Lab Members

Shuhan Shi

Visiting Student Researcher

Shuhan is a Ph.D. Student in Human Geography at Peking University, China. She focuses on traditional water management in Huizhou Area, that is how traditional irrigated facilities or methods reduce the flood and drought risks, and its application in contemporary contexts. As a visiting student researcher at UC Berkeley, she pays attention to practical methods and social aspects of river restoration, including contradictions between ecological targets and people using, NGO activities.

Contact Email: shishuhanpku AT pku.edu.cn

Lei Zhang

Lei Zhang

Post-Doctoral Scholar

Lei Zhang is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and researcher at the International Research Center for Chinese Cultural Heritage Conservation, Tianjin University, China. Her research focuses on how cities on the Yellow River floodplain adapted over centuries to frequent flooding and waterlogging, the traditional locally-developed flood adaptive practices and landscapes, and opportunities to reuse them for stormwater management and urban amenities in contemporary contexts. She received her Ph.D. in human geography and landscape architecture from Peking University and had worked as landscape architect at Turenscape.

Contact email: leizhang AT berkeley.edu

Jennifer Natali (and Dom)

Jennifer Natali

Ph.D. student

Jen's research explores the evolution, stream channel incision and restoration of montane meadows throughout the Sierra Nevada of California.  Through field observation, remote sensing and numerical models, she works to improve our understanding of the geomorphic and hydrologic processes that influence the ecological function of meadows.  To inform restoration planning, conceptual models of meadow stream incision must recognize the interactions of water, sediment, vegetation, climate and geology in creating and maintaining the valley alluvium, elevated water tables and shallow stream channels that define wet meadow habitat.  By understanding driving factors of ecosystem resilience, we can better prioritize restoration investments and apply appropriate techniques to sustain meadow ecosystems as climate shifts alter the hydroregime in temperature-sensitive montane elevations.  

Jen earned a B.A. in English Literature from Smith College and studied Computer Science at Rutgers School of Engineering and Fu School of Engineering at Columbia University. After working as a software engineer and architect for ten years, Jen sought an M.L.A. from UC Berkeley and turned to consulting with local agencies, institutes and non-profits to help understand and communicate approaches to conserve and restore critical watershed, river and ecosystem functions.

Contact Email: jennifer.natali AT gmail.com

Sooyeon Yi

Sooyeon Yi

Ph.D. Student

Sooyeon Yi’s research is focused on the water-energy nexus in the Southwestern US and China. Specifically, she is looking at regional impacts of policies to manage groundwater and restrict State Water Project exports and energy implications of changes to groundwater, hydropower, and reservoir operations in Northern California that might result from reduced exports to Southern California. She is also conducting a comparative study of energy demands of long-distance water transfer projects in California, China, India and Spain, to shed light on environmental and economic conflicts surrounding these projects. She is working with the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Sooyeon received her B.S. and M.S. in Hydrology from University of California, Davis.

 

Contact email:  sooyeon AT berkeley.edu, sooyeon AT lbl.gov

Vicente Tinoco

Vicente Tinoco

Ph.D. Student

Vicente’s research addresses water infrastructure and environment: sustainable reservoir sediment management, flood management, and river restoration. His research is focused on strategic planning for sustainable sediment management in Andean River Basins in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, where several new dams are proposed or under construction, some in areas of high natural hazard and high sediment yield. During his professional experience, Vicente has conducted physical and mathematical models for evaluating river diversion structures, and developed a model for reservoir’s water management. He was lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering, U Cuenca, from 2014 until 2016. Vicente received his BS in Civil Engineering at Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador (2001), and his MSc. In Water Resources Engineering at KULeuven and VUB Universities in Belgium (2014). He was granted a VLIR Scholarship (2012), from the Flemish Government, for his Master studies, a SENESCYT Scholarship (2013), from the Ecuadorian Government, for conducting his Master thesis research, and a Fulbright Scholarship for his PhD studies. While earning his undergraduate degree, he served as Volunteer Firefighter in Cuenca, Ecuador for four years, and one year as Catechist.

Contact email:  vicente.tinoco AT berkeley.edu

Raphael Schmitt

Raphael Schmitt

Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar

Raphael’s research focuses on network-scale sediment connectivity modeling. As a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, Rafael has developed a sediment transport model for large tributaries of the Mekong, and applied the model to explore optimal configurations of dams sites that maximize hydropower production while minimizing cumulative sediment trapping in these rivers. He is currently extending this optimization approach to other large river basins. He was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley as he obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Technical University of Milan. Before his Ph.D. Rafael received a M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science (both from ETH Zurich) and worked on river morphology and water resources management and engineering in various sectors and geographic settings. For his contributions to the field, he received the Young Investigator Award from the International Hydropower Association in 2017.

 

PhD Student

Celina’s research interests focus on urban stormwater landscapes, particularly constructed wetlands. Stormwater pollutes thousands of miles of rivers and streams, along with lakes, bays, and estuaries. It also poses flooding risks. Because climate change is exacerbating the intensity of storms, greater volumes of stormwater are in our future. Celina’s research attempts to find solutions for urban stormwater by bringing together landscape design, planning, and environmental engineering. Previously, she led a two-year, funded research project at MIT that explored new forms of stormwater wetlands and ponds that merge hydrologic, ecologic, and urban functions. She has three degrees from MIT in architecture, urban planning, and urbanism.

Contact email: celina AT mit.edu

Anneliese Sytsma

PhD Student

Anneliese’s research investigates patterns of altered hydrologic pathways across developed landscapes, and explores planning, policy, and design strategies to minimize the negative ecological impacts of these alterations. Through collaboration with a range of municipalities from different geographic and political settings, she seeks to understand and develop solutions for natural and institutional barriers to restoring watershed functions in human altered environments. In particular, she is interested the potential for using of distributed infiltration facilities and green infrastructure techniques for flood reduction, groundwater recharge, and stream base flow augmentation. Benefits of small-scale infiltration systems have been well documented, but applications are generally limited by soil infiltration rate and groundwater levels, conditions that vary widely across urban landscapes. Understanding urban hydrologic pathways and approaches to stormwater management in various contexts will help inform future conjunctive surface water, groundwater, and environmental flow policy and planning efforts. Anneliese received an M.Sc. in environmental engineering from UC Berkeley in 2017 and a B.Sc. in civil/environmental engineering from Seattle University in 2012. Between degrees, she worked as a water resources engineer for an environmental consulting firm in Seattle.