Civil & Environmental Engineering

203 Bliss Hall, 1 Lippitt Road, Kingston RI 02881 USA – 401.874.2692

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Ali Shafqat Akanda

Ali Akanda
  • Assistant Professor
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Phone: 401.874.7050
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: 203 Bliss Hall
    1 Lippitt Road
    Kingston, RI 02881

    Office: 302 Bliss Hall


Dr. Akanda’s primary expertise is in the intersections of Water Security, Climate Change and Global Health – and the development of early warning systems to benefit emerging public health issues in the developing world. Ali was the recipient of the NIH Ruth Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellowship and the Dean’s Fellowship during his PhD at Tufts University, Medford, MA. Ali’s doctoral research was the first to identify both dry and wet season hydroclimatic drivers of cholera outbreaks in South Asia and was instrumental in securing an NIH Research Challenge Grant on climate change impacts on cholera. His current research focuses on providing a large scale understanding of hydroclimatic forces affecting water-related disease outbreaks in resource constrained regions, and understanding health impacts of climatic and anthropogenic changes in rapidly growing urban regions of developing nations.


Water Security:

  • Hydrologic Forecasting for Large Tropical River Basins
  • Water and Health Security in Sustainable Development
  • Emerging Water and Health Issues in the Developing World

Climate Change:

  • Climate-Water-Health Nexus in Emerging Megacities
  • Climate Change and Waterborne disease Transmission
  • Climate Change Impacts on Water Security in South Asia

Global Health:

  • Early Warning Systems to Strengthen the Global Health Community
  • Water-related Disasters and Impact on Global Diarrheal Disease Burden
  • Hydroclimatic influences on Cholera in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Ph.D., 2011, Tufts University
  • M.Sc., 1998, University of Oklahoma
  • B. Tech., 1996, Indian Institute of Technology


26. GBD 2015 SDG Collaborators, 2016. Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet, 388(10053): 1813–1850.

25. GBD 2015 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators, 2016. Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet, 388(10053): 1459–544.

24. Khalil, I., et al. 2016. Burden of Diarrhea in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2013: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 16-0339. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.16-0339

23. Mokdad, A.H., et al. 2016. Health in times of uncertainty in the eastern Mediterranean region, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet Global Health, 4(10), doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30168-1

22. Crosson, W., Akanda, A., Estes, S., Haynes, J., et al. 2016. Use of Remotely Sensed Climate and Environmental Information for Air Quality and Public Health Applications. Earth Science Satellite Applications: Current and Future Prospects. Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry.

21. Hossain, F., Serrat-Capdevila A., Granger S., Thomas A., Crosson, W., Akanda A.S., et al. 2015. A Global Capacity Building Vision for Societal Applications of Earth Observing Systems and Data: Key Questions and Recommendations. Bull Am Meteor Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00198.1

20. Jiang, Y., Akanda, A.S., Small, D.L., Palash, W., Islam, S. 2016. A Simple Streamflow Forecasting Scheme for the Ganges Basin. Flood Forecasting. Elsevier Inc.doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801884-2.00015-3

19. Jutla, A.S., Unnikrishnan, A., Akanda, A.S., Huq, H., and Colwell, R.R. 2015. Predictive time series analysis linking Bengal cholera with terrestrial water storage measured from GRACE sensors. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 14-0648.

 18. Jutla, A.S., Aldaach, H., Billian, H., Akanda, A.S., Huq, A., and Colwell, R.R. 2015. Satellite based assessment of hydroclimatic conditions related to cholera in Zimbabwe. PLOS-One, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137828

17. Nasr, F.A., Unnikrishnan, A., Akanda, A.S., Islam, S., Alam, M., Huq, A., Jutla, A.S., Colwell, R.R. 2015. A framework for downscaling river discharge to access impacts of climate change on endemic cholera, Climate Research, doi: 10.3354/cr01310; 64: 257-274.

16. Akanda, A.S., Jutla, A.S., and Colwell, R.R. 2014. Global Diarrhoeal Action Plan needs Integrated Climate-based Surveillance. The Lancet Global Health, 2(2): e69 – e70.

