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Ali Nazemi, PhD.

Associate Professor, Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering

Ali Nazemi, PhD.
Office: S-EV 6164  
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 3210
Website(s): Google scholar
Availability: My regular weekly office hours in Winter Semester 2016 are Wednesday 10:30am to 12:00 pm. Please email if you wish to make an appointment beyond regular hours.

Dr. Nazemi joined the department in August 2015 as a Strategic Hire in the area of Water Resources. Prior to this, he worked shortly as a Senior Hydrologist for the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency and provided science support to the provincial government on regional water resource management and operation. He is a postdoctoral veteran and an Associate Member of the Global Institute for Water Security and holds an Adjunct Professor position with the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Nazemi's broad research goes under developing new 
methodologies and modeling tools and  for addressing water security challenges, particularly under climate and anthropogenic changes. He is committed to communicating research findings with public and providing high-quality training to the next generation of water security experts in Canada and elsewhere.  


  • PhD. (2009), The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. 
  • MSc. (2003), Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.
  • BSc. (2000), KNT University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. 

Honors and Awards

  • 2005 - 2009: Holder of the prestigious Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (DHPA) from the UK government.
  • 2004 - 2007: Holder of the Post Graduate Teaching Award (PGTA) from The University of Birmingham. 
  • 2006: Best Presentation Award, Evolutionary Multi-objective Optimization Session, IEEE 7th World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Vancouver, Canada. 


  • ENGR-233: Applied Advanced Calculus (Winter 2015)


Research interests

  • Developing improved algorithms for hydrological and land-surface models
  • Vulnerability assessment of water resource systems to changing conditions
  • Diagnosing signals of variability and change in hydroclimatic data 
  • Downscaling hydroclimatic variables in time and space
  • Calibration and validation of environmental models
  • Statistical and stochastic methods in water resources research
  • Applications of soft computing techniques in environmental modeling

Current projects

  • Downscaling and disaggregation of climate models outputs across Canadian regions (MASc project led by Mr. Pablo Jaramillio).
  • Building improved tools for assessing the vulnerability of water resource system to changing conditions (PhD student starts in May 2016).
  • Modeling coupled human-water systems in cold climates (MASc student starts in May 2016)
  • Large-scale hydrological changes and associated natural and anthropogenic risks under global change scenarios (PhD student has been chosen - position is currently closed). 

Key publications


  • Hassanzadeh,E., A. Elshorbagy, H. S. Wheater, P. Gober and A. Nazemi (2015), Integratingsupply uncertainties from stochastic modeling into integrated water resourcemanagement: a case study of the Saskatchewan River Basin, ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000581, inpress.

  • Ireson,A.M, A. Barr, G. van der Kamp, J. Johnstone, S. Mamet, C. Whitfield, N. Michel,R. North, C. Westbrook, C. Debeer, K. P. Chun, A. Nazemi and J. Sagin (2015),The Changing Water Cycle: the Boreal Plains Ecozone of Western Canada; WIREs Water, 2(5), 505-521, doi:10.1002/wat2.1098.

  • Mekonnen,B., A. Nazemi, K. Mazurek, A. Elshorbagy and G. Putz (2015), Hybrid modelingapproach to prairie hydrology: Fusing data-driven and process-basedhydrological models, HydrologicalSciences Journal, 60(9), 1473-1489, doi: 10.1080/02626667.2014.935778.

  • Nazemi, A. and H. S. Wheater(2015), On inclusion of water resource management in Earth system models – Part2: Representation of water supply and allocation and opportunities for improvedmodeling, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19, 63-90, doi: 10.5194/hess-19-63-2015.

  • Nazemi, A. and H. S. Wheater(2015), On inclusion of water resource management in Earth system models – Part1: Problem definition and representation of water demand, Hydrology andEarth System Sciences, 19, 33-61, doi: 10.5194/hess-19-33-2015. 


  • AghaKouchak,A., H.-R. Norouzi, K. Madani, A. Mirchi, M. Azarderakhsh, A. Nazemi, N.Nasrollahi, A.-R. Farahmand, A. Mehran and E. Hassanzadeh (2014), Aral Seasyndrome desiccates Lake Urmia: Call for action, Journal of Great LakesResearch41(1), 307-311,doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2014.12.007.

