Martin W Doyle


Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Martin Doyle is a Professor at Duke University focused on the science and policy of rivers and water in the US.  His work ranges from fluid mechanics and sediment transport to infrastructure finance and federal water policy. His first book, The Source (WW Norton, February, 2018), is a history of America’s rivers.  In addition to his role as a professor, Doyle has had several stints in government: in 2015-2016, he moved to the Department of Interior, where he helped establish the Natural Resources Investment Center, an initiative of the Obama Administration to push forward private investment in water infrastructure, enable water marketing, and increase the use of markets and conservation banks for species conservation.  Prior to that, in 2009-2010, he was the inaugural Frederick J. Clarke Scholar at the US Army Corps of Engineers.  During this time, he was located at the Institute for Water Resources and tasked with assisting the Corps with regulatory policy particularly focused on mitigation banking and jurisdiction of ‘waters of the US.’

Over the past 20 years, Doyle’s research has ranged from aging infrastructure and dam removal to emerging environmental markets and impact investing in water.  He is also the director for water policy at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, where is a co-organizer and leader of the annual Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum, which brings together some of the world’s foremost thought leaders each year around the future of water.

He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation, and recognized as a Kavli Fellow for the Frontiers of Science from the US National Academy of Sciences.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information

  • Office Location: Environment Hall 3108, 9 Circuit Drive, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 613-8026
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Purdue University, 2002

Research Interests

Water resources and policy 
Hydrology and Hydraulics 
Infrastructure finance 
Internet of Water 

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • GK Gilbert Award & Meridian Book Award. American Association of Geographers. 2018
  • Fellowship. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 2009
  • Kavli Fellow. National Academy of Science . 2009
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2005
  • J. Warren Nystrom Award. Association of American Geographers. 2004

Courses Taught

  • ENERGY 811: Business and Environment
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 740: Water Resources Planning and Management
  • ENVIRON 741: Water Resources Finance
  • ENVIRON 790: Special Topics
  • ENVIRON 811: Business and Environment
  • ENVIRON 898: Program Area Seminar
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Doyle, MW; Singh, J; Lave, R; Robertson, MM, The morphology of streams restored for market and nonmarket purposes: Insights from a mixed natural-social science approach, Water Resources Research, vol 51 no. 7 (2015), pp. 5603-5622 [10.1002/2015WR017030] [abs].
  • Doyle, MW; Von Windheim, J, Environmental management strategy: four forces analysis., Environmental Management, vol 55 no. 1 (2015), pp. 6-18 [10.1007/s00267-014-0389-5] [abs].
  • Robertson, M; BenDor, TK; Lave, R; Riggsbee, A; Ruhl, JB; Doyle, M, Stacking ecosystem services, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol 12 no. 3 (2014), pp. 186-193 [10.1890/110292] [abs].
  • Doyle, MW; Lave, R; Robertson, MM; Ferguson, J, River Federalism, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol 103 no. 2 (2013), pp. 290-298 [10.1080/00045608.2013.754686] [abs].
  • Doyle, MW, America's Rivers and the American Experiment, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, vol 48 no. 4 (2012), pp. 820-837 [10.1111/j.1752-1688.2012.00652.x] [abs].
  • Womble, P; Doyle, M, The geography of trading ecosystem services: A case study of wetland and stream compensatory mitigation markets, Harvard Environmental Law Review, vol 36 no. 1 (2012), pp. 229-296 [abs].
  • Doyle, MW, Compensatory mitigation for streams under the Clean Water Act, J Amer Water Resources Assoc, vol 48 (2012), pp. 494-509 [abs].
  • Doyle, MW; Douglas Shields, F, Compensatory Mitigation for Streams Under the Clean Water Act: Reassessing Science and Redirecting Policy, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, vol 48 no. 3 (2012), pp. 494-509 [10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00631.x] [abs].
  • Doyle, MW; Bernhardt, ES, What is a stream?, Environmental Science & Technology, vol 45 no. 2 (2011), pp. 354-359 [10.1021/es101273f] [abs].
  • Doyle, MW; Ensign, SH, Alternative reference frames in river system science, Bioscience, vol 59 no. 6 (2009), pp. 499-510 [10.1525/bio.2009.59.6.8] [abs].