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Matthew Bonnema

Photo of Matthew Bonnema


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 300-329

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Water & Ecosystems



Matthew Bonnema joined JPL as a postdoctoral researcher in October 2019. Prior to that, he worked as a graduate research assistant at University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. His primary research interest is in the use of satellite remote sensing observations to better understand the impacts of dams on river systems, particularly in developing regions.


  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, December 2019
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA, M.S. in Civil Engineering, December 2016
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, B.S. in Civil Engineering, Minor in Mathematics, May 2014 

Professional Experience

  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, Postdoctoral Researcher, October 2019-Present
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Graduate Research Assistant, September 2014-October 2019
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, September 2013 - May 2014

Community Service

Peer review for international scientific journals:

  • Water Resources Research
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology

Educational Workshops:

  • SWOT Application User Workshop
    Boston, MA, May 2018
     Hands on Demonstration of Satellite-based Reservoir and Water Management: Understanding the Potential of SWOT in the Mekong River Basin
  • Waterhack Week
    University of Washington, E-Science Institute
    Seattle, WA, March 2019
     Introduction to Google Earth Engine
  • SWOT Application User Workshop
    Paris, France, May 2019
     Hands on Introduction to Google Earth Engine

Research Interests

Satellite remote sensing-based monitoring of lakes and reservoirs, including the impacts of dams on downstream discharge and water quality.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF): September 2017-December 2019
  • Combining Future SWOT Observations with Current Array of Earth 
  • Observing Satellites to Better Understand Global Reservoir Dynamics

Selected Publications

  1. Bonnema, M., F. Hossain, B. Njissen and G. Holtgrieve (2020), Hydropower's Hidden Transformation of Rivers in the Mekong, Environmental Research Letters (in review).
  2. Beveridge, C., M. Bonnema and F. Hossain (2019) Impacts of Dam Development and Landscape Changes on Suspended Sediment Concentrations in the Mekong River Basin's 3S Tributaries: a Satellite Remote Sensing Perspective, Remote Sensing of the Environment (in review).
  3. Daly, K., F. Hossain, S. Ahmad, M. Bonnema, C. Beveridge, B. Nijssen, G. Holtgrieve (2019), Recent Warming of Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia: Implications for one of the World's Most Productive Inland Fisheries, Lakes and Reservoirs (in review).
  4. Bonnema, M., and F. Hossain (2019), Assessing the potential of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission for reservoir monitoring in the Mekong River Basin. Water Resour. Res., 55.
  5. Hossain, F., M. Bonnema, N. Biswas, S. Ahmad, B. Duong, and N. D. Luong (2019), When floods cross borders, satellite data can help, Eos, 100,
  6. Biswas, N, F. Hossain, M. Bonnema, M. Okeowo, H. Lee (2019), An altimeter height extraction technique for dynamically changing rivers of South and South-East Asia, Remote Sensing of Environment, 221, pp. 24-37,
  7. Bonnema, M. and F. Hossain. (2017). Inferring Reservoir Operating Pattern via Residence Time across the Mekong Basin using only Space Observations. Water Resources Research, 53, 3791-3810, (
  8. Bonnema, M., S. Sikder, Y. Mao, X. Chen and F. Hossain, I.A. Pervin, S.M. M. Rahman and H. Lee. (2016). Understanding Satellite-based Monthly-to-Seasonal Reservoir Outflow Estimation as a function of Hydrologic Controls, Water Resources Res. vol. 52(5), pp. 4095-4115 (
  9. Hossain, F., S. Sikder, N. Biswas, M. Bonnema, H. Lee, N.D Luong, N.H. Hiep, B. D. Duong and D. Long (2016) How well can Water Availability of the Mekong River Basin be represented by Physical Models and Satellite Observations? Asian Journal of Water and Environmental Pollution, 14(3), pp. 39-48,
  10. Bonnema, M., S. Sikder, F. Hossain, D. Bjerklie, M. Durand and C. Gleason (2016). Benchmarking wide swath altimetry-based river discharge estimation algorithms for the Ganges river system Water Resources Res. Vol. 52(4), pp. 2439-2461 (