changes in the water cycle on large scales”, Reading University, 26th-28th June 2012.
  4. Fowler, H.J. Linking climate change modelling to impacts studies: recent advances in downscaling techniques for hydrological extremes. Invited talk at CMOS-AMS Congress 2012, Montreal, Canada, 30th May 2012.
  5. Forsythe, N.D., Fowler, H.J. Assessment of cryosphere response to climate forcing in the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) & Hindu Kush/Karakoram/Himalaya (HKH). Invited Keynote to the International symposium on Cryosphere and Climate Change (ISCCC-2012) at Manali (India), 2-4 April 2012.  
  6. Fowler, H.J. New developments of a weather generator downscaling approach and its application to climate change impact studies for water resources management. Invited seminar to IMAGe, NCAR, US, 16th February 2011.
  7. Fowler, H.J. Climate change in the North-East. NE 3rd Climate Change Conference,
    Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, 5th June 2010.

Fellowships and other Prizes

NERC Postdoctoral fellowship, 2006-10

Philip Leverhulme Prize 2011 

ERC Consolidators Award, 2014-2019

PhD Students


2004-2009: Andrew Smith: A national scale rainfall analysis and event-based model of extremes for the UK

2007-2011: Jamie Ledingham: The estimation of flood frequency curves by mapping from rainfall frequency curves

2008-2012: Mari Jones: Characterising and modelling time-varying rainfall extremes and their climatic drivers. 

2008-2013:   Nathan Forsythe: Investigating the impact of climate change on hydro-climatological variability and water resources in the Upper Indus Basin.

Current (start date) 

2007:   Alex Leathard: A Water Grid for the UK

2007:   Vesna Tripkovic: Quantifying and upscaling surface and subsurface runoff and nutrient flows under climate variability.

2009:   Selma De Brito Guerreiro: Climate change and water resources in Iberia

2011:   Elizabeth Lewis: Developing UK wide hydrological models for climate change impacts and analysis of floods and droughts

2011:   Blanca Garcia Navarrete: Broad scale urban flood risk analysis for climate impacts and adaptation 

2012:     (MPhil) Sam Cawthorne-Kitching: Understanding weather patterns, climate variation and change across Northumberland National Park


Reviewer for: NSF, CFCAS, NERC, EPSRC, Irish EPA, IPCC AR4 (WGI and WGII), Swiss National Science Foundation, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, LWEC.

Reviewer for >30 journals.



IMAGe Theme of the Year 2012, NCAR - Uncertainty in Climate Change Research: An Integrated Approach (budget $125K); 31 participants in summer school/workshop.


Selected Recent Research Grants 

  1. CLOKE et al. (2013-2016) SINATRA: Susceptibility of catchments to INTense RAinfall and flooding. £2.7M. NERC Flooding From Intense Rainfall. FOWLER PI at Newcastle. £846,013.
  2. FOWLER (2012-2014) Philip Leverhulme Prize. £70,000.
  3. FOWLER et al. (2011-2014) CONVEX: Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Predictions of Extreme Rainfall Change. £415,632. NERC Changing Water Cycle
  4. VAN OSS et al. (2011-2014) ECLISE: Enabling CLimate Information Services for Europe. FOWLER PI at Newcastle. £180,357. EU FP7.
  5. HALL et al. (2008-2013) Earth systems engineering: sustainable systems engineering for adapting to global change. £1,312,129. EPSRC Platform Grant (FOWLER Co-I).
  6. FOWLER et al. (2008-2011) SWERVE: Severe Weather Events Risk and Vulnerability Estimator. £558,445. Part of the EPSRC Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Programme.
  7. KILSBY et al. (2007-2010) UKCP09 Weather Generator. £185,840. DEFRA. FOWLER Co-I.
  8. KILSBY et al. (2007-2010) FRACAS: a next generation national Flood Risk Assessment under climate ChAnge Scenarios. £204,382. Part of the NERC FREE programme. FOWLER Co-I.
  9. FOWLER (2006-2010) Is flood risk increasing? Exploring the relationship between atmospheric circulation, extreme rainfall and flooding. £221,711. NERC Postdoctoral Fellowship Award.
  10. GRATHWOHL et al. (2004-2009) AquaTerra “Integrated modelling of the river-sediment-soil-groundwater system; advanced tools for the management of catchment areas and river basins in the context of global change”. FP6 IP (€13M); FOWLER PI at Newcastle (£250,000) and led HYDRO sub-project (budget €1M) 


Module Leader 

CEG8505: Climate Change: Earth Systems, Future Scenarios and Threats

Contributions to:

CEG2001: Design of Sustainable Engineering Systems 2 

CEG8514: Climate Change: Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation