B.S. Columbia University, 2011Ph.D. Cornell University, 2017

As a longtime math geek and nature lover, I was excited to learn I could make a career as an environmental systems engineer, applying concepts of mathematics to improve the management of environmental systems. My research specifically focuses on advancing optimization and simulation methods used to inform the design and management of water resources systems with the goals of protecting people from nature (floods and droughts), and nature from people (pollution and consumption). I view this as an iterative process beginning with risk and uncertainty analysis to discover which sectors and populations are most vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic hazards, followed by multi-objective optimization of the system to reduce these multi-sectoral vulnerabilities. I am particularly interested in how advanced sensing and forecasting techniques can be used to inform this optimization.


  • First Place, Universities Council on Water Resources Ph.D. Dissertation Award in Natural Science and Engineering 2018
  • Editor's Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Water Resources Research 2018
  • Best Reviewer Award, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 2017

Research Interests

  • water resources management
  • multi-objective control
  • stochastic hydrology
  • risk analysis
  • uncertainty analysis

Selected Publications

  • Exploring How Changing Monsoonal Dynamics and Human Pressures Challenge Multi‐Reservoir Management for Flood Protection, Hydropower Production and Agricultural Water Supply ABS Quinn, J.D., Reed, P.M., Giuliani, M., Castelletti, A., Oyler, J.W. and Nicholas, R.E. (2018). Water Resources Research, 54, 4638-4662
  • Rival framings: A framework for discovering how problem formulation uncertainties shape risk management trade‐offs in water resources systems ABS Quinn, J.D., Reed, P.M., Giuliani, M. and Castelletti, A. (2017). Water Resources Research, 53, 7208-7233
  • Direct policy search for robust multi-objective management of deeply uncertain socio-ecological tipping points ABS Quinn, J.D., Reed, P.M. and Keller, K. (2017). Environmental Modelling & Software, 92, 125-141