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Michael Singer

Professor Michael Singer

Deputy Director of the Water Research Institute

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

+44 29208 76257
Main Building, Room 1.13, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Available for postgraduate supervision


  • Ecohydrology
  • Drylands
  • Water/Food Security
  • Drought
  • Forest health
  • Water resources
  • Stochastic hydrology
  • Climate change
  • Floods
  • Sediment transport























Book sections


My research is focused on environmental change within global ecosystems and human societies. I am at the core an interdisciplinary scientist and my research aim is to reduce uncertainty about the impacts of and resilience to the pressing issue of our time--climate change. I lead the SCience of Climate, LAnd, Water, Plants, & Society (SCI-CLAWPS) Research Group, in which our work focuses on how climatic changes filter through the hydrologic cycle to affect water resources for society, water availability to vegetation, evolution of natural hazards, the functioning of catchments, climate signatures in land surface topography, and environmental pollution. These topics have theoretical and applied aspects, with implications under climate change for vegetation in water-limited environments, water and food security, infrastructure resilience, ecological food webs, and climate adaptation in the developing world.

To learn more, please visit my research page:

If you are interested in joining my research group, please take note of the supervision tab.


I am overall Director of the new MSc: Water in a Changing World (starting Oct 2021)

Relevant modules I am leading:

EAT109: Water in the Environment (MSc hydrology module)

EAT301: Research Dissertation: Water in A Changing World


  • Professor – School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University (2021-present)
  • Deputy Director – Water Research Institute, Cardiff University (2018-present)
  • Head – Centre for Resilience and Environmental Change (2021-present)
  • Reader – School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University (2020-2021)
  • Senior Lecturer – School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (2017-2020)
  • Researcher – Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara (2017-present)
  • Lecturer – School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews (2007-2017)
  • Associate Researcher - Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara (2013-2017)
  • Assistant Researcher - Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara (2003-2013)
  • National Research Council Research Associate (Postdoc) - United States National Academy of Sciences (2005-2007)
  • PhD – Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara (2003)
  • BA Environmental Sciences – The Evergreen State College (1993)

Honours and awards

  • David A. Siegel Earth Research Institute Director’s Award, Recognizing interdisciplinary scientific leadership (2018)
  • Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe Publication Award, Best Publication in Ecohydrology for 2016 (2017)
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, ‘Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush’, The Sierra Fund (2015)
  • Peer Review College Member, Natural Environment Research Council (2010-2013)
  • Expert Panelist on Central Valley Flood Hazards, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting (2007)
  • Guest Editor, San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science (2005
  • Dozier Fellowship, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management (1999)

Professional memberships

  • American Institute of Hydrology (Professional Hydrologist certification)
  • American Geophysical Union
  • British Society for Geomorphology
  • British Hydrological Society

Academic positions

University of St Andrews 2007-2017


Please check back for advertised PhD and postdoc opportunities in my research group or go to:

Current supervision

Maria Warter

Maria Warter

Research student

Romy Sabathier

Romy Sabathier

Research student


I currently am overall PI on a large, interdisciplinary project funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 Programme.

The DOWN2EARTH project will address the multi-faceted challenges of water scarcity and food insecurity under climate change in HAD, by facilitating community-centered adaptation and resilience to climate change impacts. It will use a multidisciplinary, inclusive approach, bringing together local communities, academic experts, novel decision-support tools, multi-level governance structures, regional climate centers, and NGOs. It will deliver state-of-the-art and community-relevant climate services that focus on water scarcity and its consequences at or near the Earth’s surface (hence DOWN2EARTH) to increasingly vulnerable rural populations in HAD. The project is designed to bolster existing climate services frameworks, improve decision support to people, governments, and NGOs serving affected rural communities in the most vulnerable HAD countries (Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia), and to improve community-centric adaptation and resilience to climate change.

Please visit the website to learn more: