Dr Younes Alila

Research Interests:
Forest Sciences Centre 2030
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
work phone: 6048226058

Younes Alila received his B.A.Sc. (1985), M.A.Sc. (1987) and Ph.D. (1994) from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Ottawa. From 1992 to 1996 Younes worked full time as a Project Engineer for the Greater Vancouver Regional District while finishing part-time his Ph.D. program. His M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. research work is on regional hydrology with a main focus on the transfer of information related to low-flows, floods and precipitation from gauged to ungauged sites. He took up his current position in forest hydrology and watershed management in the Department of Forest Resources Management in February 1996.

Younes current research program addresses a number of problems related to watershed management using an approach that combines experimental, theoretical, stochastic, and deterministic hydrology across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. His research focuses on the understanding and modeling of the physical basis underlying the “nonlinear nature” of hydrologic processes as affected by the geometric, temporal and spatial scaling of stream networks, precipitation dynamics, soil characteristics, land use and land cover. Younes research program is designed to provide scientifically-based information, knowledge and expert advice that promote sound policies, solve urgent operational problems and provide a solid foundation on which to build sustainable forest and water resources management in British Columbia.


Forest Managment and Hydrology in the Southeastern BC: Moving Beyond Equivalent Cut Area (ECA)
Testing Current Watershed Assessment Procedures and Developing a Decision Support System for Forest Watershed Management
Effects of Forest Management on Streamflow Regimes in Different Biogeoclimatic Zones of British Columbia
Use of Distributed Hydrology-Soil-Vegetation Models to Address Forest Management Issues in British Columbia
Use of Models to Better Understand Hydrologic Processes and Design New Field Experiments
Long-Term Numercial Simulation Approach for Quantifying the Potential Effects of Forest Management on Watershed Hydrology

Unit Associations

Watershed Hydrology Research Laboratory

Professional Affiliations


UBC Killam Research Fellowship , 2004
Canadian International Development Agency Scholarship – CIDA (1981 – 1991)
ditors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Water Resources Research , 2003
Harvard University Young Scientist Travel Award , 2001
BC Center for International Education Travel Award , 1998
Ph.D. Thesis Nominated for the Governor General of Canada’s Annual Award , 1994
Dean’s Honour List – Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa , 1985

Current Graduate Students

Drew Brayshaw, PhD
Bankfull and effective discharge in headwater mountain streams of British Columbia
Kim Green, PhD
Influence of forest harvesting on flow regime of snow melt dominated forested watersheds and implications for stability of headwater channels.
Patrick Little, MSc
Climate, hydrogeomorphic distrubance and riparian vegetation dynamics
Hendrik Voeckler, PhD

Current Courses

Winter 2019

FOPR388 Analytical Methods in Forest Hydrology Sections

Analytical methods in forest hydrology and their applications in the planning of forest operations with a focus on the hydrologic and hydraulic design procedures for stream crossings.

Winter 2019

FRST231 Introduction to Biometrics Sections

Basic theories of probability and statistics. Sampling distribution, methods of estimation and hypothesis testing; goodness of fit and tests for independence; analysis of variance, regression and correlation. Consult the Faculty of Science Credit Exclusion Lists: www.students.ubc.ca/calendar/index.cfm?tree=12,215,410,414.

Winter 2019

FRST385 Watershed Hydrology Sections

Measurement and analysis of hydrological processes in response to forest management activities.

Winter 2019
No FRST course(s) were found for W2019 term.Winter 2019
No FRST course(s) were found for W2019 term.

