The Team

The DAWN Team is a collaborative blend of scholars in philosophy, anthropology, hydrology, modelling and statistics. Its interdisciplinary focus aims at addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by deep uncertainties in the field of irrigation modelling.

Core Team

Core Team

DAWN Students

DAWN Students

Advisors

Advisors

Collaborators

Collaborators

Former DAWN students

Former DAWN students
Arnald Puy

Arnald Puy

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor in Social and Environmental Uncertainties at the University of Birmingham (UK). Previously, he has been a Humboldt Fellow and Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Cologne (Germany), University of Haifa (Israel), Princeton University (USA) and University of Bergen (Norway). His work focuses on understanding and appraising uncertainties in contentious phenomena, especially those related with agriculture, climate and water resources. He makes use of mathematical models, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, post-normal science and philosophy of science, and ethics of quantification.

Nanxin Wei

Nanxin Wei

Postdoctoral Researcher

Nanxin works on the spread of belief systems in irrigation modelling through network analysis, among other topics. Before DAWN, he has been a Research Associate with the FraMEPhys (A Framework for Metaphysical Explanation in Physics) project at the University of Birmingham (UK) and a Research Fellow in mathematics at Aston University (UK). Trained as a statistical physicist and complexity scientist before expanding his interest to the philosophy of science, he completed his PhD in Mathematics at Imperial College London (UK) and MSc in Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh (UK). He aims to employ techniques from complex systems modelling, computational social sciences, and the epistemology of science to tackle important challenges posed by DAWN.

Seth Nathaniel Linga

Seth Nathaniel Linga

PhD Student

Seth’s dissertation aims to to unfold the philosophical foundations of global irrigation models, their premises, ethical stances, the relation between irrigation models and theory, and the boundary between assumptions and facts. He completed his MSc in Water Science and Engineering - Irrigation Engineering and Management for Food Security from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (The Netherlands) and BSc in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (Philippines). Through DAWN, he aims to contribute new knowledge and improve the use of mathematical models as tools for scientific enquiry and policy-making for irrigated agriculture.

Grace Allen

Grace Allen

DAWN Student (2024)

I am a first-year undergraduate student studying Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. This year, my modules were composed of physical sciences, whilst in contrast, next year I plan to divert and take a liberal arts module for a more broad, interdisciplinary approach to real-world scientific challenges. I had never studied environmental sciences until university, although for a long time I have held an interest in the environment and climate change, which has developed since being introduced to environmental studies at university. I would love to learn more about and partake in scientific research into the climate crisis and its prevention, along with working towards preventing the effects of key environmental threats, including the water crisis, thus I am very excited to be involved in the DAWN Project this year and I look forward to learning about its research into the water crisis.

Beatrice Cross

Beatrice Cross

DAWN Student (2024)

I am a second year Environmental Science student at the University of Birmingham. I have studied various modules such as tectonic hazards, air pollution and critical issues of 21st-century ecosystems where I gained an understanding of food security and biological crisis aspects. Furthermore, I have studies Law, psychology and geography A levels which have given me a scope of knowledge from an array of topics. I am very interested in learning more about irrigation agriculture, especially the uncertainties and incorporating the interdisciplinary approaches I have learnt through my degree and A-level studies. I am extremely excited to be a part of the DAWN project and collaborate with others who feel as passionate as I am about sustainability. I hope to gain an in-depth understanding of the uncertainties of Climate change, critical analysis skills and improving on my report writing.

Edward Ahmad

Edward Ahmad

DAWN Student (2024)

Undergraduate student at the University of Birmingham, studying Human Sciences. Ed has developed a keen interest in collaborative research projects having worked on an observational vaccine study during the COVID-19 pandemic. Equally enthusiastic about sciences and humanities, he is interested in participating in the DAWN project to experience first-hand the concept of interdisciplinary approaches to solving modern day, complex problems.

Ethan Bacon

Ethan Bacon

DAWN Student (2023-2024)

Student of the Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham. The focus of his studies primarily resides in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, but he has experience with various other fields of study. He uses this vast academic background to solve problems using interdisciplinary approaches.

Samuel Flinders

Samuel Flinders

DAWN Student (2023-2024)

Student of Environmental Science at the University of Birmingham. He has interests in all aspects of the environment but with a specific focus on ecology and freshwater ecology in particular. This fascination has led him to become chair of the University of Birmingham’s Conservation Volunteers. With his love for nature, he aims to complete his MSci and move directly onto work in conservation and ecological study. He hopes that his work with DAWN will improve his hydrological understanding, competency with mathematical modelling, and ability to critically engage with scientific literature.

Joshua Caulcott-Cooper

Joshua Caulcott-Cooper

DAWN student (2024)

Josh is a Masters student at Birmingham studying River Environments and their management. His interests are in freshwater ecology, land use and landscape ecology with his dissertation investigating the impact of deforestation on freshwater ecosystems and nutrient chemistry in Upland catchments. Previously, his undergraduate degree was in Environmental Science at Birmingham, and he spent 3 years working in conservation across Northwest England. He views the DAWN project as an opportunity to work directly with Arnald Puy and his work analysing science epistemology, as well as an opportunity to challenge the hegemony of modelling in environmental science communication.

Euan Willis

Euan Willis

DAWN Student (2024)

Environmental Science student at the University of Birmingham with a love for Ecology. His interests primarily reside in the fields of conservation and environmental health, where he has worked to ensure the environment stays green and preserved. His chosen university modules and dissertation topic reflect this, allowing him to delve into the expansive matrix of our natural world. Through DAWN, he is excited to work alongside professionals in the field and grasp a deeper understanding of the mathematics and models conducted to reach vital conclusions for complex questions.

Bethan Callow

Bethan Callow

DAWN Student (2024)

Naomi Clarke

Naomi Clarke

Sustainability Student (2024)

I am a second-year Global Environmental Change and Sustainability student, with an initial scientific and mathematics background at A-level, leading on to a more interdisciplinary approach in my degree. I have experience in Geology, Philosophy and Earth Science modules with a specific focus on the sustainable development goals, climate ethics and hydrology. I am excited to be part of a diverse team - learning more about the use of modelling in the irrigation of agriculture and how we can become more sustainable in this sector.

Michela Massimi

Michela Massimi

Advisor

Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Edinburgh. Michela works on a number of topics in philosophy of science, from pluralism to perspectivism to scientific modelling and increasingly on the intersection between philosophy, science and policy issues in the natural sciences. Michela is the author of Perspectival realism (OUP, 2022), former Vice President of the European Philosophy of Science Association and currently serves as President (2023-24) of the Philosophy of Science Association www.philsci.org

Josh Larsen

Josh Larsen

Advisor

Associate Professor in Water Science in the School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham (UK). Originally from Australia, Josh enjoys all aspects of water, including drinking it. His work focuses on quantifying the dynamics behind the quantity and quality of water, from local to global scales, including the role of landscape and climatic changes, as well as the implications for human and ecosystem health.

Andrea Saltelli

Andrea Saltelli

Collaborator

Andrea has worked on physical chemistry, environmental sciences, applied statistics, impact assessment and science for policy. His main disciplinary focus is on sensitivity analysis of model output, a discipline where statistical tools are used to interpret the output from mathematical or computational models, and on sensitivity auditing, an extension of sensitivity analysis to the entire evidence-generating process in a policy context. His most recent papers have tackled sensitivity analysis and auditing, science’s integrity, science’s reproducibility crisis, impact assessment, ethics of quantification, regulatory capture, rankings of higher education, and the post-truth discussion. Andrea gives courses in sensitivity analysis, sensitivity auditing, science integrity, and ethics of quantification.

Samuele Lo Piano

Samuele Lo Piano

Collaborator

Samuele Lo Piano is a researcher at the School of the Built Environment of the University of Reading. His research interests encompass science for governance, sustainability and energy systems, uncertainty and sensitivity analyses, along with epistemic enhancements (sensitivity auditing) for the thorough scrutiny of models frames and framing at the science-policy interface.

Razi Sheikholeslami

Razi Sheikholeslami

Collaborator

Razi is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology. His main research interest lies in unraveling the mechanisms governing stability and resilience of complex environmental systems under deep uncertainty. With a focus on water-related questions, he uses applied mathematical modeling, leveraging cutting-edge analytical and statistical tools like machine learning, data-driven models, meta-heuristic optimization algorithms, and sensitivity analysis methods to gain deeper insights into the dynamic interplay of environmental factors.

José María García Avilés

José María García Avilés

Collaborator

PhD in History from the University of Murcia. Senior library technician at the University of Alicante, an institution where he has served as the deputy director of the University Library for 22 years, responsible for its technological development. His research focuses on the study of the historical evolution of traditional agriculture, the mindset of farmers, their agricultural practices, and their use of water. He has held managerial positions in agricultural and political associations, which have allowed him to develop projects aimed at conserving traditional agricultural spaces. He possesses extensive experience in directing and coordinating work groups.

Bruce Lankford

Bruce Lankford

Collaborator

Emeritus Professor of Water and Irrigation Policy at the School of Global Development, University of East Anglia, UK. He has 40 years of experience in agriculture, irrigation and water resources management. His research interests cover; irrigation policy in Sub-Saharan Africa; serious games in natural resource management; design for irrigation manageability; irrigation efficiency, water conservation and the paracommons; water accounting; river basin management and water allocation and; irrigation resilience.

Ariana Sobhani

Ariana Sobhani

DAWN Student (2023)

I am Ariana Sobhani, a second-year undergraduate student enrolled in the MSci Human Sciences program at the University of Birmingham. My academic background includes my formative education at the King Alfred School in London, where I completed my studies up to Year 13. My scholarly interests encompass a diverse array of disciplines, which align with the interdisciplinary nature of my current course of study. Predominantly, I hold a keen interest in the fields of environmental studies, anatomy, sport science, and psychology. My passion for environmental studies has developed since joining the university, and it is this enthusiasm for the environment that has led me to become an enthusiastic member in the DAWN project. The captivating aspects of the environment and its inherent uncertainties resonate profoundly with me, as they involve a realm of inquiries that often defy unequivocal resolution. I am profoundly appreciative of the opportunity to collaborate with the distinguished team working on the DAWN project and I hope to bring valuable insights, and imaginative perspectives to the project.

Emily Murray

Emily Murray

DAWN Student (2023)

Currently studying MSc Climate Change Science and Policy at the University of Bristol, UK. Previously studied BA Geography (Hons) at the University of Birmingham, UK, with a year of international study at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. My academic interests include Earth system modelling, climate policy and negotiations at a variety of scales. I believe that a critical perspective is key to shaping policy, hence my desire to work on this project. During my year of international study, I discussed climate change and land use with fellow international students who brought differing and diverse perspectives. As part of my degree, I received training in GIS and worked with the Birmingham Energy Institute to address plastic pollution in the River Cole. Outside my studies, I have campaigned and met with an NGO policy lead at COP26, as well as produced work for the Fijian Government’s Climate Change Division and Transport for West Midlands.