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WSL glaciologist appointed ETH professor

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15.07.2016  |  News


The ETH Board has appointed Dr Daniel Farinotti as Tenure Track Assistant Professor for glaciology at WSL and ETH Zurich.


Dr Daniel Farinotti (born in 1982) is currently a senior research associate at WSL in Birmensdorf. Farinotti, who is originally from Ticino, has already made a name for himself among glaciologists thanks to his PhD thesis. In this, he developed a remote sensing method to estimate glacier ice thickness without requiring ground measurements, thus facilitating prediction of downstream water reserves.

Farinotti later worked in the Tien Shan mountains in Central Asia, where he reconstructed the glaciers' development to estimate future water availability. Glaciers are the primary water source in this region.

His current projects focus on the use of glacier water for hydropower in Switzerland. To this end he produces mid- to long-term forecasts of ice reserves and thus water availability for periods spanning one month to several years.

In the near future Farinotti will be more involved in basic research, too. To investigate processes on glacier beds, for instance, he wants to develop an innovative, true-to-scale glacier model in cooperation with colleagues from ETH Zurich’s Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW). Daniel Farinotti will head a glaciology Group at ETH Zurich and WSL and further cement both institutions‘ international leadership in this field.