Dr. Laura Toran
Temple University
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Philadelphia, PA 19122


1982 – 1986 Univ. of Wisconsin Madison, WI
Ph.D. Geology
THESIS: Sulfate contamination in groundwater near an underground mine:             hydrogeochemical modeling, microbiology, and isotope geochemistry

1976 – 1980 Macalester College St. Paul, MN
B.A. Geology Summa Cum Laude

Professional experience
1997 – present Temple University Dept of Earth and Environmental Science Philadelphia, PA
Weeks Chair in Environmental Geology, Professor

2021-2023 Executive Editor, Groundwater

2011-2012 National Sciences Foundation
Program Officer Hydrologic Sciences (rotator)

1986 – 1997 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, TN
Wigner Fellow and Research Associate

1980 – 1982 U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division Reston, VA
Research associate for Dr. William Back

Awards Received
• Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2005
• Weeks Chair in Environmental Geology (Temple University)
• Deans Distinguished Research Award, College of Science and Technology, 2018
• American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, High Value Research Award, 2018
• Deans Distinguished Teaching Award, 2015
• University Service Award, 2012
• Faculty Mentor Award, Temple College of Science and Technology 2007
• Wigner Fellowship (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
• American Geophysical Union Horton Research Grant, 1985

Recent Funding

2022-2025 Toran, L. Delaware River Watershed Initiative – Phase 2+.  $655,000.  William Penn Foundation.

2020-2025  Welty, Claire, Toran, L. et al.  Urban Critical Zone processes along the Piedmont-Costal Plain transition.  National Science Foundation, $228, 219 (Temple portion)

2019-2024 Martin, J., Toran, L., Covington, M. CZ RCN: Research coordination in carbonate critical zones. National Science Foundation, $499,121

2018-2025 Toran, L. Evaluating urban stream stressors and mitigation strategies in the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Cluster.  William Penn Foundation, $1,117,896 + $665,000

2016-2023 Toran, L,  McKenzie, E., Caplan, J., Nyquist, J. and Eisenmann, S.  Stormwater control management and monitoring.  Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, IDEA grant and subcontract from AECOM. $4,598,953

2020-2022 McKenzie, E.R.; Toran, L. Stormwater Nitrogen Management – Considering The Intersection Between Stormwater Management Practice (Smp) Design And Nitrogen Speciation.  Pennsylvania Sea Grant, $120,000

2016-2018 Toran, L. Wissahickon Watershed Improvement Plan.  Wm Penn Foundation through Pennsylvania Environmental Council. $497,000

2016-2020. Toran, L, Nyquist, JE, Davatzes, AK, and Brandt, CB. GP Impact: Career Paths for Urban Geoscientists: Recruitment, Retention, and Apprenticeship. National Science Foundation (NSF) $358,773.

2014-2018 Toran, L and Herman, E.K. A new classification system for karst springs using storm hysteresis. National Science Foundation (NSF) $319,478.

2013-2018 Featherstone, J., Mandarano, L., Toran, L., Weir, M. Performance and Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management Approaches in the Urban Context: A Philadelphia Case Study, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). $999,995.

Peer-Reviewed Publications (last 10 y only) for manuscript links, see research pages

Kirker, A.N. and Toran, L., 2023. When impervious cover doesn’t predict urban runoff: Lessons from distributed overland flow modeling. Journal of Hydrology, 621, p.129539. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.129539

Donaghue, A.G., Morgan, N., Toran, L, and McKenzie, E.R., 2023. In situ monitoring of internal water storage reveals nitrogen first flush phenomena, intermittent denitrification, and seasonal ammonium flushing. Journal of Environmental Management, 341: 117957.

Oswald, C.J., Kelleher, C., Ledford, S.H., Hopkins, K.G., Sytsma, A., Tetzlaff, D., Toran, L., Voter, C., 2023.  Integrating urban water fluxes and moving beyond impervious surface cover: A review.  Journal of Hydrology, 618:

Eric Humphrey, C.E., Gardner, P.M., Spangler, L.E., Nelson, N.C., Toran, L Solomon, D.K., 2023. Quantifying stream-loss recovery in a spring using dual-tracer injections in the Snake Creek Drainage, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA. Hydrogeology Journal, 31: 1-16.

Kirker, A.N. and Toran, L. 2023.  Dual isotopes of nitrate reveal varying flow paths to stormwater retention basins.  Catena 220: 106681.

Covington, M.D., Martin, J.D., Toran, L., Macalady, J.L., Sekhon, N., Sullivan, P.L., Garcia Jr., A.A., Heffernan, J.B., and Graham, W.D.  2022. Carbonates in the Critical Zone.  Earth’s Future  11(1) DOI: 10.1029/2022EF002765

Pope, G.G., Nyquist, J.E., and Toran, L. 2022. Time lapse resistivity monitoring of a simulated runoff test in a bioswale located in Philadelphia, PA.  Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment.

Donaghue, A.G. ,Morgan, N., Toran, L, and McKenzie, E.R., 2022. The impact of bioretention column internal water storage underdrain height on denitrification under continuous and transient flow. Water Research, 214: 118205.

Ledford, S.H. Diamond, J.S., and Toran, L. 2021. Large spatiotemporal variability in metabolic regimes for an urban stream draining four wastewater treatment plants with implications for dissolved oxygen monitoring. PLOS ONE.

