February 9, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

Yao Named Associate Editor of Journal of Hydrology

PNNL post-doctoral research associate joins leading journal in hydrological sciences

Lili Yao

Lili Yao.

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Lili Yao, a post-doctoral research associate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), was named an associate editor of the Journal of Hydrology, a leading journal in the field of hydrological sciences. Yao brings her expertise in hydrology, specifically hydrological modeling, to her new role.

“Water is essential in our lives—we use water every day! Hydrology research is especially important now because climate change is greatly affecting our water cycle,” said Yao.

As an associate editor, Yao will be responsible for managing the peer review of manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Hydrology and making recommendations for publication. Along with her expertise in surface hydrology and modeling, her previous experience as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Hydrology and others—including Water Resources Research, Geographical Research Letters, and Hydrology and Earth System Sciences—will be valuable in this role. Yao’s appointment as associate editor with the journal extends through the end of 2024.

At PNNL, Yao is part of the Watershed Hydrology Modeling team and contributes to the Integrated Multisector Multiscale Modeling (IM3) project. The IM3 project uses innovative modeling to explore how human and natural systems interact in response to both short- and long-term influences, such as climate conditions, population changes, and energy or technology transitions. As part of that effort, Yao is constructing a simulation of how climate change and land use affect water cycles in the United States.

Prior to joining PNNL in 2022, Yao completed her PhD in civil engineering and subsequent post-doctoral research at the University of Central Florida. Her research focused on how watershed characteristics and climate can affect the hydrological processes at watershed scales. She also investigated the transport of groundwater contaminants in a Florida watershed. Her work on modeling surface and groundwater flows alongside water quality and climate is a key part of better understanding the water cycle and how it could be affected by climate change.

“Climate change increases the frequency of extreme events like droughts and floods,” explained Yao. “That’s why it’s so important for us to understand and predict when these extreme events will happen and what their impact will be, so we can get better prepared for the future.”