New Publication in Water Research

Berger, A., R. Valenca, Y. Miao, S. Ravi, and S. Mohanty (2019), Nitrate removal in biochar-augmented woodchip biofilters: Effect of rainfall extremes, Water Research, [Elsevier, IF: 8.5]

Stormwater biofilters have been increasingly used to mitigate the impact of climate change on the export of contaminants including nitrate to water bodies. Yet, their performance is rarely tested under high-intensity rainfall events, which are predicted to occur more frequently under climate change scenarios. Overall, our results show that biochar could increase the resiliency of woodchip biofilters for denitrification in high-intensity rainfall events thereby mitigating the water quality degradation during climate change.

New Publication in Landscape Ecology

Wang G, J. Li , and S. Ravi (2019), A combined grazing and fire management may reverse woody shrub encroachment in desert grasslands, Landscape Ecology, [Springer, IF: 4.5]

Fire and controlled grazing have been widely adopted as management interventions to counteract woody shrub proliferation in many arid and semiarid grassland systems. The actual intensity of grazing and fire, along with the timing of the interventions, however, are difficult to determine in practice. This study aims to establish model simulations to access the long-term landscape changes under different land management scenarios. We developed a cellular automata model to evaluate landscape dynamics in response to scenarios of grazing, fire, time of intervention, and initial coverage of grasses and shrubs.

New funding: Solar and Agriculture Co-Location in Of-Grid and Remote Locations (DOE)

Chong Seok Choi (graduate student) installing sensors at one of our sites.

The objective of this work is to produce and disseminate analysis and results describing commercial solar co-location optimal conditions, cost metrics, effective co-location implementation and siting strategies through desktop and field studies of solar and agricultural co-location, specifically in the context of remote, off-grid locations, and developing countries.

New lab publication






Ravi. S.H. Gonzales*, I. Buynevich,  J. Li, J. Sankey, D. Dukes* and G. Wang (2019), On the development of a magnetic susceptibility-based tracer for  sediment transport research, Earth Surface Processes & Landforms, [Wiley, IF: 3.75]

A novel metal tracer‐based methodology for estimating aeolian sediment redistribution, using spatio‐temporal measurements of low‐field magnetic susceptibility (MS). This experiment represents the first step toward the development of a cost‐effective and non‐destructive tracer‐based approach to estimate the transport and redistribution of sediment by aeolian processes.

Lab Publication: Wang et al. (2018) in Ecosystems

Wang et al. (2018) in Ecosystems show that prescribed fire facilitates the remobilization of nutrient-enriched soil from shrub microsites to grass and bare microsites and thereby reduces the spatial heterogeneity of soil resources in a grassland encroached by shrubs in the Chihuahuan desert.


Wang*., G., J. Li,   S. RaviD. Dukes*, H. Gonzales*, and J. Sankey (2018), Post-fire redistribution of  soil carbon and nitrogen at a grassland-shrubland ecotone, Ecosystems,  [Springer, IF: 4.2]

Lab publication: Gonzales et al. in Ecohydrology (2018)

Gonzales et al. in Ecohydrology (2018) used a computational fluid dynamics modeling approach to investigate the sediment trapping efficiencies of vegetation canopies in a grassland encroached by shrubs and related the results to spatial heterogeneity in soil texture and infiltration.


Gonzales*, H., S. Ravi, J, Li and J. Sankey (2018), Ecohydrological implications of  sediment trapping by sparse vegetation in drylands: A CFD approach, Ecohydrology,

Undergrad publication – Trifunovic et al. (2018)

Interesting paper by Branimir (Undergraduate research assistant, BS Environmental Science 2017)

Large‐scale application of biochar has been promoted as a strategy for improving soil quality in agricultural and contaminated lands, as biochar has the potential to alter soil physical and biogeochemical properties. Biochar at different concentrations has been shown to have inconsistent effects on soil hydrological properties, yet the cause of the inconsistency is not well understood. Trifunovic et al., investigated the relative roles of biochar size and concentration on hydraulic properties of a model geomedia.

Congrats Branko ! Branimir is currently a graduate student (Department of Plant & Soil) at the University of Delaware


Trifunovic, B., Gonzales, H.,  S. Ravi, and B. Sharratt (2018), Dynamic effects of biochar concentration and particle size on hydraulic properties of biochar – amended sand, Land Degradation & Development29(4), 884-893 [Wiley, IF: 9.8]