UF Water Institute Affiliate Faculty member Rachata Muneepeerakul has received a $5 million grant from the US Department of Defense as PI on a research project that will create a modeling platform to predict human migrations caused by natural disasters. The purpose of this research is to provide the information necessary for the government to be prepared with the appropriate resources and responses before a mass migration of displaced individuals, such as the migration that occurred after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of Puerto Rico in 2017. The project will rely on collaboration between researchers both at UF and at other universities in order to study past natural disasters and migration patterns, as well as to build the modeling platform. Dr. Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, a Co-Principal Investigator on this project, attributed much of the success of this project to collaborations formed within the UF Water Institute. “The UF Water Institute has fostered many connections that lead to the formation of this research team. Three of the UF faculty members involved in this project built their working relationship through participation in the 2017 Water Institute Graduate Fellows program. Collaboration with Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Upmanu Lall of Columbia University was initiated during his visit to UF to participate in the UF Water Institute Distinguished Scholar Seminar series.” For more information on the grant and the research it supports, you can read the project’s research page here.