The Waterline Team

The project is coordinated by Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH) / Department of Environmental Engineering

The Department of Environmental Engineering was established in 1993. Since then, the Department of Environmental Engineering grew in academic staff and expanded in subjects covering basic and applied research. During the last four years, a new and comprehensive module-based curriculum was adopted, designed to educate engineers in modern environmental engineering developments while meeting national and international standards. Additionally, the Department offers three postgraduate taught degrees and one doctorate research program.

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Main Task within Waterline Project:

DUTH coordinates all project activities, promotes the cooperation among project partners ensuring thus that deliverables and outputs are provided on a timely and effective way. Besides DUTH’s contribution to the various scientific tasks in all Work Packages (WPs), DUTH is lead partners for WP4 - Co-development with stakeholders and for WP7 – Project Management.

Within WP4 we aim to develop solutions that are useful for key project stakeholders' groups. We will engage stakeholders based on their interest and willingness to participate to the project, ranging from farmers, companies developing of monitoring solutions to decision makers in land and water management.

Within WP7 we manage all project activities and ensure high quality and efficient running of the project tasks, manage scientific and financial issues, data and intellectual property, GDPR and ensure gender balance and provision of equal opportunities to all.

Key Persons Involved:

Dr Alexandra Gemitzi – Associate Professor Democritus University of Thrace.
Project Coordinator

Alexandra Gemitzi graduated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in 1993 with a Bachelor degree in Geology and a Master of Science in Groundwater Engineering from University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) in 1995. She obtained a Doctorate from the Department of Civil Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, sponsored by the National Scholarship Foundation. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering of Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. Before starting her academic career, she has worked as geologist for almost ten years in the private and public sector. Her main teaching and research interests are related to environmental modelling, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems. Her research focuses on the analysis of time series of remotely sensed environmental information, onsimulation and assessment of environmental systems, climate and land use change effects and the prediction and risk assessment of extreme natural phenomena or natural disasters.Her published work features over 40 publications in peer reviewed journals and over 50 conference presentations.

Within Waterline project, she conducts research related to downscaling of RS datasets and on the improvement of hydrological forecasts.

Dr Stavros Stathopoulos, Post Doc Researcher,
Stavros Stathopoulos received his BSc in Environmental Engineering (specialized in Atmosphere, Energy and Climate Change) from the Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace in 2011. In 2013, he received his MSc in Environmental Engineering and Science (specialized in Atmospheric Pollution and Anti-pollution Technology) from the same Department. In 2021, he received his PhD from the Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace. His thesis was focused on the influence of large urban agglomerations in South-East Asia on aerosols and clouds with the use of Global Climate Models (GCMs) and remote sensing observations.

Within WATERLINE he collaborates with the Geoinformatics group in the downscaling and correction of remotely sensed GPM precipitation.

Ms Maria Kofidou, PhD Candidate
She has graduated from the Department of Survey Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has attended the M.Sc. course of Environmental Engineering and Science of the Department and she is conducting research as a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Environmental Engineering of Democritus University of Thrace, on the assimilation of multi-source remotely sensed information in hydrological models.

Within the WATERLINE project she conducts research related to the assimilation of downscaled precipitation and soil moisture in hydrological models.

Mr Konstantinos Sarmidis, Software Engineer
Konstantinos Sarmidis is a software developer who holds a BSc in Computer Science from the Hellenic Open University with a thesis in timeseries forecasting using neural networks and fuzzy logic. He has experience in professional software development in the tourism industry, financial systems, banking and payment systems and academic systems support. Currently is a member of the FOODBIOMES research facility in the Department of the Molecular Biology and Genetics where is responsible for the smooth operation of in the informatics section.

Within WATERLINE is responsible for the remote collection of data, develop custom software, automatic systems orchestration, digital assets coordination and development operations of the project.

TU Wien - CLIMERS group

Founded in 1815, TU Wien is the first University of Technology of today’s German‐speaking area. TU Wien comprises about 140 professors, 3300 scientific staff, 1300 nonscientific staff, and over 28000 enrolled students.