Martin, J.B., Carton De Grammont, P., Covington, M.D., and Toran, L. 2021. A new focus on the neglected carbonate critical zone.  EOS, 102.

Beganskas, S., and Toran, L. 2021. Urban stream temperature patterns: Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the Philadelphia region, Pennsylvania, USA. Hydrological Processes. 35(2): e14039

Ledford, S.H. Kurz, M., and Toran, L. 2021. Contrasting Raz–Rru stream metabolism and nutrient uptake downstream of urban wastewater effluent sites. Freshwater Science.  40(1): 103-119

Beganskas, S., Ryan, R.J., Walters, E., Soro, M., Cushman, E., and Toran, L.  2021 Coupling PCSWMM and WASP to Evaluate Green Stormwater Infrastructure Impacts to Storm Sediment Loads in an Urban Watershed.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  57 (1): 134-153.

Martin, J.B., Covington, M., Toran, L., Carton de Grammont, P., and Wicks, C.  2021. Carbonate Critical Zone Research Coordination Network Workshop Report.  Karst Waters Institute Special Publication 20, 19 pp.

Pearsall, H. et al., 2021.  Perspective: Advancing equitable health and well-being across urban-rural sustainable infrastructure systems.  Urban Sustainability 1(1): 1-6.

Berglund, J.L., Toran, L. and Herman, E.K., 2020. Can Karst Conduit Models be Calibrated? A Dual Approach Using Dye Tracing and Temperature. Groundwater.

Ledford, S.H. and Toran, L. 2020. Downstream evolution of wastewater treatment plan nutrient signals using high-temporal monitoring.  Hydrological Processes 34: 852-864.

Toran, L. 2019. Groundwater-surface water interactions. In. Maurice, P. ed. Encyclopedia of Encyclopedia of Water: Science, Technology, and Society. John Wiley and Sons.

Guo, L., Lin, H., Fan, B., Nyquist, J., Toran, L., Mount, G.J., 2019. Preferential flow through shallow fractured bedrock and a 3D fill-and-spill model of hillslope subsurface hydrology. Journal of Hydrology 576: 430-442.

Rossi, R.J. and Toran, L. 2019. Exploring the potential for groundwater inundation in coastal US cities due to interactions between sewer infrastructure and global change. Environmental Earth Sciences 78: 258.

Berglund, J.L., Toran, L., and Herman, E.K. 2019. Deducing Flow Path Mixing by Storm-Induced Bulk Chemistry and REE Variations in Two Karst Springs: With Trends Like These Who Needs Anomalies? Journal of Hydrology, 571: 349-364.

Arnold, E., & Toran, L. 2018. Effects of Bank Vegetation and Incision on Erosion Rates in an Urban Stream. Water, 10(4), 482.

Nyquist, J. E., Toran, L., Pitman, L., Guo, L., & Lin, H. 2018. Testing the fill-and-spill model of subsurface lateral flow using ground-penetrating radar and dye tracing. Vadose Zone Journal, 17(1).

Berglund, J.L., Toran, L., and Herman, E.K.  2018. Using stable isotopes to distinguish sinkhole and diffuse storm infiltration in two adjacent springs. In Sasowsky, I.D., Byle, M. and Land, L. Eds.  15th Sinkhole Conference Proceedings.  National Cave and Karst Research Institute.

Price, J. R., Ledford, S. H., Ryan, M. O., Toran, L., & Sales, C. M. 2018. Wastewater treatment plant effluent introduces recoverable shifts in microbial community composition in receiving streams. Science of the Total Environment, 613, 1104-1116.

Toran, L., Herman, E.K., and Berglund, J.L. 2018. Advances in monitoring to understand flow paths in karst:  comparison of historic and recent data from the Valley and Ridge of Pennsylvania. In: Younos, T., Schreiber, M., Kosic-Ficco, K. Eds.  2018.  Karst Water Environment:  Advances in Research, Management and Policy.  Handbook of Environmental Chemistry Series V 68. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer International.

Toran, L. and Jedrzejczyk , C. 2017.  Water level monitoring to assess the effectiveness of stormwater infiltration trenches.  Environmental and Engineering Geosciences. 23(2): 113-124.

Toran, L. 2016. Water level loggers as a low-cost tool for monitoring of stormwater control measures. Water. 8, 346; doi:10.3390/w8080346 (10 pp)

Klein, TI, and Toran, L. 2016. Collocation of hydrological and biological attenuation of nitrate in an urban stream. Hydrological Processes. 30(17): 2948-2957.

Toran, L., and Reisch, C. E., 2014. Characterizing snowmelt anomalies in hydrochemographs of a karst spring, Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania (USA): evidence for a changing recharge pathways. Environmental Earth Science 72(1): 47-58.

Toran, L., and Reisch, C. E., 2013. Using Stormwater Hysteresis to Characterize Karst Spring Discharge. Ground Water 51: 575-587.

Toran, L., Hughes, B., Nyquist, J., and Ryan, R., 2013. Freeze Core Sampling to Validate Time‐Lapse Resistivity Monitoring of the Hyporheic Zone. Ground Water, 51: 635-640.

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