Professional summary

Research Interests

My main research interests concern various aspects of hydrological extremes:

  • Seasonal river flow forecasting
  • Drought analysis
  • Flood and rainfall frequency analysis
  • Dependence and joint probability studies for river flow, rainfall and sea surges
  • Spatial, seasonal and diurnal characteristics of rainfall
  • Trend detection

Brief CV

My main research interests are in seasonal river flow forecasting, in the spatial and temporal characteristics of hydrological extremes, and in studying these topics in their climatological and meteorological contexts. Previous work has included the characterisation of rainfall at daily and sub-daily resolutions, assessment of trends and spatial dependence in river flows, and seasonal forecasting of river flows using statistical methods. Outcomes from research on the joint probability of occurrence of large river flows and sea surges in estuaries around the coasts of Britain was included in a Best Practice Guide on dependence mapping of coastal and hydrological variables (Hawkes and Svensson, 2005). I was also part of the team re-evaluating the Flood Estimation Handbook rainfall frequency estimation method (Stewart et al., 2009), and developing a new methodology for estimation of at-site fluvial floods using joint probability analysis of the flood-producing components (Svensson et al., 2013). I am contributing to the UK Hydrological Outlooks, providing monthly updates of one- and three-month river flow forecasts based on persistence and historical analogue approaches (Svensson, 2016; Prudhomme et al., 2017), as well as investigating a large-scale forcings (e.g. atmospheric and oceanic drivers) approach to seasonal flow forecasting (Svensson et al., 2015). The current focus of my research is mainly on droughts, where I have investigated suitable statistical distributions for the Standardised Precipitation Index and the Standardised Streamflow Index (Svensson et al., 2017), and links between such indices and impacts of drought (Bachmair et al., 2016, 2017).


PhD Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, 1998
MSc Civil Engineering, Lund University, 1992
English 20 credits (20 weeks study), Lund University, 1991

Panels, committees and memberships

British Hydrological Society