I am Melanie, a PhD candidate studying questions about droughts: How can we determine drought events in semi-arid regions? What are suitable tools for detecting them? And how can we improve operational drought definitions for better drought management?

The geographic setting for my research is the semi-arid region of Chile and the rivers that run through it. My research interests extend to other arid and semi-arid regions in the Americas, including Argentina, Brazil, and the USA, as part of the AQUASEC center.

Before I came to Chile, I worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) and at the Institute for Water and River Basin Management (Department of Aquatic Environmental Engineering), at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in Germany. At both institutes I was involved in international research projects about decentralized wastewater treatment (Indonesia) and Climate Change Adaptation in the water sector (Chile).

Besides research, I love to travel and hike in the Andes, since they are so close in Santiago and breathtaking.

Contact: moertel@uc.cl