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

Hsiao-Wen Wang

Visiting Scholar

Hsiao-Wen Wang is an Associate Professor with Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering at National Cheng Kung University. Her research interests include river mechanics and restoration, sediment transport and management, ecohydraulics, water environment planning and assessment, and geomorphology. She is currently working on resolving the conflicts related to land use between green energy and other core necessities for sustainability through science combined with local wisdom to emphasize the need to blend environmental management and mitigation to address problems known today and predicted for the future. Hsiao-Wen got her PhD in National Taiwan University in 2006 and was a post-doctoral researcher at UC Berkeley in 2007 and 2008 before she joined National Cheng Kung University. She is now a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley through the Fulbright Senior Research Program.


Contact Email: whw82 AT

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

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. 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, sooyeon AT

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 (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

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.


Celina Balderas Guzman

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

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. 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.

Kelsey Wilson

Kelsey's research focuses on urban water issues including ecological alternatives for treating brewery wastewater. Her research looks at policy, permitting and watershed scale land use planning initiatives.  Kelsey earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and has worked in many different aspects of the Environmental Field for the past eight years, before coming to University of California Berkeley to obtain her master's in Environmental Planning. 

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.

Chantha Oeurng

Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar

Chantha’s research focus on environmental changes from water infrastructure development, land use change, and climate change on water resources of the Mekong’s Tonle Sap Lake basin. He has mainly worked on the impacts of water infrastructures development on the change in flow and water quality dynamics. He is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley through the Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Program as he received his Ph.D in Hydrology, Water Resources and Environment from University of Toulouse, France. He has obtained master in water resources engineering from the University of Liège, Belgium and bachelor of water resources engineering from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia. Dr. Chantha Oeurng joined the Mekong Flows group of the University of Canterbury New Zealand, as a Postdoctoral Fellow in water resources and climate change. Currently, he works at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia as a Vice Dean/Senior Researcher at the Faculty of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering.