Mohammad Merheb

THE 2017 TISON AWARD GOES TO MOHAMMAD MERHEB (LEBANON).

Left to right: Christophe Cudennec (Secretary General IAHS), Mohammad Merheb (NCSR Lebanon, Tison Award Recipient), Demetris Koutsoyiannis (HSJ Co-Editor).


The winning paper is:

Mohammad Merheb, Roger Moussa, Chadi Abdallah, François Colin, Charles Perrin & Nicolas Baghdadi (2016) Hydrological response characteristics of Mediterranean catchments at different time scales: a meta-analysis, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 61:14,2520-2539, DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2016.1140174

Citation from Prof. Demetris Koutsoyiannis, Co-editor Hydrological Sciences Journal and Chairman of the Jury of the 2017 Tison Award

Dear colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen,

The Tison Award is one of the most important institutions of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences. Its importance stems for the fact that the award goes to young scientists for publishing outstanding papers, also encouraging them to better connect with our scientific community and to provide a long-term service to it. The long history of the award further illustrates its importance: when it was bestowed for first time in 1987, 30 years ago, it was a pioneering initiative of IAHS for young scientists, which was later followed by other societies. The historical evidence confirms its prestige and effectiveness: to mention a couple of examples, the first recipient Zbyszek Kundzewicz, provided an outstanding service to the hydrological community as co-Editor of Hydrological Sciences Journal, while the 2007 laureate, Christophe Cudennec, has become the soul of our Association as its Secretary General.

This year there was a strong competition with 12 candidate papers. The Jury, which I had the honour to chair, decided that the award goes to the paper “Hydrological response characteristics of Mediterranean catchments at different time scales: a meta-analysis”, published in Hydrological Sciences Journal in 2016. The authors are from Lebanon and France: Mohammad Merheb, Roger Moussa, Chadi Abdallah, François Colin, Charles Perrin, and Nicolas Baghdadi. The first author is a young scientist (under 41 years of age) eligible for the award. He is Lecturer at the Lebanese University in Tripoli, Lebanon. It is the first time in its history that the Tison Award goes to Lebanon—and generally to Western Asia.

The awarded paper examines 140 hydrological studies conducted in the Mediterranean region. It identifies key characteristics of the hydrological responses of Mediterranean catchments at various time scales and compares different methods and modelling approaches used for individual-catchment studies. The catchments examined show very heterogeneous responses over time and space, resulting in limitations in hydrological modelling and large uncertainties in predictions.

The justification of the Jury in selecting this paper for the award included these points:

·        Scene-setting paper for hydrology research in the region.

·        Novel methodology as broad meta-analysis has rarely been used in hydrology.

·        Thoughtful analysis of implications for modelling.

·        Highlight of multiple challenges that need to be addressed, going beyond modelling.

·        Good synthesis across time scales.

·        Significant potential for regional impact.

·        Wide extent of the study and substantial number of papers reviewed.

The paper concludes listing the main challenges for future research to improve the hydrological knowledge of the Mediterranean region and to account for regional heterogeneity. I wish to encourage the authors, as well as other colleagues dealing with similar research, to undertake these challenges and I invite them to submit the resulting studies to Hydrological Sciences Journal.

In closing, I congratulate Mohammad Merheb and I wish him further scientific successes hoping that the Tison Award will help him achieve new heights in his career. I also congratulate his co-authors and, in addition, I thank our publisher Taylor & Francis for co-sponsoring the award.


Response from Mohammad Merheb

Dear Professor Demetris Koutsoyiannis,

First, let me thank you and all the members of the Award comittee for choosing our paper to be the IAHS2017 Tison Award winning paper.

It is indeed a great honor and pleasure, but also a big pressure to have our names added to such a list of highly achieving hydrologists.
I want to say that i am very happy and proud to be the first from my country Lebanon to win this award.

Of course this work was not possible without the guidance and contribution of my senior co-authors: from Lebanon Chadi Abdallah (L-CNRS); from France: Roger Moussa (INRA, Montpellier), Nicolas Baghdadi (Irstea, Montpellier), François Colin (SupAgro, Montpellier) and Charles Perrin (Irstea, Anthony).

I also want to acknowledge the financial support provided for this work by the Lebanese National Council for Scientific research (L-CNRS), Irstea, Montpellier France, and the franco-lebanese mobility program CEDRE.

Finally, i want to thank the IAHS represented by the secretary general Prof. Christophe Cudennec for financially supporting my trip to South Africa.

In the end, i do hope that this paper will encourage young hydrologists to engage in large scale comparative hydrological studies. I do believe such studies are a good way forward in the field of hydrology.

Thank you all for being here and wish to see you all in many future IAHS assemblies, maybe in Lebanon!