Gabriel G. Katul


Theodore S. Coile Distinguished Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology

Gabriel G. Katul received his B.E. degree in 1988 at the American University of Beirut (Beirut, Lebanon), his M.S. degree in 1990 at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR) and his Ph.D degree in 1993 at the University of California in Davis (Davis, CA).  He is currently the Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University (Durham, NC).    He served as an associate editor for Advances in Water Resources (1998-present), Boundary Layer Meteorology (1998-present), Water Resources Research (2004-2009), the Vadoze zone journal (2000-2003) and served as one of the four editors-in-chief for Advances in Water Resources (2011-2014).  He was a visiting fellow at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia (in 2002), at University of Helsinki (Finland) in 2009 and a FulBright-Italy Distinguished Fellow at Politecnico di Torino (Italy) in 2010. He was also a visiting fellow at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2013,  Nagoya University (Japan) in 2014, University of Helsinki (Finland) in 2017, and the Karlsruher Institute for Technology (Germany) in 2017. He received several honorary awards, including an honorary certificate by La Seccion de Agrofisica de la Sociedad Cubana de Fisica in Habana (in 1998), editor’s citation for excellence in refereeing from the American Geophysical Union (in 2008), the Macelwane medal and became thereafter a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (in 2002).  In 2012, he received the Hydrologic Science Award from the American Geophysical Union and in 2018, he received the John Dalton medal from the European Geosciences Union.  He served as the Secretary General for the Hydrologic Science Section at the American Geophysical Union (2006-2008).  Research in Katul's lab focuses on micro-meteorology and near-surface hydrology with emphasis on heat, momentum, carbon dioxide, water vapor, ozone, particulate matter (including aerosols, pollen, and seeds) and water transport in the soil-plant-atmosphere system as well as their implications to a plethora of hydrological, ecological, atmospheric and climate change related problems.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Theodore S. Coile Distinguished Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology
  • Professor of Hydrology
  • Professor in the Division of Marine Science and Conservation
  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 1993

Research Interests

Micrometeorology and surface hydrology, Carbon and water cycling, and Environmental fluid dynamics

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • John Dalton Medal. European Geosciences Union. 2018
  • Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award. World Meteorological Organization. 2012
  • Hydrologic Sciences Award. American Geophysical Union. 2012
  • Scientific and Technological Achievement Award. United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2012
  • Fulbright Distinguished Chair (Torino, Italy). Council for International Exchange of Scholars. 2010
  • Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. American Geophysical Union. 2002
  • James B. Macelwane Medalists. American Geophysical Union. 2002
  • Inspirational Teaching. The Students of the Nicholas School of the Environment. 1994

Courses Taught

  • ENVIRON 391: Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 464: Mathematics of Dynamical Systems Describing Complex Environmental Phenomena: A Modern Crystal Ball?
  • ENVIRON 734L: Watershed Hydrology
  • ENVIRON 764: Applied Differential Equations in Environmental Sciences
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Katul, GG; Manes, C; Porporato, A; Bou-Zeid, E; Chamecki, M, Bottlenecks in turbulent kinetic energy spectra predicted from structure function inflections using the Von Kármán-Howarth equation., Physical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, vol 92 no. 3 (2015) [10.1103/physreve.92.033009] [abs].
  • Katul, GG; Porporato, A; Shah, S; Bou-Zeid, E, Two phenomenological constants explain similarity laws in stably stratified turbulence., Physical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, vol 89 no. 2 (2014) [10.1103/physreve.89.023007] [abs].
  • Manzoni, S; Vico, G; Palmroth, S; Porporato, A; Katul, G, Optimization of stomatal conductance for maximum carbon gain under dynamic soil moisture, Advances in Water Resources, vol 62 no. PA (2013), pp. 90-105 [10.1016/j.advwatres.2013.09.020] [abs].
  • Katul, GG; Porporato, A; Manes, C; Meneveau, C, Co-spectrum and mean velocity in turbulent boundary layers, Physics of Fluids, vol 25 no. 9 (2013) [10.1063/1.4821997] [abs].
  • Manzoni, S; Vico, G; Katul, G; Palmroth, S; Jackson, RB; Porporato, A, Hydraulic limits on maximum plant transpiration and the emergence of the safety-efficiency trade-off., The New Phytologist, vol 198 no. 1 (2013), pp. 169-178 [10.1111/nph.12126] [abs].
  • Katul, GG; Konings, AG; Porporato, A, Mean velocity profile in a sheared and thermally stratified atmospheric boundary layer., Phys Rev Lett, vol 107 no. 26 (2011) [10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.268502] [abs].