School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Greg O'Donnell

Senior Researcher in Land Use Management Effects in Extreme Floods



Main current area of research involves assessing the impacts of land use/management change on flooding using novel information tracking methodologies.


PhD, Information Tracking For Flood Impact of Land Use and Management Change (Newcastle University)
MSc, Engineering Hydrology (Newcastle University)
MSc, Information Processing (University of York)

Previous Positions

Visting Research Scholar (University of Washington, US)


Research Interests

Hydrological modelling; impacts of land use/management change on flooding;information tracking for hydrological impact assessment; macroscale hydrological modelling; use of satellite altimetry data to predict river stage; stochastic hydrology

Current Projects

Susceptibility of catchments to INTense RAinfall and flooding - SINATRA

SINATRA aims to advance scientific understanding of the drivers, thresholds, and impacts of flooding from intense rainfall in ‘at-risk’ UK catchments and to translate this small-scale process understanding into new open source model architectures and parameterisations to enable the development of decision-support tools, improving the capacity of forecasting agencies to deliver impacts-based warnings and predictions needed for managing Flooding From Intense Rainfall.

Multi-Event Modelling Of Risk & recoverY - FloodMEMORY

The project will look at the most critical flood scenarios caused by sequences or clusters of extreme weather events striking vulnerable systems of flood defences, urban areas, communities and businesses.The project will analyse and simulate situations where a second flood may strike before coastal or river defences have been reinstated after damage, or householders and small businesses are in a vulnerable condition recovering from the first flood. By examining such events and identifying the worst case scenarios, we hope our findings will lead to enhanced flood resilience and better allocation of resources for protection and recovery. 

Previous Projects 

NERC-FREE(NE/F001134/1): Land Use Management Effects in Extreme Floods
Assess how the hydrological effects of rural land use management propagate from the local scale (~ 1 ha, and below) to the mesoscale (~ 100 km2) and affect extreme floods.

EPSRC-FRMRC2 (EP/FO20511/1): SWP5 Land Use Management
Development of source-pathway-receptor information tracking methodology for estimation of extreme flood impact and vulnerability to land use change.

Global Capability Assessment of Satellite Radar Altimetry (ESA)
Quantifying the potential of using altimetric stage to infer discharge.

Postgraduate Supervision

Alex Nicholson, "Development of an On-Farm Runoff Storage and Hydraulic Network Routing Model to Simulate Mitigation Effects on Downstream Flooding" (start: Sept 2009; submitted).



Postgraduate Teaching

Contribute to Continued Professional Development Courses in "Integrated River Basin Management" and "Real Time Flood Forecasting and Warning Systems".