Paolo Paron PhD, MSc

Senior Lecturer in Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development


Dr. Paolo Paron has 10+ years professional experience working in Humanitarian (United Nations & NGOs), Academic, and Private Sectors, mainly in developing countries. From 2005 to 2011 he was based in Nairobi, Kenya, working for a variety of international organizations and private companies, and carrying out work in Somalia, Ghana, Kenya, Afghanistan and Australia. During the same period he spent some time as visiting associate at the universities of Oxford (UK) and Darwin (Australia), researching on mapping and remote sensing in geomorphology and environmental change.

Paolo graduated in Geology in the year 2000 with a MSc research on Field Geology (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Roma3, Italy. He then got his PhD in Fluvial geomorphology at the University of Chieti, in Italy, in early 2005. In Italy Paolo consulted for several environmental geological companies on field mapping and GIS & Remote Sensing.
In March 2011 he joined the IHE Delft as a Senior Lecturer (0.84 fte) in the chair of Hydraulic Engineering - River Basin Development.

Research & Teaching Interests

  1. Geomorphological mapping and digital terrain analysis: semi-automatic digital mapping of fluvial geomorphology, and soil/vegetation dynamic.
  2. Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV):  KAP and UAV systems, historical aerial photography, and more 'traditional' optical remote sensing data & methods   for landscape change detection analysis and monitoring.
  3. Natural hazards in developing countries: assessment and mapping of geological and geomorphological hazards in the framework of developing countries, using freely available data.
  4. Sediments transport at basin scale: assessment of sediment production, transport and deposition at basin scale for reservoir siltation problems, sediment fingerprinting.

The countries where he has been working so far are (not in any particular order): Somalia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Namibia, Ghana, Mozambique, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom.

His teaching activities at IHE include:

  • Geology for Water Engineers (WSE, Module 1)
  • Remote Sensing for River Basin Development (WSE-HERBD, Module 3)
  • Sediment data collection (WSE-HERBD, Module 5)
  • GIS and Remote Sensing for water resource assessment (in several short and tailored made courses)

He has supervised MSc theses at IHE and at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. MSc thesis that he has already supervised or co-supervised are:

  • Mr. M. H. Hasan (2011-2013). Landslide input to the sediment budget of the Blue Nile: a remote sensing analysis.
  • Ms. S. Ndlovu (2011-2013). The hydromorphological evolution of the Lower Tana River: 1940-2012
  • Ms. A. Gbadebo (2011-2013). Mara River Basin environmental reconstruction.
  • Mr. A. Fuad (2010-2012). Hillslope Hydrology and Landslide Hazard Assessment in Upper Cimanuk Basin, West Java Province - Indonesia
  • Mr. R.S.P. Vena (2010-2012) . The effect of spatial and temporal pattern of cyclic rejuvenetaion on the floodplain of the Waal River, the netherlands: 2D modelling
  • Ms. A.S. Wijayanti (2010-2012). Water Accounting for Water Allocation in Transboundary Rivers: Case Study of the Nile Basin
  • Ms. V. Kibiwott Too (2012). 3D modelling for geotechnical investigation. University of Nairobi.

MSc topics to be developed:

  • Remote sensing assessment of soil moisture dynamics along the southern part of the Zambezi delta
  • Wetlands change detection in the Southern Zambezi Delta
  • Semi-automated fluvial geomorphological mapping of the Lower Zambezi River
  • DEM generated using Kite Aerial Photography, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and terrestrial DGPS survey: assessing hydrological errors for hydraulic use
  • UAV very high resolution DEM generation and analysis for hydrological analysis
  • UAV very high resolution DEM generation and analysis for monitoring coastal evolution
  • Semi-automated geomorphological mapping of floodplains for flood zonation assessment

Paolo reviews scientific papers for Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, and the Journal of Maps. He is editor and contributor of a book on "Geomorphological mapping methods and applications" for Elsevier, and he has edited two Atlases of Somalia for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and a digital Atlas of Afghanistan for the NGOs iMMAP.
Paolo is the initiator and leader of an international working group on Applied Geomorphological Mapping (, under the auspices of the International Association of Geomorphologists (; he chairs thematic sessions at international conferences (regularly at IAG, EGU).



Papers & Proceedings

  • Paron, P., (2013) – Natural Hazards and Disasters in Developing Countries. In: Bobrowsky, P. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards: 718-726. Springer Editor, Germany.
  • Paron P., Smith M.J., (2013). Kite Aerial Photogrammetry System for monitoring coastal change in the Netherlands. Proceedings of the 8th IAG/AIG International Conference, Paris.
  • Paron P., von Hagen C., Disperati S.P., Hermanshya B., Shaheen I., Jan Q.M., Berloffa A., Khan R., Fakhre A. (2013). A humanitarian preparedness toolbox: estimating flood affected figures and exposure of livelihoods to future floods events, using freely available datasets. EGU2013 Proceedings, session NH 9.13.
  • Paron, P., 2012. Geomorphological maps and concepts for non-geomorphologists: a review of opportunities and recommendations for future developments. Proceedings of IAG/AIG Workshop on Objective Geomorphological Mapping, Salerno 15-17 October 2012.
  • Guida, D., Cestari, A., Cuomo, A., Dramis, F., Palmieri, V., Paron, P., Siervo, V., 2012. The geomorphological informative mapping system (GIMS) of Salerno University: an overview. Proceedings of IAG/AIG Workshop on Objective Geomorphological Mapping, Salerno 15-17 October 2012.
  • Omuto, C.T. & Paron, P., (2011) - Improved spatial prediction of soil properties and soil types combining semi-automated landform classification, geostatistics and mixed effect modelling. In: Geomorphometry 2011, edited by T. Hengl, I. S. Evans, J. P. Wilson and M. Gould, 83-86.
  • Paron, P., & Claessens, L. (2011) – Makers and users of geomorphological maps. In: Smith, M., Paron, P., and Griffiths, J. (2011): Geomorphological mapping methods and applications. Elsevier
  • Murphy, B., Paron, P., Prior, L.D., Boggs, G.S., Franklin, D.C., Bowman, DMJS (2010) – Using autoregressive error models to understand fire-vegetation-soil feedbacks: a case study of the mulga shrubland-spinifex grassland mosaic. J. of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02359.x  
  • Omuto, C.T., Vargas., R.R., Alim, M.S., Paron, P. (2010) - Mixed-effects modelling of time series NDVI-rainfall relationship for detecting human-induced loss of vegetation cover in drylands. Journal of Arid Environments, doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2010.04.001


  • Crosato A, Salih Y.A., Paron P. (accepted). Nile River – Geomorphology and sediment issues. In: Helmut Habersack and Des Walling (Eds) The Status and Future of the World’s Large Rivers. Wiley
  • Paron, P., (in press). Natural Hazards and Disasters in Developing Countries. In: Bobrowsky, P. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards, Springer Editor, Germany.
  • Brandimarte, L., Paron P., Di Baldassarre, G., 2012. Bridge pier scour: a review of processes, measurements and estimates. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 5, 975-989.