The research group Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing (CLIMERS) has several years of experience in retrieving and analysing geophysical parameters, such as soil moisture and vegetation optical depth, obtained from earth observation data. The group is involved in the development of ESA’s Climate Change Initiative Soil Moisture product to obtain a climate data record of satellite-derived soil moisture at the global level. A further focus of the group is the development of platforms and methodology for validating remotely sensed soil moisture using in situ measurements gathered within the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN). Through its involvement in the H2020 project "GROW Observatory", the CLIMERS group focused on the potential of citizen science and crowdsourced data as additional reference dataset for various applications. More info can be found in

Main Task within Waterline Project:

TU Wien CLIMERS is leading WP1 - Data acquisition and downscaling.
The objective of WP1 is to develop and apply data-driven methods based on machine learning to generate spatially continuous maps of soil moisture and precipitation at kilometric resolution and daily revisit time. Based on such information, we will study the impact of environmental factors governing soil moisture patterns at various spatial and temporal scales

Key Persons Involved:

Ms Luca Zappa, PhD Candidate
Luca obtained his bachelor and master degree in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Milan (Italy) in 2014 and 2016, respectively. During his master studies, Luca spent one semester at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, where he completed his thesis. After graduation, he spent 5 months as visiting student at KAUST, Saudi Arabia. Since August 2017, Luca is project assistant at TU Wien, where he is also working on his PhD thesis.

Within WATERLINE, Luca is involved in the development of frameworks for downscaling soil moisture dat to sub-kilometer resolution. Furthermore, Luca is leading WP1.
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Prof Dr Wouter Dorigo
Prof Dorigo received the M.Sc. degree in physical geography from Utrecht University, Netherlands, in 2000 and the Ph.D. degree in remote sensing (with honours) from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in 2008. Wouter´s main research interest is remote sensing of the water cycle and vegetation. Within these themes he focuses on several aspects, including biogeophysical variable retrieval through physical and semi-empirical methods, calibration and validation, data merging, time series analysis, and using EO data and machine learning for climate studies. Wouter is scientific lead of several internationally recognised projects including ESA CCI and C3S soil moisture, and ESA’s International Soil Moisture Network. The products generated within these projects have been adopted by thousands of users of the international water and climate community. Wouter has (co-)authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal publications, including in high impact journals such as Nature and over 400 papers and abstracts in conference proceedings. According to Google Scholar his work has been cited >13000 times and has an h-index of 56. Wouter is member of the GCOS Terrestrial Observation Panel of Climate.
google scholar:

AGH University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1919, AGH UST is one of the most renown Polish technical universities with 2200 academic and research staff and over 20 000 students enrolled at 16 faculties.

The AGH is represented in the project by three groups from the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, the Faculty of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications and from the Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection. is the development of pl More info can be found in

Main Task within Waterline Project:

AGH is leading WP5 - Development of execution services and web interfaces. The objective of WP5 is to develop middleware services for distributed execution of WATERLINE models, orchestration of application workflows, advanced model visualization, and to develop web-based front-ends for WATERLINE case studies.

Key Persons Involved:

Dr. Przemysław Wachniew, associate professor at AGH.
Przemysław Wachniew has a background in technical physics. He is researcher at the Environmental Physics group at AGH. He teaches general and environmental physics, physics of Earth System, and modelling of environmental processes. His research in centered around the application of the environmental tracers, mostly stable and radioactive isotopes, in studying water and matter cycling in different compartments of the total environment, e.g. rivers, groundwater and glaciers. He led many research projects concerned with application of various tracer techniques in studies of the terrestrial and aquatic environments. Przemysław Wachniew is a Secretary of the International Commission on Tracers of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.

His experience as project leader in the field of water resources involves integration of the multidisciplinary approaches to studies on and management of water resources.

Prof. Adam Szymkiewicz, professor at Gdańsk University of Technology.
Adam received his MSc degree in environmental engineering from Gdańsk University of Technology (Poland) and PhD from Joseph Fourier University (Grenoble, France). He worked as an assistant professor at the Institute of Hydro-Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences and as a visiting researcher at the University of Stuttgart (Germany). Currently he is a full professor and head of Department of Geotechnical and Hydraulic Engineering at Gdańsk University of Technology. Adam is interested in various aspects of subsurface flow and transport modeling, including numerical schemes and upscaling methods for unsaturated and multiphase flow in heterogeneous porous media, estimation of groundwater recharge and contaminant travel time through unsaturated zone, modeling coastal aquifers and coupling of models for different hydrological compartments. He authored and co-authored over 80 journal and conference papers and a book on unsaturated flow modeling. He was also the main organizer of international scientific conferences: 25. Salt Water Intrusion Meeting (SWIM 2018) and 24. Computational Methods in Water Resources (CMWR 2022).