Selected Publications

Kai Tsuruta, Marwan A. Hassan, Simon D. Donner, Younes Alila (2018). Modelling the effects of climatic and hydrological regime changes on the sediment dynamics of the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia, Canada Hydrological Processes Hydrological Processes. 2018;1–17.
Kai Tsuruta, Marwan A. Hassan, Simon D. Donner, and Younes Alila (2018). Development and Application of a Large-Scale, Physically Based, Distributed Suspended Sediment Transport Model on the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia, Canada Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 123, 2481–2508
Chouaib, Wafa, Younes Alila, and Peter V. Caldwell (2018). Parameter transferability within homogeneous regions and comparisons with predictions from a priori parameters in the eastern United States. Journal of Hydrology 560, 24-38.
Chouaib, Wafa, Peter V. Caldwell, and Younes Alila (2018). Regional variation of flow duration curves in the eastern United States: Process-based analyses of the interaction between climate and landscape properties Journal of Hydrology 559, 327-346
Marren, P., Marwan H. and Y. Alila (2013). Hydrological impacts of mountain pine beetle infestation: potential for river channel changes, In “Cold and Mountain Region Hydrological Systems Under Climate Change: Towards Improved Projections” Proceedings of H02, IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Assembly, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2013 (IAHS Publ. 360, 2013). Pages 77-82
Varhola, A., Coops, N., Alila, Y. and M. Weiler (2013). Exploration of remotely sensed forest structure and ultrasonic range sensor metrics to improve empirical snow models Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9952 (16 pages)
Green K., Brardinoni F. and Y. Alila (2013). Channel morphology and bed-load yield in fluvial, formerly-glaciated headwater streams of the Columbia Mountains, Canada Geomorphology 188, 96–109
Anderson, A. E., M. Weiler, Y. Alila, and R. O. Hudson (2010). Piezometric response in zones of a watershed with lateral preferential flow as a first-order control on subsurface flow John Wiley & Sons, Ltd Hydrologic Processes, 24, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7662, in press
Alila, Y., R. Hudson, P. K. Kuras, M. Schnorbus, and K. Rasouli (2010). Reply to comment on “Forests and floods: A new paradigm sheds light on age-old controversies” by Alila et al. (2009), Water Resour. Res., 45, W08416, doi:10.1029/2008WR007207. American Geophysical Union Water Resources Research Journal (in press)
Alila, Y., P. K. Kuras, M. Schnorbus, and R. Hudson (2009). Forests and floods: A new paradigm sheds light on age-old controversies. American Geophysical Union Water Resour. Res., 45, W08416, doi:10.1029/2008WR007207
Jost, G., Moore, R.D., Weiler, M., Gluns, D.R., Alila, Y. (2009). Use of distributed snow measurements to test and improve a snowmelt model for predicting the effect of clear-cutting Elsevier Journal of Hydrology, 376(1-2): 94-106
Anderson, A.E., M. Weiler, Y. Alila, and R.O. Hudson (2009). Subsurface flow velocities in a hillslope with lateral preferential flow American Geophysical Union Water Resour. Res., 45, W11407, doi:10.1029/ 2008WR007121. 10 November 2009.
A. E. Anderson, M. Weiler, Y. Alila, and R. O. Hudson (2009). Dye staining and excavation of a lateral preferential flow network European Geosciences Union Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 5, 1043-1065
Kuras, P.K., Weiler, M., Alila, Y. (2007). The spatiotemporal variability of runoff generation and groundwater dynamics in a snow-dominated catchment Elsevier Journal of Hydrology, 352:50-66
Merritt, W.S., Y. Alila, M. Barton, B. Taylor, S. Cohen, and D. Neilson (2006). Hydrologic response to scenarios of climate change in sub watersheds of the Okanagan basin, British Columbia ELSEVIER Journal of Hydrology, 326, 79-108.
Neilsen D., S. Smith, G. Frank, W. Koch, Y. Alila, W. Merritt, B. Taylor, M. Barton, and S. Cohen (2006). Potential impacts of climate change on water availability for crops in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia NRC Can. J. Soil Sci. 86:921-936
Thyer, M., Beckers, J., Spittlehouse, D., Alila, Y. and Winkler, R. (2004). Diagnosing a distributed hydrologic model for two high elevation forested catchments based on detailed stand- and basin-scale data American Geophysical Union Water Resources Research, 40(1), W01103, doi:10.1029/2003WR002414
Beckers J. and Y. Alila (2004). A model of rapid preferential hillslope runoff contributions to peak flow generation in a temperate rain forest watershed American Geophysical Union Water Resources Research, Vol. 40, No. 3, W03501. 10.1029/2003WR002582
Schnorbus M. and Y. Alila (2004). Forest harvesting influences on the peak flow regime in the Columbia Mountains of south eastern BC: An investigation using long-term numerical modelling American Geophysical Union Water Resources Research, Vol. 40, W05205, doi:10.1029/2003WR002918
Schnorbus M. and Y. Alila (2004). Generation of an hourly meteorological time series for use in numerical hydrologic modelling American Meteorological Society Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5(5), 862-882.
Whitaker, A., Y. Alila, J. Beckers, and D. Toews. (2003). An application of the distributed hydrology soil vegetation model to the Redfish Creek Watershed Experiment in southeastern B.C. using internal catchment data. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Hydrological Processes, 17: 199-224.
Whitaker, A., Y. Alila, J. Beckers, and D. Toews. (2002). Evaluating peak flow sensitivity to clear-cutting in different elevation bands of a snowmelt-dominated mountainous catchment Amerian Geophical Union Water Resources Research, 38 (9): 1172-1188.
Alila, Y. and A. Mtiraoui. (2002). Implications of heterogeneous flood frequency distributions on traditional stream discharge prediction techniques. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Hydrological Processes, 16(5): 1065-1084
Alila, Y. and J. Beckers. (2001). Using numerical modeling to address hydrologic forest management issues in British Columbia John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.In B. Ruck, C.Kottmeier, C.Mattheck, C.Quine and G.W Hydrological Processes, 15:3371-3387
Alila, Y. (1999). Hierarchical approach for the regionalization of precipitation annual maxima in Canada American Geophysical Union Geophysical Research, 104(D24):31645-31655.
Adamowski K., Y.Alila and P.J. Pilon (1996). Regional rainfall distribution for Canada. Elsevier Atmospheric Research Journal, 42:75-88.
Alphabetical author list: Adamowski K., Y. Alila, F. Ashkar, S. Birikuadavyi, J. Bernier, B. Bobee, G. Cavadias, J. Daviau, D. Gingras, G. Liang, L. Mathier, V. Nguyen, T. Ouarda, G. Pandey, H. Perron, P. Pilon, P. Rasmussen, J. Ribeiro-Correa, J. Rouselle, R. Roy, and P. Trudel. (1996). Presentation and review of some methods for regional flood frequency analysis. Elsevier Journal of Hydrology 186(1-4):63-84.
Alphabetical author list: Adamowski K., Y. Alila, F. Ashkar, S. Birikuadavyi, J. Bernier, B. Bobee, G. Cavadias, J. Daviau, D. Gingras, G. Liang, L. Mathier, V. Nguyen, T. Ouarda, G. Pandey, H. Perron, P. Pilon, P. Rasmussen, J. Ribeiro-Correa, J. Rouselle, R. Roy, and P. Trudel. (1996). Inter-comparison of Regional Flood Frequency Procedures for Canadian Rivers. Elsevier Journal of Hydrology 186(1-4):85-103.
Pilon, P.J., K. Adamowski, and Y. Alila (1991). Regional analysis of annual maxima precipitation using L-Moments Elsevier Atmospheric Research, 27, 81-92.