  • Nazemi, A.,Md. S. Alam and A. Elshorbagy (2014), Uncertainties in future projections ofextreme rainfall: The role of climate model, emission scenario and randomness, In Proceedings of the 11th InternationalConference on Hydroinformatics,New York, USA, August 17-21, HIC2014-132, available at:

  • Nazemi, A.and H. S. Wheater (2014), Assessing the vulnerability of water supply to changing streamflow conditions, Eos Transactions of American Geophysical Union, 95(32), 288, doi:10.1002/2014EOS320007

  • Nazemi, A.and H. S. Wheater (2014), How can the uncertainty in the natural inflow regime propagate into the assessment of water resource systems? Advances in Water Resources, 63, 131-142, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2013.11.009.

  • Hassanzadeh,E., A. Nazemi and A. Elshorbagy (2014), Quantile-based downscaling of precipitation using genetic programming: Application to IDF curves in Saskatoon, ASCE Journal of Hydrological Engineering, 19(5),943–955, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0000854.


  • Chun, K.P., H. S., Wheater, A. Nazemi and M. N. Khaliq (2013), Precipitationdownscaling in Canadian Prairie Provinces using the LARS-WG and GLM approaches,Canadian Water Resources Journal,38(4), 311-332, doi: 10.1080/07011784.2013.830368.

  • Nazemi, A.,H. S. Wheater, K. P. Chun, and A. Elshorbagy (2013), A stochasticreconstruction framework for analysis of water resource system vulnerability toclimate-induced changes in river flow regime, Water Resources Research, 49, doi:10.1029/2012WR012755.

2012 and before

  • Nazemi, A.and A. Elshorbagy (2012), Application of copula modeling to the performanceassessment of reconstructed watersheds, StochasticEnvironmental Research and Risk Assessment, 26(2), 189-205, doi:10.1007/s0047-011-0467-7.

  • Nazemi, A.,A. Elshorbagy, and S. Pingale (2011), Uncertainties in the estimation of futureannual extreme daily rainfall for the city of Saskatoon under climate changeeffects, 20th Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference, Ottawa, Canada, June 14-17,No. HY-039 (CD Rom).

  • Bormann,H., H. M. Holländer, T. Blume, W. Buytaert, G.B. Chirico, J.-F. Exbrayat, D.Gustafsson,H. Hölzel, P. Kraft, T. Krauße, A. Nazemi, C. Stamm, S. Stoll, G.Blöschl and H. Flühler (2011), Comparative discharge prediction from a smallartificial catchment without model calibration: Representation of initialhydrological catchment development, DieBodenkultur, 62(1-4), 23-29.

  • Pryke, A.,S., Mostaghim and A. Nazemi (2007), Heatmap visualization of population basedmulti objective algorithms. In LectureNotes in Computer Science: Evolutionary multi-criterion optimization,Volume 4403/2007, pp. 361-375, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, doi:10.1007/978-3-540-70928-2_29.

  • Nazemi, A., S. M.Hosseini and M. R. Akbarzadeh-T (2006), Soft computing-based nonlinear fusionalgorithms for describing non-Darcy flow in porous media, Journal of Hydraulic Research, 44(2), 269-282, doi:10.1080/00221686.2006.9521681.

  • Nazemi, A.,X. Yao and A. H. Chan (2006), Extracting a set of robust Pareto-optimalparameters for hydrologic models using NSGA-II and SCEM, In Proceedings of IEEE Congress onComputational Intelligence, pp. 1901-1908, IEEE, doi:  10.1109/CEC.2006.1688539.

  • Nazemi, A.,M. R. Akbarzadeh-T and S. M. Hosseini (2004), An intuitive view to compareintelligent systems, In Proceedings ofIEEE Annual Meeting of Fuzzy Information, Vol. 2, pp. 566-571, IEEE, doi:10.1109/NAFIPS.2004.1337363.

  • Nazemi, A.,M. R. Akbarzadeh-T and S. M. Hosseini (2003), Fuzzy systems as a fusionframework for describing nonlinear flow in porous media. In Proceedings of IEEE Annual Meeting of FuzzyInformation, pp. 389-394, IEEE doi:10.1109/NAFIPS.2003.1226816.

  • Nazemi, A., M. R.Akbarzadeh-T and S. M. Hosseini (2002), Fuzzy-stochastic linear programming inwater resources engineering, In Proceedingsof IEEE Annual Meeting of Fuzzy Information, pp. 227-232, IEEE, doi:10.1109/NAFIPS.2002.1018060. 


Invited talks

  • Nazemi A, (2015) Human-water sustainability in the face of climate change: Current understanding, gaps in knowledge and ways forward, Council of Canadians (Montreal Chapter), Molson School of Business, 2 December.  
  • Nazemi A. (2015), Modeling reservoirs inSaskatchewan River Basin, Modeling Workshop for NSERC’s Changing Cold Region Network (CCRN), National Hydrology Research Center, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada,29 September.