Within Waterline Project he works on the development of coupled hydrological models which cover groundwater, vadose zone and surface water, using Modflow, SWAT and Hydrus computer codes.

Clément Roques, University of Neuchâtel.
Clément Roques has received his Master in Environmental sciences from the University of Toulouse in 2008 and his PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Rennes in 2013 (France). He is a groundwater hydrologist with strong interests in studying physical and bio-geochemical processes in the subsurface, considering the complex interactions between water, geology and human activities. He currently develops 2 main research directions:
1. studying the impact of aquifer heterogeneity on flow and transport processes with the aim to evaluate the sensitivity of groundwater resources to climate and direct anthropogenic forcings; and,
2. developing innovative in-situ experiments and monitoring technologies to better describe and predict the processes involved in aquifers for applications related to water resources, contaminant remediation, geothermal energy development, and CO2 storage.

He is also deeply engaged in teaching courses related to groundwater hydrology, geophysics, hydrosphere, hydromechanics, and leads several field excursions.

Within the WATERLINE project, Clément Roques is responsible for the development of integrated catchment scale models that properly captures observed groundwater-surface water dynamics.

OULU University - Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit

The University of Oulu is an international scientific community, with 15,000 students and approximately 3,000 employees. By combining multidisciplinary research and education, high-level infrastructure and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes, companies and the public sector it has created a significant research and innovation hub of “Science with an Arctic Attitude”.
More information here.
The Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit ( research covers a broad area of expertise including hydrology and environmental studies. Our research unit is a multinational group working in a modern, up-to-date research environmen

Key Persons Involved:

Dr. Bjørn Kløve, Professor at Oulu University
Bjørn Kløve is a professor in water engineering leading a 65 person research unit « Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering » at the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Finland. he received his PhD in 1997 from Lund University in Water Resources Engineering. he has a MSc degree from Helsinki University of Technology. His research combines hydrological processes studies, remote sensing and numerical modelling to study surface- and groundwater systems, including applied research to mitigate impacts of land use and climate change. The research is carried out in collaboration with other scientific fields such as climatology, sociology, geochemistry, ecology and ICT in an interdisciplinary setting at university of Oulu and elsewhere to provide sustainable solutions for water management. Google scholar

Dr. Ali Torabi Haghighi, Assoc. Professor at Oulu University
Ali Torabi Haghighi is an associate professor and hydrosystem Engineering and Management Research group leader in the « Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering unit» at University of Oulu, Finland. He worked as a manager, designer, and expert in many water-related projects in the Iranian Ministry of Energy (1996-2009). He has taught 22 courses in two universities, the Islamic Azad University, Estahban Branch, Iran (2002-2009) and the University of Oulu, Finland (2009-2022). Ali’s research aims to produce new tools for sustainability in natural resources based on observing, modeling, and forecasting changes and impacts by considering cross-disciplinary ways between different scientific fields, including hydrology, ecology, remote sensing, climatology, and agricultural engineering. The main focuses are dam’s and hydropower operation, river flow regime, environmental flow assessment, urban hydrology, large-scale hydrology, cold climate hydrology, irrigation and drainage engineering, sustainable water resources development, extreme hydrological events, river engineering, ICT solution water engineering, digitalization, and remote sensing. Ali supervised 6 Ph.D. theses, currently contributed to supervising 14 Ph.D. students, and published 125 peer-reviewed journal papers (h-index 27, citations:2145, Google scholar). He is a leader of several scientific projects at national and international levels.

