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Ana Paula Barros

Head and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Her primary research interests are in hydrology, hydrometeorology and environmental physics with a focus on water-cycle processes in the coupled land-atmosphere-biosphere system, particularly in regions of complex terrain. She has expertise in the critical area of water security and environmental sustainability, with emphasis on the study of water cycle processes taking place in the land-atmosphere-biosphere system. Her research relies on intensive field and laboratory experiments, large-scale computational modeling, nonlinear data analysis and environmental informatics. 

She has received multiple prestigious awards for her numerous pioneering technical contributions and many leadership roles in major national and international research and professional programs, including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2019. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union. 


Research Interests

Water Resources Engineering and Science

Development and application of information technology as a research tool and in the operation of complex engineering systems.

Computational environmental fluid mechanics and nonlinear dynamics;

Remote sensing of the environment using microwave and infrared sensors; long– range predictability and risk analysis of natural hazards;

Physics of water cycle processes in mountainous regions with a focus on cloud formation and precipitation;




  • M.S. University of Porto, Portugal
  • M.S. Oregon Institute of Technology, 1990
  • Ph.D. University of Washington, 1993


Additional Campus Affiliations

Donald Biggar Willett Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Recent Publications

Singh, S., Durand, M., Kim, E., & Barros, A. P. (2024). Bayesian physical--statistical retrieval of snow water equivalent and snow depth from X- and Ku-band synthetic aperture radar -- demonstration using airborne SnowSAr in SnowEx'17. The Cryosphere, 18(2), 747-773.

Cao, Y., & Barros, A. P. (2023). Indirect Estimation of Vegetation Contribution to Microwave Backscatter Via Triple-Frequency SAR Data. In IGARSS 2023 - 2023 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Proceedings (pp. 3114-3117). (International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS); Vol. 2023-July). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc..

Cao, Y., & Barros, A. P. (2023). Topographic controls on active microwave behavior of mountain snowpacks. Remote Sensing of Environment, 284, Article 113373.

Chavez, S. P., & Barros, A. P. (2023). Aerosol indirect effects on orographic clouds and precipitation. Frontiers in Earth Science, 11, Article 1025266.

Liao, M., & Barros, A. P. (2023). Toward Optimal Rainfall for Flood Prediction in Headwater Basins—Orographic QPE Error Modeling Using Machine Learning. Water Resources Research, 59(11), Article e2023WR034456.

View all publications on Illinois Experts