A/Prof Fiona Johnson is an academic at University of New South Wales based in the Water Research Centre, in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has over 18 years' experience in hydrology working as a consultant, for government and in academia. Associate Professor Johnson’s areas of research and teaching focus on statistical hydrology, particularly with respect to flooding and extreme events and the use of global climate models for climate change assessments of water resources systems. She has a particular interest in solutions to climate and hydrological challenges faced by communities in the Global South and is currently undertaking research projects in Tanzania, Nepal, the Pacific and Australia.
A/Prof Johnson was a PhD candidate between 2006–10. Immediately after her PhD submission in March 2010, she took up a position at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology as a hydrologist on the Intensity Frequency Duration Revision Project. This project developed revised design rainfalls for Australia, using extended rainfall records and improved statistical methods. A/Prof Johnson played an integral role in the project by applying statistical methods to estimate design rainfalls and provided substantial input into the impact of anthropogenic climate change on extreme rainfalls, contributing to the chapter on this work in the industry guidelines ‘Australian Rainfall and Runoff’.
A/Prof Johnson took up a full-time, ongoing Lecturer appointment in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW, in September 2012 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in July 2015 and Associate Professor in January 2020.
A/Prof Johnson was appointed as prestigious UNSW Scientia A/Prof for 2019 – 2023. The UNSW Scientia program is one of the cornerstones of UNSW’s 2025 Strategy. Its aim is to attract and retain the best and brightest people, with outstanding research track records. A primary goal of the program is to enhance UNSW research performance by attracting and retaining exceptional researchers at the highest level relative to career stage and supporting them with a unique development and collaboration package and career pathway commitment.
Associate Professor Johnson’s research covers a wide range of disciplines from hydrologic modelling, climate change impact assessment methodologies, applications of remote sensing and statistical analysis of extreme rainfalls. In particular, her research focuses on improving our understanding of hydroclimatological extremes both now and in the future, with her research findings being of particular interest to water managers as they seek to manage risks from hydrological events.
Her research is focused in four main areas.
My Research Supervision
A/Prof Johnson's teaching is in the areas of water resources engineering and Humanitarian Engineering. She has coordinated and taught the following courses during her time at UNSW.