Dr. Mourad Oussalah, Research Professor at Oulu University
Dr. Mourad Oussalah is a recently appointed Research Professor in the University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Centre for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis, where he leads the Social Mining Research Group. Prior to joining the University of Oulu, he was with the University of Birmingham, UK from 2003-2016. He also held research positions at City University of London and KU Leuven in Belgium and Visiting Professor position in University of Evry Val Essonnes of France (summer 2006), New Mexico of USA (summer 2009) and Xian of China (Fall 2018). Dr Oussalah research has concentrated mainly on information and data fusion, text mining, information retrieval and uncertainty handling where he published more than 250 international publications (Google Scholar) and supervised a dozen of PhD students and more than 40 MSc students, provided more than 20 keynote talks at international conferences and served as PC members of more than 60 international conferences and won best paper awards at IEEE International Conference on Cybernetic Intelligent Systems 2008, WCE, 2015 and best paper nominee at KDIR 2017.

He is a Fellow of Royal Statistical Society and Senior member of IEEE and acted as an executive of IEEE SMC UK & Ireland Chapter from 2002 till 2016. Dr Oussalah is also leading and participating into several EU projects including YoungRes (#823701) (2019-2021) on Youth polarization, Prince (#815362) (2019- 2022) on CBRNE incidents, Cutler (#770469) on Coastal Urban development, CBC Karelia (Finland-Russia) on IoT Business Creation (2018-2020), Grage –Marie Skłodowska-Curie action (ID:645706) (2016-2018) on active ageing and elderly living in urban settings. He also secured funding from several foundations (e.g., Finnish Cancer Research, Nokia and Nuffield foundations).

Dr. Anandharuban Panchanathan, Post Doc Researcher at Oulu University
Anandharuban Panchanathan is currently working as a Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oulu, Finland in an EU- funded WATERLINE project. He is part of the irrigation and hydrological modeling expert team at the University of Oulu. He has completed his master’s in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Anna University, Chennai, India. His Ph.D. research was focused on balancing floods and water scarcity in a metropolitan city in India. The main contribution of his research work was the development of a box model for reservoir operation. He is a hydrological modeling expert with a focus on flood modeling, rainfall-runoff modeling, and catchment modeling. He is skilled in GIS, SWAT, HEC-HMS, HEC- RAS, and mathematical modeling. He is experienced in various hydrological and hydrogeological field investigations. His career interests are contributing to the hydrological sciences and societal needs through research, fieldwork, and communicating with the stakeholders.

With WATERLINE project Anandharuban Panchanathan is contributing towards developing multi-criteria approaches to reduce the uncertainties in hydrological forecasting. He uses SWAT model along with multi source datasets for the case studies in Finland for the enhancement of hydrological forecasting.

Mr Kedar Ghag
He has successfully completed Bachelor of Technology, B.Tech. (2009) from an Agriculture University (DBSKKV Dapoli, Maharashtra, India) in India. Then, received first Master of Technology degree, M.Tech.(2014) in Agriculture with specialization in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering from MPUAT, Udaipur (Rajasthan), India and then second Master of Science degree, M.Sc. (2019) in Water Science and Engineering with specialization in Hydroinformatics: Modelling and Information Systems for Water Management. He has worked as lecturer after his graduation and then as freelance consultant in water resources management field through mapping assignments related to RS and GIS.

Currently, he is working as Doctoral Researcher in Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology at University of Oulu, Finland. His research area during doctoral research will be related to the application of ICT and IoT based tools to optimize crop water use and drainage in the Nordic agriculture.

Within WATERLINE project, he is responsible for remote collection of in-situ data, development of custom tools for data collection, digital asset coordination, and development of simplified field- scale computational model.

Mr Amirhossein Ahrari
Amirhossein Ahrari graduated from University of Tehran (Iran), Faculty of Geography (2015) with bachelor’s degree in Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems. Then he received master’s degree (2018) from same university and faculty in Remote Sensing & GIS with soil and water orientation. After graduation he has worked as Satellite Image Processing expert in environmental studies at Remote Sensing Research Center at Sharif University of Technology (Iran) and FAO. Since 2021 he has started as a PhD researcher at University of Oulu (Finland), Department of Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering and investigating on satellite and in-situ data assimilation in hydrological studies with focus on Nordic regions. Within WaterLine project he is a Remote Sensing Researcher in data collection, downscaling and data assimilation in Nordic regions.