Delphis F. Levia, Ph.D. Professor of Ecohydrology Director, Environmental Science and Environmental Studies
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Delphis Levia

Professor of Ecohydrology and Chair, Department of Geography

Ecohydrology Group logo

Series Editor, Ecological Studies- Analysis and Synthesis (Springer Verlag)
Associate Editor, Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science (Wiley)

Contact information

Department of Geography
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716-2541
Tel: 1-302-831-3218
Fax: 1-302-831-6654
Curriculum Vitae
Environmental Science and Environmental Studies Programs

Swiss Alps

Research site in the Swiss Alps (Photo courtesy, Peter Bebi, SLF)

Zeiss scanning-electron microscope

Zeiss scanning-electron microscope used for analysis of particulate matter in forests

Woolly beech aphids

Woolly beech aphids on a beech sapling in Germany

Scanning electron image

Scanning-electron image of a woolly beech aphid on a leaf. Such images are used to better understand the nitrogen dynamics of beech forests.

Liana Bark Surface

Confocal microscope image of a liana bark surface from Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Image analysis will permit better understanding of ant locomotion in tropical forests.

Prof. Levia and son with Joachim Gauck

Prof. Levia and son with German President, Joachim Gauck, at the Schloss Bellevue in Berlin

Forest Hydrology cover

Comprehensive volume edited by Prof. Levia along with Co-Editors D. Carlyle-Moses and T. Tanaka

The Ecohydrology Group at the University of Delaware seeks to better understand the effects of forest canopies on hydrological and biogeochemical cycling. Our research employs a combination of field and laboratory work and has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Humboldt Foundation, and the Japan Society for Promotion of Science, as well as private foundations. Past and current research has taken place in the temperate broadleaved deciduous forest biome of the eastern United States, teak plantations in Thailand, Japan, Spain, the Swiss Alps near Davos, tropical rainforests of Panama, and beech forests of east-central Germany.

We employ cutting-edge sensors and techniques to answer questions of hydrological and biogeochemical importance, including scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron microscopy, 13C NMR, spectrolysers, disdrometers, spectrophotometers, and terrestrial laser scanning methods.

Our research is centered on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of forests. Just four examples of current research include:

  • The effects of the woolly beech aphid on forest biogeochemistry (with Prof. B. Michalzik, University of Jena, funded by Humboldt Foundation)


  • The North East Water Resources Network (NEWRnet) project to combine cutting-edge science and sensors in watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry with real-time decision-making capabilities for stakeholders (with Profs. D. Leathers, S. Inamdar, K. Messner, W. Ullman, and S. Andres, Delaware Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Universities of Vermont and Rhode Island,  funded by US NSF)


  • Quantification of throughfall drop size distributions in temperate deciduous forests (with Dr. K.Nanko, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan)


  • Ecohydrology of teak plantations in Thailand and Japanese cypress and cedar forests in Japan (with Profs. T. Kumagai, N. Tanaka, Y. Shinohara and Dr. K. Nanko, among others, funded by Nagoya University)


Other research includes using the LaserBark™ automated tree measurement system (co-invented by Prof. Levia, license agreement signed) and high-end microscopes to better understand the cortisphere, an examination on the effects of stemflow on soil respiration, and investigating the influence of stemflow on the bacterial and fungal composition of forest soils (with Dr. Carl Rosier, funded by US NSF through CRB-CZO). Additional projects examine particulate matter dynamics in European beech forests (with Prof. B. Michalzik, University of Jena, funded by Humboldt Foundation) and the phenoseasonal variability of subcanopy PAR and its effect on the understory (with graduate student Janice Hudson). A biomechanics project examines the effect of bark microrelief of tropical trees in Panama in relation to ant mobility (with Dr. S. Yanoviak, University of Louisville and John Van Stan, Georgia Southern University, funded by US NSF).

Building upon initial NSF funding, further work is planned with Drs. Martin Schneebeli and Peter Bebi of the Swiss Federal Snow and Avalanche Institute in Davos, Switzerland, that will examine the coupled dynamics of the shifting avalanche hazard in relation to climate change from both physical and social science perspectives.

Current group members: Del Levia (PI), Pilar Llorens (Visiting Scholar), Carles Cayuela (Visiting Scholar), Asia Dowtin (PhD student), Janice Hudson (PhD student), Sean Hudson (PhD student), Chad Reisch (PhD student), Alyssa Lutgen (BS student), Ilana Schnaufer (BS student), and Kathryn Wheeler (BS student).


Group news:

Dr, Pilar Llorens and Carles Cayuela to be Visiting Scholars of the UD Ecohydrology Group in 2016!!!

Prof. Levia awarded a Japan Society for Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship, to conduct ecohydrology research with Drs. Nanko, Iida, Sun and Sakai.

Professor Levia’s book entitled Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Past Research and Future Directions (published by Springer) has 62,447 chapter downloads as of March 2016!!!

Janice Hudson and Kathryn Wheeler win a OSPA award at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California

Sean Hudson successfully defends his MS thesis and will continue on for a Ph.D.

Asia Dowtin, Ph.D. student, awarded prestigious US NSF DDRI grant

Undergraduate student Kathryn Wheeler awarded prestigious internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory



• Water Science• Eco-hydrology


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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