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INRS awards honourary doctorate to professor Andrea Rinaldo

May 13, 2014 | Gisèle Bolduc

Update : December 10, 2020

INRS has awarded an honourary doctorate degree to a world leader in water sciences research, Professor Andrea Rinaldo of the University of Padua and  École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, in recognition of his remarkable career, scientific breakthroughs, and exceptional contribution to education in the field of ecohydrology.

The ceremony took place on May 8, 2014, at Venice International University (VIU) and was attended by Amalia Daniela Renosto, Québec Government Representative in Rome, and VIU President Umberto Vattani.

“Professor Andrea Rinaldo is a perfect example of a multiplying agent for knowledge. He has made original contributions to a number of scientific domains and pioneered the concept of ecohydrology, significantly advancing our knowledge of the close ties between biodiversity and waterway dynamics. He has also gained a sizeable following for his research work, which is used by water resource managers around the world.”

Explained INRS Rector Daniel Coderre

As a civil engineer and fluid mechanics specialist, Professor Rinaldo sees waterways as a precious resource for observing and learning about the ways nature functions at various levels. With help from colleagues he constructed a model based on the geomorphology and ecology of tributaries that makes it possible to predict the impacts of climate change and human activity on waterways, as well as estimate their effect on the propagation of invasive species such as zebra mussels. The unique intersection of hydrology, biology, and epidemiology in Dr. Rinaldo’s work has also benefitted public health initiatives by making it possible to predict and prevent the spread of water-borne illnesses such as cholera.

The scientific value of Professor Rinaldo’s work has earned him a number of international distinctions, including the Robert E. Horton medal from the American Geophysical Union and the Dalton Medal from the European Geosciences Union. He also shared the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water with a colleague from Princeton for their contribution to the founding and development of the new field of ecohydrology.