  • Nazemi A. (2013), Revisiting the principles of water resource management under uncertain conditions: What to do when predictions are wrong? Environmental Engineering Seminar Series, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, California, United States, 6 December.

  • Nazemi A. (2013), Case study: Uncertainty analysis of large-scale models of the South Saskatchewan River in Alberta, Workshop in Uncertainty Estimation for Environmental Modeling, Global Institute for Water Security,University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

  • Nazemi A. (2011), Unfolding unknowns using known:the joy of copula modeling in performance assessment of reclaimed mining sites,National Hydrology Research Center (NHRC) Seminar Series, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,Canada.

  • Nazemi A. (2010), (2010), Zen on Chicken Creek or calibration of hydrological models using limited and sparse data, 2nd Workshop for Chicken Creek Reclaimed Mining Site, Cotbus, Germany. 

Media broadcast

  • 2016-01-12: Why do Montreal water mains burst so often?, Montreal Gazette, Montreal (Canada)

  • 2015-12-14: Climate change impacts in Iran, VOA Persian TV Program, Voice of America (USA) 

  • 2015-12-06: Climate change and sea level rise, Op-ed article for BBC Persian (UK)

  • 2015-08-13: Water diversion from foreign sources to the Lake Urmia: Possibilities and threats, One Home One Planet, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe (Germany).

  • 2015-08-11:  Water crisis in Iran? Is water war already started?, VOA Persian TV Program, Voice of America (USA) 

  • 2015-06-09: Declining Lake Urmia’s level in latespring of 2015, Late night show, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe (Germany).

  • 2015-06-07: The effects of sanctions on the environmental crisis in Iran, 60 minutes Daily News Program, BBC Persian TV,BBC (UK).

  • 2015-05-09: The water crisis in Iran: climate change or water resource management?, 60 minutes Daily News Program, BBC Persian TV,BBC (UK).

  • 2015-01-29: Agriculture or Lake Urmia?, One Home One Planet, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe (Germany).

  • 2015-01-22: Which one is more frightening? A drough tor a water management crisis?, One Home One Planet, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe (Germany).

  • 2015-01-08: Aral Sea syndrome desiccates Lake Urmia,One Home One Planet, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe (Germany).

  • 2011-05-17: What does climate change mean to our South Saskatchewan River?, Environment and Community,CFCR Saskatoon Community Radio (Canada).

Journal editorial

  • Sustainable Cities and Society; special issue on Water Security Challenges (Managing Guest Editor, 2015-2016).

Meeting organization

  • AGU Fall Meeting; oral and poster sessions on WaterResources, Climate Change, and Sustainability: Breakthroughs in ProcessUnderstanding, Data Availability, and Impact Assessment (Primary Convener, session chair, 2015)

Proposal review

  • The French National Research Agency; proposal call on Functioning of solid and fluid Earth (Reviewer, 2015) 

  • The UK Natural Environment Research Council, proposal call on Sustainable Water (Reviewer, 2015) 

Journal paper review

Nature Scientific Reports, Water ResourcesResearch, Environmental Modeling and Software, Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Journal of Hydrological Engineering,Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Hydrological Processes, WIREs Water, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, Journal of Flood Risk Management, Natural Hazards, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Quaternary International, Ecological Informatics, Canadian Journal of Water Resources, Canadian Journal of Soil Sciences, Journal of Mountain Science, Remote Sensing, Water, River Research and Application, Sustainable Cities and Society, Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management

Book chapter review

AGU books, Advances in Geosciences, Extremes in a Changing Climate

Presentation judge

  • 7th International Conference on the GlobalWater and Energy Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), 14-17 July 2014, Hague, theNetherlands.  

  • AGU Fall Meeting, 15 – 19 December 2014, San Francisco, USA.

  • AGU Fall Meeting, 14 - 18 December 2015, San Francisco, USA.

Current memberships

  • American Geophysical Union

  • European Geosciences Union

  • International Association for HydrologicResearch

  • Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientist of Saskatchewan 


  • Global Institute for Water Security
  • NSERC's Changing Cold Region Network (CCRN)
  • School of Environment and Sustainability 
  • National Hydrology Research Center
  • Global Water and Energy Cycle Experiment (GEWEX)
  • Saskatchewan Water Security Agency
  • City of Saskatoon

Student opportunities

Other opportunities (Occasional)

Passionate graduate students with similar research areas are encouraged to forward their CV and identify up to three tentative topics for their future MASc and PhD research. Suggested topics should match applicants' backgrounds and merits and be inline with the scope of Water Security and Climate Change (WSCC) lab. Funding for self-chosen research topics is subject to availability and student's competence.   

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