Dr Emily Barbour's research focuses on the application of modelling tools to aid decision making in water resource management, and the assessment of trade-offs between multiple objectives. This involves the integration of hydrology, ecology, water management policy and operations, stakeholder engagement, and multi-objective optimisation. Dr Barbour examines water security and poverty dynamics in Bangladesh as part of the REACH: Improving water security for the poor programme. Her work has also involved developing integrated biophysical and socio-economic scenarios with project partners and Bangladesh stakeholders, and examining the impact of changes in climate and development on water resources in coastal Bangladesh as part of the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Deltas programme. Dr Barbour previously worked as a river system modeller at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia), and was involved in the development of eWater Source modelling tools. She also has experience working as a water engineering consultant in flood modelling for local and state government as well as private industry.
Dr Barbour's PhD examined the role of quantitative modelling for assessing system trade-offs in environmental flow management, undertaken at the Australian National University and National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (Australia). Her research interests include using models for decision making, exploring linkages between environmental and human systems, assessing trade-offs between multiple objectives, and improving the management of environmental flows and water scarcity.
Dr Barbour's research examines the relationship between water security and human wellbeing through the development of a risk-based model. This work is aimed at investigating the effectiveness of different interventions in improving water security for poor people in coastal Bangladesh, as part of the REACH programme. It involves integration across biophysical and social sciences, thereby working closely with a wider interdisciplinary team in both Oxford and Bangladesh.
Selected Research Projects
Emily teaches water resource management and modelling on the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management.
Current Graduate Research Students
Climate change and high-impact weather events: implications for water resource and agriculture in Bangladesh
- Barbour, E.J., Holz, L., Kuczera, G., Pollino, C.A., Jakeman, A.J. and Loucks, D.P. (2016) Optimisation as a process for understanding and managing river ecosystems. Environmental Modelling and Software, 83: 167-178.
- Whitehead, P.G., Barbour, E., Futter, M.N., Sarkar, S., Rodda, H., Caesar, J., Butterfield, D., Jin, L., Sinha, R., Salehin, M., Leckie, H., and Nicholls, R.J. (2015) Impacts of climate change and socio-economic scenarios on flow and water quality of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna river system: low flow and flood statistics. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 17: 1057-1069.
- Whitehead, P.G., Sarkar, S., Jin, L., Futter, M.N., Caesar, J., Barbour, E., Butterfield, D., Sinha, R., Nicholls, R., Hutton, C. and Leckie, H.D. (2015) Dynamic modeling of the Ganga river system: impacts of future climate and socio-economic change on flows and nitrogen fluxes in India and Bangladesh. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 17: 1082-1097.
- Maier, H.R., Kapelan, Z., Kasprzyk, J., Kollat, J., Matott, L.S., Cunha, M.C., Dandy, G.C., Gibbs, M.S., Keedwell, E., Marchi, A., Ostfeld, A., Savic, D., Solomatine, D.P., Vrugt, J.A., Zecchin, A.C., Minsker, B.S., Barbour, E.J., Kuczera, G., Pasha, F., Castelletti, A., Giuliani, M. and Reed, P.M. (2014) Evolutionary algorithms and other metaheuristics in water resources: Current status, research challenges and future directions. Environmental Modelling and Software, 62: 271-299.