Staff Profile:Dr Liz Stephens

Dr Liz Stephens
Job Title:
Associate Professor
  • PI FATHUM Project
  • Co-Director of Water@Reading with Professor Hannah Cloke
  • Member of Consortium Coordination Team for Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and
  • Resilience (SHEAR) Programme (NERC / DfID)
  • Member of SHEAR Studentship Cohort Steering Group
  • Environmental Science Research Division Impact Lead
Areas of Interest:
  • Early warning systems and impact-based forecasting for hydrometeorological hazards
  • Forecast-based Financing / Forecast-based Action, especially in humanitarian contexts
  • Usability and understanding of probabilistic forecasts, decision-making under uncertainty
  • Development and evaluation of the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS)
  • Ensemble hydrometeorological forecasting and forecast evaluation
Research groups / Centres:

Environmental Sciences Research Division

Key Facts:

Liz is currently seconded part time to the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre as their Science Lead for Forecast-based Financing.

Liz is an interdisciplinary geographer with expertise in the assessment and forecasting of natural hazards. She works in collaboration with humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre to improve decision-making from forecasts within developing country contexts, as part of the Forecast-based Financing community.

Liz is currently Principal Investigator of the Forecasts for AnTicipatory HUManitarian Action (FATHUM) project, funded by NERC / DfID's Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) programme. The FATHUM project undertakes interdisciplinary research to strengthen forecast-based humanitarian action internationally.

From 2013 to 2016 Liz held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship working with the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy and ECMWF on the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), developing decision-relevant flood forecasting systems. Prior to joining the University of Reading in October 2013 Liz worked as a post-doctoral research assistant at Oxford University on a project addressing the usability of probabilistic forecasts.

Liz completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Bristol on the quantification and attribution of uncertainties in the modelling and mapping of flood risk. Additionally, as part of her roles in the KULTURrisk and UK Met Office Weather Game projects, Liz's research has addressed the challenges of communicating and utilising complex ensemble model output.

Current Postdoctoral Researchers:
  • Dr Andrea Ficchi (FATHUM) - Hydrometeorology
  • Dr Linda Speight (FATHUM) - Applied Flood Forecasting
  • Dr Sara de Wit (FATHUM, Oxford University) - Social Anthropology
Postgraduate (PhD) Supervision:

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in PhD research under any of my areas of interest. I am particularly keen to support potential students from groups not well represented in academia. The main route for funded studentships for UK / EU students is through the NERC SCENARIO DTP.

Lead Supervisor:
  • Extended range hydrometeorological forecasting for improved flood early warning to support earlier flood preparedness. Funded by NERC SHEAR Programme.
  • Faith Mitheu. A model for impact-based flood early warning in Uganda. Funded by NERC SHEAR Programme.
  • Climate variability and extended-range flood forecasting for the Peruvian Amazon. With Red Cross Climate Centre. Funded by NERC SCENARIO.
Second Supervisor:
  • Early warning of flash flood and landslide risk in S Asia. Funded by NERC SHEAR Programme. With ECMWF and British Geological Survey.
  • Statistical analysis of ECMWF Ensemble to improve rainfall inputs in real-time flood forecasting systems. Forecast Department, ECMWF
  • Global flood predictability, early warning and the communication of probabilistic forecasts. Funded by the Met Office
  • Maureen Anyango Wanzala. Seamless seasonal to sub-seasonal forecasts of flood risk in River Nzoia Basin. Funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship
  • Understanding global flood hazard climatology for improved early flood warning. Funded by a Wilkie Calvert Studentship at ECMWF

Former PhD Students:
  • Seasonal hydrological forecasting over Europe: prospects and applications. With ECMWF. Funded by a Faculty of Science Award and IMPREX (EC Horizon 2020 project) (Arnal).
  • Extending the predictability of flood hazard at the global scale. Funded by NERC SCENARIO. (Emerton).
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This list was generated on Sun Aug 1 07:43:36 2021 UTC.


Dr Liz Stephens

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 7586

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