Department of Geography
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716-2541
Environmental Science and Environmental Studies Programs
Research site in the Swiss Alps (Photo courtesy, Peter Bebi, SLF)
Zeiss scanning-electron microscope used for analysis of particulate matter in forests
Woolly beech aphids on a beech sapling in Germany
Scanning-electron image of a woolly beech aphid on a leaf. Such images are used to better understand the nitrogen dynamics of beech forests.
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 German President, Joachim Gauck, at the Schloss Bellevue in Berlin
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 improve our knowledge of the hydrology and biogeochemistry of forested ecosystems. 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 Association of American Geographers, as well as private foundations. Past and current research has taken place in the temperate broadleaved deciduous forest biome of the eastern United States, mountainous regions of China on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau, 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 spectroscopy, spectrolysers, disdrometers, 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: (1) using the LaserBark™ automated tree measurement system (co-invented by Prof. Levia, license agreement signed) to better understand the cortisphere; (2) the effects of stemflow on soil respiration and microbial and fungal composition in forest soils in relation to carbon cycling (with Dr. Carl Rosier, funded by US NSF through CRB-CZO); (3) examining bark microrelief on 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); and (4) particulate matter dynamics in European beech forests (with Prof. B. Michalzik, University of Jena, funded by Humboldt Foundation).
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), Asia Dowtin (PhD student), Janice Hudson (MS student), Sean Hudson (MS student), Katie Junghenn (BS student), Paul Leininger (BS student), and Nathaly Rodriguez (BS student).
Dr, Pilar Llorens and Prof. Levia’s research project on ecohydrology of Mediterranean forests is funded by Spanish National Science Foundation
Prof. Levia named as Guest Professor at Nagoya University, Japan to conduct ecohydrology research with Prof. Tomo Kumagai
Professor Levia’s book entitled Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Past Research and Future Directions (published by Springer) has 35,006 chapter downloads as of May 31, 2014!!!
Courtney Siegert, Ph.D., takes tenure-track Assistant Professorship in Forest Hydrology at Mississippi State University
Asia Dowtin, Ph.D. student, awarded AWRA research grant
Undergraduate student Alexey Shiklomanov and Prof. Levia publish stemflow acid neutralization paper in Environmental Pollution