Impacts of climate change on tropical wetlands: tracking the evolution of two Andean lakes and a floodplain cienaga in Colombia



Julio Eduardo Cañón Barriga, Civil Engineer, MSc., Ph.D. Principal Researcher, Associate Professor at Universidad de Antioquia (Medellin, Colombia): His research is dedicated to the multivariate analysis of hydroclimatic events (droughts and floods) under conditions of climate change and their impacts on water resources at different spatial and temporal scales. He also works on the development of multimedia aids for knowledge and technology transfer and in the study of sustainability issues of modern civilizations. contact email:

Francina Dominguez, Civil Engineer, MSc.,Ph.D. PEER/NSF US-Partner, Assistant Professor of the Departments of Atmospheric Sciences and Hydrology and co-director of the hydrometeorology program at the University of Arizona (2015): She is a hydroclimatologist working on future climate change in the Western United States and how it will impact the hydrology of the region. She also have great interest in land-atmosphere interactions, particularly the contribution of local evapotranspiration to precipitation within a region. While her work has mostly relied on numerical modeling, one of her current projects uses water vapor isotopes to study the partitioning between evaporation and transpiration in different ecologic systems. She is the US-partner for this PEER project with the NSF research on the Amazonian Groundwater Reservoir and its Impacts on Evapotranspiration and the Climate of South America (PIs: Y. Fan Reinfelder, F. Dominguez and G. Miguez-Macho).

Fabio de Jesús Vélez Macías MSc. Co-Researcher, Associated Professor at Universidad de Antioquia: Sanitary Engineer from Universidad de Antioquia, Master in Geography with emphasis in Land-Use planning from Universidad Pedagogica y Tecnológica de Colombia. Specialist in GIS and currently a Doctor Candidate in Geography at University of Düsserldorf.

Francisco José Molina Pérez, MSc., Ph.D. Co-Researcher, Associated Professor at Universidad de Antioquia (Medellin, Colombia): His research is dedicated to the analysis of the presence and transport of toxic or hazardous substances on water resources, especially in water supply systems. He also works on optimizing wastewater processes and waste energy recovery thereof, specifically through anaerobic digestion.

Nestor Jaime Aguirre Ramírez MSc. Ph.D. Co-Investigator Associate Professor at Universidad de Antioquia: Licentiate in Biology and Chemistry from Universidad de Caldas in Manizales. Master in Biology from Universidad de Antioquia and Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from Giessen University in Germany. He currently belongs to the reserch group GeoLimna.

Graduate Students

Isabel Cristina Hoyos Rincón: Physicist, MSc., doctoral student at Universidad de Antioquia: She is interested in modeling and understanding climate dynamics, especially in the genesis and evolution of climatic processes in the North part of South America and their incidence in Colombian climate patterns. Since her master's work, she have been working on the assessment of several datasets (i.e. reanalysis, fields reconstructions, regional models) than better represent the mean and extreme behavior of regional and subregional Colombian climate. Her PhD is framed within the PEER project to include the global and regional climate perspective to link in the hydrological models.

Juan Pablo Serna López: Environmental Engineer from University of Cauca (Popayán, Colombia). Master student in Environmental Engineering at the Universidad de Antioquia. Investigator of GAIA’s Group in the Universidad de Antioquia. He has participated in projects and research in river’s Hydrobiology and bioindication topics. Actually he is part of the PEER team as a Master student in the project “Impacts of climate variability in the dynamics of the Ayapel Cienaga."

Carolina González Morales: Sanitary Engineer, graduate student in environmental engineering from Universidad de Antioquia (Medellin, Colombia). Her research has been oriented towards environmental and social fields; the control of fasciolosis, pesticide sampling, hydraulic and hydrological studies in the country highways and the beginning of the WWTP in a Antioquia town. As member of the PEER project she is doing her research on the "Impacts of climate variability on the dynamics of Tota Lake".

Claudia Lorena Duque Villa: Sanitary Engineer (Universidad del Valle - Colombia) and Specialist in Local Environmental Management (Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira-Colombia). She is a professor of the Environmental Engineering Program at Universidad Mariana (Pasto - Colombia), member of GIA -Environmental Research Group- and a student of Master in Environmental Engineering at Universidad Mariana with a research project in water resources at La Cocha lake system, under the advise of Prof. Julio Cañón.

Interns and Undergraduate Student

Malte Schilling, B.Sc. Intern (Jan-March of 2013): After his graduation in environmental sciences, he worked as a research assistant for three months in GAIA group at Universidad de Antioquia. His work as part of the PEER project focused on the hydrological analysis of the wetland Ayapel. Primarily his mayor task was to quantify the change of water level that was caused by a levee failure over the Cauca River in 2010. Furthermore he revised articles about Ayapel in order to identify relevant variables of interest. This data was used to elaborate a matrix that visualizes the variable’s correlations. The matrix is shown on this web page in order to provide an integral overview of the wetland.

Judith Vogt, Research intern program RISE Worldwide DAAD 2013: with studies meteorology she worked as a research assistant for three months in GAIA group at Universidad de Antioquia. She took part on the PEER project downloading satellite images in order to obtain hidrometeorological information about the water bodies.

Sebastián Mesa Marín, Undergraduate Student: Student of Environmental Engineering at Universidad de Antioquia. He assisted the PI in designing and updating the project´s website (2013-2015), and developed the first version of the LakeApp under the supervision of the PI.