NASA satellite view of clouds over North America

Hydrology & Fluid Dynamics

Duke environmental engineering faculty in the Hydrology and Fluid Dynamics research group pursue some of the most pressing open problems in environmental fluid dynamics, hydrology and water resources. We take a multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach to these complex problems, ranging from advanced theoretical computational analyses to unique laboratory and local and global field experiments.

Professor Ana Barros works with equipment on the roof of Hudson Hall

Research Areas

  • Hydrometeorology: Rainfall dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, remote sensing
  • Eco-hydrology: Impact of hydroclimatic variability on ecosystems and feedbacks on the hydrologic cycle and local climate
  • Contaminant transport hydrology: Surface-subsurface interactions
  • Water cycle dynamics and human health, and stochastic hydrology

Related Study Opportunities

PhD and Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Engineering

Master of Engineering (MEng) in Environmental Engineering

Duke's MEng in Environmental Engineering offers concentrations in:

  • Environmental Engineering and Public Policy
  • Environmental Process Engineering
  • Ecohydrology and Environmental Fluid Dynamics

Undergraduate Research

Duke BSE degree programs for students interested in studying and conducting research in hydrology include:

Duke Engineering also offers summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) for students enrolled at other institutions.

Primary Faculty

Ana P. Barros

Ana P. Barros

Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Physics of water cycle processes in mountainous regions with a focus on cloud formation and precipitation; remote sensing of the environment using microwave and infrared sensors; long– range predictability and risk analysis of natural hazards; computational environmental fluid...

Andrew Bragg

Andrew Bragg

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Fundamental and applied problems in fluid dynamics, especially turbulence, and its role in environmental systems.

Nathaniel Chaney

Nathaniel Chaney

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Hydrology, Earth system science, soil science, ecology, geomorphology, numerical modeling, high performance computing, machine learning, environmental data delivery and data assimilation

Zbigniew J. Kabala

Zbigniew J. Kabala

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Stochastic and deterministic theory of fluid flow and contaminant transport in saturated and unsaturated heterogeneous porous media, theory of related measurements, field and laboratory studies in subsurface hydrogeology, stochastic fields and processes, numerical and analytical...

David E. Schaad

David E. Schaad

Professor of the Practice of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Current research focuses on sustainable engineering, community development, water and wastewater treatment design, stormwater retention/detention and treatment design, hazardous waste remediation, urban hydrology, constructed wetland and stream restoration design, ecological...

Mark Wiesner

Mark Wiesner

James B. Duke Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Membrane processes, nanostructured materials, transport and fate of nanomaterials in the environment, colloidal and interfacial processes, and environmental systems analysis

Secondary Faculty

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle

Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Research Interests: River processes (hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport, ecology) River policy (Clean Water Act, hydropower relicensing, large river management)

James Hench

James Hench

Associate Professor of Oceanography

Research Interests: Environmental fluid mechanics, shallow-water physical oceanography, physical-biological interactions in marine environments, and marine technology

Marc A. Jeuland

Marc A. Jeuland

Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Prasad S. Kasibhatla

Prasad S. Kasibhatla

Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Research Interests: Atmospheric chemistry, Regional and Global Modeling and Atmospheric chemical data analysis

Gabriel G. Katul

Gabriel G. Katul

Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology

Research Interests: Micrometeorology and surface hydrology, Carbon and water cycling, and Environmental fluid dynamics

Mukesh Kumar

Mukesh Kumar

Assistant Professor of Watershed Hydrology in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Wenhong Li

Wenhong Li

Associate Professor of Climate

Research Interests: Dr. Li's research interests focus primarily on climate dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, hydroclimatology, and climate modeling. Her current research is to understand how the hydrological cycle changes in the current and future climate and their impacts on the ecosystems,...

Ram Oren

Ram Oren

Nicholas Professor of Earth Systems Science

Adjunct Faculty

Massimo Germano

Massimo Germano

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Turbulence in fluids and its representation. Multiscale decompositions of turbulent flows. The Navier-Stokes, the Large Eddy and the Reynolds equations. Reynolds modeling and subgrid scale modeling for the Large Eddy Simulation of turbulent flows. Hybrid RANS/LES modeling.

Thilo Hofmann

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Hydrogeology, applied geology, colloids, modeling, inorganic and organic pollutants.

Amilcare Porporato

Amilcare Porporato

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Near-wall turbulence, nonlinear analysis of hydrologic time series, stochastic soil moisture dynamics and water balance, soil-atmosphere interaction, and ecohydrology, complexity in the environment, sustainable use of soil and water resources.

James R. Rigby

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Peter Thornton

Peter Thornton

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Emeritus Faculty

Peter K. Haff

Peter K. Haff

Professor Emeritus

Miguel A. Medina

Miguel A. Medina

Profesor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Contaminant transport hydrology, specifically modeling flow and mass transport across surface/subsurface interfaces and interactions; and international water issues which include transboundary contaminant transport.