Luis Santos Pereira


  • Prof.


Luis Santos

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Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisbon University, Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food - LEAF, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa


Born in Elvas, Portugal, August 13, 1942; married, father of four and grandfather of twelve.

Agricultural Engineer, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, 1969.

Post-graduate in Hydrology, Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1972.

PhD, Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, 1977.

Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Institute of Agronomy, Technical University of Lisbon, 1980-2012. Head, CEER, Biosystems Engineering Research Centre, 1993-2012. Has been coordinator of a PhD programme on Biosystems Engineering, supervisor or co-supervisor of 35 Doctoral Theses (3 more in progress). Supervisor of 55 MSc dissertations ad 9 post-docs.

Former Director General for Hydraulics and Agricultural Engineering, Ministry of Agriculture, Lisbon (1977-80) and consultant with various UN Agencies - FAO, UNDP, WMO, and UNESCO -, IAM-Bari, Italy, and ICARDA, Aleppo. Former design consultant in irrigation and drainage.

Invited Professor at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Italy, at the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, and for specialization and postgraduate studies at the China Agricultural University and the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydroelectric Power Research, Beijing. Research advisor of the Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil and the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Awards and Recognitions

Doctor honoris causa, University of Rousse, Bulgaria, 2005.

Hon. President of International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR), and Hon. Vice-President of the International Commission of Irrigation and Drainage (ICID).

Member, Portuguese Academy of Engineering, and Foreign Correspondent Member of the Accademia dei Georgofili", Firenze, Italy, the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, the Acad?mie d'Agriculture de France and the International Academy of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Fellow member of the National Institution of Engineers. Recipient of awards and recognitions from ICID, CIGR, European Water Resources Association (EWRA) and from several other institutions in Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Italy, Libya, Mexico, Portugal, and USA.


Has been leader of CEER, Biosystems Engineering Research Centre, until it was combined with other research centers of Institute of Agronomy, University of Lisbon, to create LEAF, a research Center for Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, where he is leading the thematic area of Climate Change and Water Scarcity. Has been coordinator of numerous research projects, namely in cooperation with diverse institutions of various countries. Particularly relevant was the leadership of international research projects on water management relative to the North China Plain, the Yellow River Basin, the Aral Sea basin and the leadership of a research network of Latin-American countries.

Convenor/co-convenor of numerous international scientific conferences and workshops, in particular a series of ICID Workshops on "Crop Water and Environment Models", a series of CIGR Inter-regional Conferences on "Water and the Environment", and a series of Workshops and Training Courses for Latin America. With CIGR Section I, is presently co-convening a new series of CIGR Inter-regional Conferences on "Land and Water Challenges".

Member of international research evaluation panels with the European Commission, the CNR of Italy, the Ministry of Science of Spain and CYTED, and for reviewing academic activities with the University of S?o Paulo, Brazil, the Agricultural Research Centers of CSIC, Spain, and the ICARDA, Aleppo. Member of the editorial board of several scientific Journals.

Author or co-author of a large number of papers in journals (210), book chapters (105) and conference proceedings (170) as well as numerous speeches to scientific meetings. Author/co-author and editor/co-editor of 34 books.

Benchmark contributions/achievements refer to

  1. Crop evapotranspiration, following the Guidelines book on Crop Evapotranspiration. Guidelines for Computing Crop Water Requirements, authored by RG Allen, LS Pereira, D Raes, and M Smith, published by FAO in 1998 as Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56, which is translated into Spanish and Russian. This book is quoted more than 1000 times a year and related concepts and operational procedures are worldwide adopted.
  2. Modelling the soil water balance, first using the single crop coefficient approach in the ISAREG model, recently with the SIMDualKc model adopting the dual crop coefficient approach. These models are used both operationally and for research by various institutions in several countries and were the object of numerous publications focusing crop water use, transpiration, yield and water productivity. Published papers refer to Brazil, Bulgaria, Central Asia, China, Italy, Spain, Uruguay and Potugal.
  3. Water Scarcity and Droughts, referring to a tentative of rational approach to cope with water scarcity and droughts, which are the object of a book on Coping with Water Scarcity. Addressing the Challenges, co-authored by LS Pereira, I Cordery and I Iacovides, published in 2009 by the Springer. A first version was published by UNESCO in 2002. Numerous papers on drought studies in Portugal and Iran have been published,