Stefano Basso

       Department of Catchment Hydrology

         Tel: +49 3455585418

We develop new methods to characterize water resources, environmental processes and hydrogeological hazards in data scarce systems. We also investigate the potential of cultural landscape restoration for water management and hazard mitigation, and the role of hydrological variability as driver of natural and industrial phenomena, such as floods, fluxes of particulate matters in river basins and the production of energy by means of hydropower plants.

Mechanistic-stochastic and statistical methods for flood hazard assessment

  • Applications and further development of the Metastatistical Extreme Value distribution (MEV)
  • Further development of the PHysically-based Extreme Value distribution (PHEV!)
  • Assessment of the propensity of rivers to extreme floods
Small hydro

Water-energy-ecosystem nexus in small run-of-river hydropower

  • Economic-hydroecologic optimization of small run-of-river hydropower plants
  • Methods to reconcile small hydropower and ecosystem services in river basins

Fluxes of solutes and particulate matters through river basins

  • Effects of hydrological events on solute mobilization and delivery
  • Roles of input stochasticity and river network morphology for fluxes of particulate matter

Cultural landscapes for water management

Propensity of rivers to extreme floods: climate-landscape controls and early detection (PREDICTED)

DFG project 421396820 (2019-2022)

An initiative to promote transfer to practice of novel hydrologic tools and research findings concerning assessment, exploitation and preservation of water resources in data scarce regions.

  • CATCH Watershed Solutions is selected for the Investment Promotion Roadshow organized by Swiss Business Hub Brazil - General Consulate of Switzerland in São Paulo.

  • Nature-based Solutions for a Water Secure Mediterranean

My project titled Water harvesting and management via cultural landscapes: enhancing scientific understanding to tackle water scarcity won the contest "Nature-based Solutions for a Water Secure Mediterranean", organized by the Center for Mediterranean Integration, Egypt, 2018.

  • Energy and nature in the Alps: a balancing act

Panelist at the Podium discussion "Energy and nature in the Alps: a balancing act", held at the International final conference of the EU Alpine Space Recharge.Green Project, Sonthofen, Germany, 2015.

I was supervised by Dr. Stefano Basso during my master thesis at the University of Padova. He is probably the best supervisor a student may ask for. Stefano was extremely accomodating. He patiently helped me and transmitted his strong passion and curiosity about water resources management.
(Gianluca Lazzaro, Water Resources Consultant at i4, Italy)

I enjoyed working with Stefano during my bachelor project. From the beginning he revealed to be a dedicated supervisor, able to effectively communicate the optimal working methods and right critical approach for results even for complex topics. The collaboration was definitely a positive, pleasant and enlightening experience.(Riccardo Sprocati, Doctoral Researcher at the Technical University of Denmark)

Stefano is a dedicated person who stands out for his leadership, ability to quickly identify challenges, set clear and practical goals, and maintain the interest of students in their learning process. I deeply admire the commitment with which he assumes the projects of each one of his students. It has been wonderful and enriching to have him as my supervisor!
(Daniela Peña Guerrero, Doctoral Researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies - IAMO, Germany)

Peer-reviewed journal articles


  • Basso, S. (2016), Switzerland, in World Small Hydropower Development Report 2016, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and International Center on Small Hydro Power.
  • Marani, M., S. Basso, F. Zambon, and G. Botter (2010), Mathematical model of the Brenta river catchment (Veneto, Italy) - Hydrological model, Environmental Protection Agency of the Veneto Region (in Italian).

Invited conference talks

Basso, S., G. Lazzaro, M. Schirmer, and G. Botter (2014), Hydro-economic performances of streamflow withdrawal strategies: the case of small run-of.-river power plants, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria.

Reviewing activities

  • Geophysical Research Letters
  • Water Resources Research
  • Journal of Hydrology
  • Advances in Water Resources
  • Hydrological Processes
  • Landscape and Urban Planning
  • Applied Energy
May 2017 - Present
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany, Researcher.

I work on the development of novel methods to characterize water resources, riverine systems and environmental hazards in data scarce areas.

Dec 2015 - Dec 2016
CATCH Watershed Solutions, Switzerland, Founder.

I promoted the transfer to practice of novel tools and research findings concerning assessment, exploitation and preservation of water resources and riverine environments.

Dec 2014 - Dec 2015
Duke University, USA, Visiting Research Scholar.

I investigated climatic and landscape controls on suspended sediment transport in river catchments.

Sept 2012 - Aug 2016
EAWAG - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland, Doctoral Researcher.

I studied the role of river flow regimes as drivers of natural and industrial processes, such as sediment transport, hydropower production and flooding. My research aimed to develop analytic tools to quantify streamflow-driven events and environmental risks.

Nov 2009 - Aug 2012
University of Padova, Italy, Research Assistant.

I conducted several research and expert consulting projects in the field of hydrology and hydrological modeling, concerning flood alert, water resources assessment and management, snow dynamics, impact of climate change on water availability, hydropower, anthropogenic alteration of hydrologic regimes.

Sept 2008 - Sept 2009
Salesian College and Youth Center, Italy, Social Worker.

My work focused on the design and implementation of initiatives to contrast and prevent misery of youth in the Venice metropolitan area, and included the coordination of employees and volunteers’ activities for a youth care association in the same region.

Jan 2006 - Jun 2006
Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, Italy, Research Assistant.

I participated in a European project concerning the restoration of disused industrial and mining landscapes.