Gopal Penny is a socio-hydrologist whose research seeks to understand and attribute hydrological change in data-scarce regions, characterize the relationships and feedbacks between water and society, and model the trajectories and tipping points of socio-hydrological systems. In his work, Gopal leverages multiple techniques and observation platforms, including satellite data, unmanned air vehicles, field observations and econometric analysis to draw causal inferences. He strives to increase our understanding the co-evolution and resilience of water and human systems, with a particular to focus on resilience. He currently studies on the socio-hydrological effect of climatic, demographic and regulatory changes in the two major waterways of South Asia: the Ganges with a particular focus on transboundary water allocations between India and Bangladesh, and the headwaters of the Indus with a focus on attribution of hydrological change.
Gopal completed his PhD at UC Berkeley in 2017, researching hydrological change in the Arkavathy river outside Bangalore, where he spent a year conducting field research. Before joining the ECI team at Notre Dame, he served as a lecturer and taught Introduction to Hydrology at UC Berkeley.