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Postdoctoral Fellows

Graduate Students


Vaishnavi Varikuti

Co-advised by Dr. Daniel Hirmas

I earned my BS degree in Agricultural Sciences from Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, India. After graduation, I was highly aspired to study abroad and thus joined South Dakota State University, Brookings to get my MS degree in Plant Sciences. As a PhD student at Texas Tech University under the supervision of Drs. Daniel Hirmas and Hoori Ajami, my research is focused on understanding the effects of interactions between roots, soil, and bedrock on the evolution of soil hydraulic properties, distribution of soil chemical and physical properties, and hydrological functioning of the critical zone.


Eric Wineteer

As an Environmental Sciences PhD student at UC Riverside, I use remotely sensed data to constrain hydrologic models and better understand groundwater recharge. In my previous position as a consulting engineer, I developed improved statistical downscaling techniques to predict the impact of climate change on water quality, and its implications for infrastructure planning. I have extensive experience in high performance computing, particularly in parallel programming with Python. I recived my B.S. in Civil Engineering and my M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the Northeastern University. 

Undergraduate Students


Dr. Juan S. Acero Triana

Dr. Acero Triana completed his PhD in Ag & Bio Engineering with a concentration in Computational Science and Engineering at UIUC (US) and an MSc in Applied Hydrometeorology at RSHU (RU). He joined the Department of Environmental Sciences in 2020, where his research studies ecohydrological processes across highly managed agroecosystems and lake-watershed interactions integrating numerical models and data analytics tools. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop robust decision support systems that help decision-makers and stakeholders to assess management alternatives aimed at enhancing watershed ecosystem services under climate and land-use change scenarios.



Alyssa Duro

MS student (2020-2023) - Co-advised by Dr. Daniel Hirmas
Thesis title: Topographic Correction of Proximally-Sensed Visible Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectra for High Resolution Soil Organic Carbon Mapping


Dr. Sandra Armengol Vall

Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2023) 

Now: Research Scientist at Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia, Spain


Dr. Julio César Pachón Maldonado

Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2023) -Co-advised by Dr. Daniel Hirmas

Now: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia

Yusen photo.jpg

Dr. Yusen Yuan 

Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2023)
Now: Postdoctoral Fellow, New Mexico State University


Lily Caplon-Guin

Lily is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Bioengineering. She is currently working in Python to analyze USGS well data to quantify groundwater dynamics in the Central Valley. She has previous research experience working in an Entomology lab studying population and community ecology of alpine freshwater habitats where she sorted and identified freshwater invertebrates. Lily hopes to pursue a career relating to research in agricultural sciences in the future.


Valerie Gonzales

Valerie is a 4th year Environmental Sciences major. My research interests include understanding temporal variability of groundwater chemistry. I have been analyzing groundwater and surface water data in the lab for the Kaweah River watershed project. 


Jose Angel Pulido

 I am pursuing a BS in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Digital Signal Processing from the University of California, Riverside. My research uses data analytic tools to study stream flow dynamics between historical and projected climate scenario data.

Co-advised by Dr. Daniel Hirmas

Dr. Lin Chen 

Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2024) - Co-advised by Dr. Jirka Simunek and Dr. Scott Bradford

Now: Research Scientist at Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, China


Dr. Matthew Amato

Dr. Matthew Amato earned his PhD and MS degrees in Environmental Science from Rutgers University before joining UCR as a postdoctoral researcher. Dr. Amato specializes in applying statistical and numerical modeling techniques to study ecohydrological processes in Earth’s critical zone. His current research integrates data from soil-climate networks and remote sensing products to explore how plants and climate jointly influence soil structure and its impact on the hydrological cycle. The overarching goal of his research is to refine the physical and spatial representation of soil-plant-climate interactions in land surface models, and ultimately to improve forecasts of global environmental change. 


Dr. Sakiur Rahman 

Co-advised by Dr. Jirka Šimunek and Dr. Scott Bradford

Dr. Sakiur Rahman, is a postdoctoral researcher, working with Dr. Jirka Šimunek, Dr. Scott Bradford, and Dr. Hoori Ajami at the Department of Environmental Sciences, at UCR. His research is focused on developing a new computationally efficient integrated watershed simulation code. Sakiur earned his PhD from Kumamoto University and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the RIKEN Center for Computational Sciences in Japan. His research also involves applications of stochastic, data assimilation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches for modeling of hydrological processes. His focus is to create a robust, hybrid modeling framework by integrating AI, numerical models, and isotopes to enhance the understanding and forecasting of hydrological processes.


Dr. Sanghyun Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow (2022)
Now: ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, USDA ARS Oklahoma


Clarissa Carretta

BS in Geology, Junior Specialist  (2022)


William Scott Burgess  

BS in Mathematics, Digital Agricultural Fellow (2021-2022)


Maxim Shapovalov 

BS in Earth & Planetary Sciences (2021-2022)

Now: MS student, University of Oregon

Dr. Adam Schreiner- McGraw

Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2021)

Now: Research Hydrologist, USDA ARS Missouri 


Kiarash Ehsani


MS in Environmental Sciences (2019-2020)


Aarushi Jha 

MS in Environmental Sciences (2018-2020)

Thesis Title: Application of a Semi-Distributed Hydrologic Model to Understand Hydrologic Flux Partitioning of an Arid, Highly Managed Watershed


Jacob Palmer

M.Eng in Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Now: PhD Student at Texas State University, San Marco


Dr. Conrad Wasko

Visiting scholar, University of Melbourne


Dr. Clare Stephens

Visiting scholar, University of New South Wales

  • Kelly Perez (2019): (UCR, undergraduate researcher, groundwater monitoring)

  • Carly Pierce (2018): (UCR, undergraduate researcher, Land cover change)

  • Mohamed Eissa (2017): (UCR, undergraduate researcher, Semi-distributed modeling)

  • Kyle Fructuoso (2017): (UCR, undergraduate researcher, Seawater intrusion)

  • Austin Fimbres (2017): (UCR, undergraduate researcher, Stream flow analysis)

  • Huihai Wang (2017): (UCR, undergraduate researcher, Hydrologic modeling)

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