Dr Theo Sarris is a Science Leader in the Environmental Science team based at ESR's Christchurch Science Centre. Theo is a groundwater engineer and modeller. His research interests include the development of theory and methodologies for modelling the transport of nutrients and pathogens in aquifers, environmental risk analysis and the quantification of uncertainty in groundwater resources management.
He is also interested in optimisation problems for engineering and environmental applications and incorporating Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning tools and techniques to groundwater hydrology.
His work is now focused on reducing nitrate levels in groundwater and minimising the risk for drinking groundwater supplies from microbial and viral contamination.
Theo has over 20 years of professional experience in the United States, Europe and New Zealand, across research, government and engineering consulting. After receiving his Ph.D. degree in stochastic groundwater hydrology from the University of South Carolina, USA, he returned to Greece where he started his own advisory services company specialising in water resources management, water and groundwater and was appointed Senior Advisor to the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. In 2013, he moved to New Zealand to lead Beca’s groundwater modelling team, where he led large environmental and infrastructure engineering projects in the greater Pacific region. In late 2016, Theo joined ESR’s Groundwater Research Group.
Theo holds a Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and a Master’s and a Doctoral degree in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of South Carolina, USA. He is currently serving in numerous committees and is the president of the New Zealand Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists(external link).