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Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University

Rafael’s (he/him) research is on catchment-scale modelling of hydrologic and sediment transport processes and their integration in decision making processes. In the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystem team, Rafael works on designing catchment interventions for better hydropower outcomes in the Himalayas and on quantifying the value of natural forest cover and sustainable land management for flood risk reduction in Myanmar.

Rafael holds degrees in environmental science and engineering from ETH Zurich.

During his PhD in information technology at Politecnico di Milano, Rafael developed the CASCADE framework for modelling network-scale sediment connectivity, for which he was awarded the Young Researcher Award of the International Hydropower Association.

Before joining NatCap, Rafael was a postdoc at UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Design, where he developed optimization-based approaches to identify hydropower portfolios that balance hydropower production and dam impacts on river ecosystem services in the Mekong River Basin while including issues of deep uncertainty as well as trans-boundary equity.


  • –present
    Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University