Lab Members

Faisal Ashraf

Visiting PhD Student

Faisal’s Research involves quantifying the impacts of changing climate and hydropower reservoir operations on river regimes. Specifically, he is analysing the impacts of increasing penetration of renewables (wind, solar, etc.) on sub-daily flow conditions of the major regulated rivers in the Nordic region. Faisal’s PhD project also includes hydraulic and fish habitat modelling for optimization of hydropower reservoir operations. He is also working with natural resources institute of Finland (LUKE) and Finnish Environmental institute (SYKE) on other research projects related to management of hydropower regulated watershed in Finland. He is Currently a PhD candidate at Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland. Faisal received his B.E in Civil Engineering from University of Kashmir, India and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from University of Oulu, Finland.

Alev Bilginsoy

Masters Student

Alev is a Master's student interested in climate change adaptation methods for urban watersheds and riverfront communities. Previously, Alev worked for Coastal Watershed Council in Santa Cruz, designing and coordinating water quality monitoring and pollution prevention programs that address regulatory requirements while engaging youth and adults in science education. She has a B.S. in City and Metropolitan Planning and B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Utah. 

Tyler Nodine

A Master's Student in RiverLab, Tyler is interested in relationships between physical processes and ecological function at landscape and watershed scales. His current research focuses on the habitat impacts of dams in the Columbia basin to inform management alternatives for the Columbia River Treaty, a transboundary water agreement between the U.S. and Canada. Tyler’s interests encompass ecological restoration, floodplain connectivity, salmon ecology, remote sensing and spatial analysis. Tyler received a B.Sc. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz and has worked in watershed restoration, invasive plant control, ornithology and fisheries. Before graduate school he worked for NOAA Fisheries in Seattle, WA assessing salmon habitat capacity and restoration potential in the Columbia River basin.

Jennifer Natali (and Dom)

Jennifer Natali

Ph.D. Candidate

Jen's research explores interactions of sediment, water, and vegetation in montane meadows of California's Sierra Nevada.  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. By understanding driving factors of ecosystem resilience, we can better prioritize restoration investments and apply techniques to sustain meadow ecosystems and understand their role as hydrologic refugia with climate shifts. Jen earned a B.A. from Smith College. After working as a software engineer for ten years, Jen sought an M.L.A. from UC Berkeley and now works toward a Ph.D. that will inform management of watershed, river and ecosystem functions.

Contact Email: jennifer.natali AT

Sooyeon Yi

Sooyeon Yi

Ph.D. Candidate

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, sooyeon AT

Vicente Tinoco

Vicente Tinoco

Ph.D. Candidate

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 (2011), 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

Celina Balderas Guzman

Ph.D. Candidate

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

Anneliese Sytsma

Ph.D. Candidate

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. 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.