ir. Brianna Pagan

Research team: Hydrology and Climate

I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate working on the DRY–2–DRY project at the Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management. The overarching theme of my researchBrianna Pagan is understanding climate change impacts to the hydrologic cycle and consequent implications for industries such as water resources management. I obtained a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University where I examined how changes to extreme flood and drought frequencies coupled with a lack of timely local water supply expansion could further decrease water supply reliability in the Southwestern United States by mid-century. In parallel with my Masters, I worked as a Water Conservation Planner for a local water department in Southern California, creating a water budget model to estimate outdoor irrigation and subsequently developing a water rate structure from those estimates. I have held short-term research positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Climate Change Science Institute, further investigating the underlying mechanisms (i.e. atmospheric rivers) which cause projected changes in extreme events via regional and hydrological modeling. I have also utilized signal decomposition techniques to develop new metrics for comparing inter-model performance amongst climate models and determination of climate change indicators. Within the DRY–2–DRY project I will be investigating the impacts of drought on evaporation fluxes from the soil and vegetation to better inform climate models and improve drought forecasting.


Research topics: hydroclimatology, climate change adaptation, water resources, hydrologic extremes, data assimilation


Address: Coupure links 653 - Room A2.010

               9000 Ghent, Belgium

Phone: +32 9 264 61 40





  1. Xiao, M., Koppa, A., Mekonnen, Z., Pagán, B.R., Zhan, S., Cao, Q., Aierken, A., Lee, H. and Lettenmaier, D.P. How much groundwater did California's Central Valley lose during the 2012-2016 drought? Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, 4872-4879, 2017.
  2. Wanders, N., Hel, X.G., Wang, K.J., Bachas, A., Huang H., Koppa, A., Mekonnen, Z.T., Pagán, B.R., Peng, L.Q., Vergopolan, N., Xiao, M., Zhan, S., Lettenmaier, D.P., and Wood, E.F. Forecasting the hydroclimate signature of the 2015-16 El Nino event on the western U.S., Journal of Hydrometeorology, 18, 177–186, 2017.
  3. Pagán, B.R., Ashfaq, M., Rastogi, D., Kao, S-C., Naz, B., Mei, R., and Pal, J.S. Extreme hydrological changes in the southwestern US drive reductions in water supply to southern California by mid century, Environ. Res. Lett., 11 094026, 2016.
  4. Schubel, J., Lentz. J.A., Qader, F., Kishaba, A., Bader, D., Perkins, L., Yam, E., Kaneda, A., Brown, L., Pagán, B.R., Pal, J.S., Gao, C., Reichenberger, J., Kendall, D.R., Ashfaq, M., Rastogi, D., Kao, S-C., Naz, B., and Otto, D. City of Long Beach Climate Resiliency Assessment Report. Prepared by the Aquarium of the Pacific, for the City of Long Beach, California: 88 p., 2015.