15. Akanda A.S., Jutla A.S., Gute D.M., Sack B.R., Alam M., Huq A., Colwell R.R., Islam S. 2013. Population Vulnerability to Biannual Cholera Peaks and Associated Macro-Scale Drivers in the Bengal Delta. Am J Trop Med Hyg, 89(5), pp. 950–959.

14. Jutla, A.S., Whitcombe, E., Hasan, N., Haley, B., Akanda, A.S, Huq, A., Alam, M., Sack, D. and Colwell, R.R., 2013. Environmental Factors Influencing Epidemic Cholera.Am J Trop Med Hyg 89(3).

13. Jutla A.S., Akanda A.S., Islam S. 2013. A framework for predicting endemic cholera using satellite derived environmental determinants. Environ Modeling & Software,47: 148-158.

12. Akanda, A.S., A.S. Jutla, and S. Islam, 2013. Hydroclimatology and Large-Scale Population Vulnerability to Cholera Outbreaks in the Bengal Delta. Climate Vulnerability: Understanding and Addressing Threats to Essential Resources. Elsevier Inc., Academic Press, 347–356 pp.

11. Jutla A.S., Akanda A.S., Huq A., Colwell R.R., Islam S. 2013. A water marker monitored by satellites for predicting endemic cholera. Remote Sensing Letters, 4(8): 822-831.

10. Akanda, A.S. 2012. South Asia’s Water Conundrum: Hydroclimatic and Geopolitical Asymmetry, and Brewing Conflicts in the Eastern Himalayas. Intl J River Basin Management, 10(4): 307-315.

9. Akanda, A.S. and Hossain, F. 2012. The Climate-Water-Health Nexus in Emerging Megacities. EOS Transactions, 93(37): 353-354.

8. Jutla, A.S., Akanda, A.S. and Islam, S. 2012. Satellite Remote Sensing of Space-Time Plankton Variability in the Bay of Bengal: Connections to Cholera Outbreaks. Remote Sensing of Environment, 123: 196-206.

7. Akanda, A.S., Jutla, A.S., Gute, D.M., Evans, T. and Islam, S. 2012. Reinforcing Cholera Intervention through Prediction aided Prevention. Bull World Health Organ, 90: 243-244.

6. Alam,  M., Islam, A., Bhuyan, N.A., Rahim, N., Hossain, A., Khan, G.Y., Ahmed, D., Watanabe, H., Izumiya, H., Faruque, A.S.G., Akanda, A.S., Islam, S., Sack, R.B., Huq, A., Colwell, R.R. and Cravioto, A., 2011.Clonal transmission, dual peak, and off-season cholera in Bangladesh. Infection Ecology and Epidemiology, 1: 7273.

5. Akanda, A.S., Jutla, A.S., Constantin de Magny, G.C., Alam, M., Siddique, A.K., Sack, R.B., Huq, A., Colwell, R.R. and Islam, S. 2011. Hydroclimatic Influences on Seasonal and Spatial Cholera Transmission Cycles: Implications for Public Health Intervention in the Bengal Delta. Water Resources Research, 47, W00H07.

4. Jutla, A.S., Akanda, A.S., Griffiths, J., Colwell, R.R. and Islam, S. 2011. Warming oceans, phytoplankton, and river discharge: Implications for cholera outbreaks. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 85, No. 2.

3. Islam, S., Gao, Y. and Akanda, A.S. 2010. Water 2100: A synthesis of natural and societal domains to create actionable knowledge through AquaPedia and water diplomacy. Pp 193-197; in Khan, S. et al., Hydrocomplexity: New Tools for solving wicked water problems, IAHS 338.

2. Jutla, A.S., Akanda, A.S. and Islam, S. 2010. Tracking Cholera in Coastal Regions using Satellite Observations. Journal of American Water Resources Association, 46(4): 651-662.

1. Akanda, A.S., Jutla, A.S. and Islam, S. 2009. Dual peak cholera transmission in Bengal Delta: A hydroclimatological explanation. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L19401.

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