Ashley M. Matheny

PhD, Civil Engineering: hydrology 2016

MS, Civil Engineering: hydrology, 2013

BS, Civil Engineering: structural engineering, 2010

BA Spanish, 2010

Dr. Matheny is passionate about exploring the role vegetation plays in coupling the subsurface to the biosphere and atmosphere. She conducts research spanning multiple spatiotemporal scales to understand, quantify, and model the role of trees in the water and carbon cycles.

More about Matheny:

Graduate Students

Ana María Restrepo Acevedo

PhD expected 2023























Maria Ulatowski

PhD expected 2025

BS Civil Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2019

Maria is interested in studying small scale plant hydraulic traits to improve large scale representations of forest ecosystems within land surface models. She is focused on how plant hydraulic strategies and varying environmental conditions influence mangrove forest ecosystem’s role in the carbon and water cycle and the surface energy balance. Her current research explores how mangrove hydraulic traits and salinity affect mangrove transpiration and productivity and how salinity and climate shape trait plasticity among populations and species. She aims to link field and experimental data to parametrize a plant hydrodynamics model to improve mangrove forests’ role in surface energy balance simulations within land surface models.




Suvan Cabraal

PhD expected 2025

BS Geosystems Engineering and Hydrology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2019

Suvan’s passion and interest lie in understanding the connection between the Earth’s forests and its climate. This is reflected in his research, which aims to expand our understanding of this connection through combining field work, modeling, and remote sensing. In addition, Suvan’s graduate research also further develops remote sensing instruments, which have already been used in his own and other academic studies.

Myriam Loving

MS expected 2023

Myriam is interested in understanding phytoremediation by mangroves and how surrounding ecosystems (e.g., corals and seagrass beds) are impacted. Her current research aims to understand the potential of red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) as phytoremediators and more specifically, how metal sorption affects transpiration rates and overall plant health.









Noah Benitez-Nelson

PhD expected 2027

B.S. Civil Engineering (Minors: Geography, Geology), University of South Carolina, 2021

Noah aims to combine multidisciplinary research to guide civil engineering practices in preserving natural processes.  His graduate research will investigate the role of vegetation in moderating local microclimates and modifying active surface processes.










Former Students

Lily Beaman

MS awarded 2022







Jack McLaughlin

MS awarded 2022











Austin Rechner

MS awarded 2020
B.S. Environmental Engineering and Biology Minor, Ohio State University, 2017


Austin’s research interests include examining greenhouse gas fluxes of various wetland ecosystems including comparing the different fluxes of disturbed versus undisturbed sites. Austin’s current research focuses on how vegetation affects the hydrology of the surrounding ecosystems more specifically, on how cedar and cypress trees affect the hydrologic balance.


Lingcheng Li

(Co-supervised with Dr. Zong-Liang Yang)

Ph.D. 2020

M.S. Hydrology and Water Resource science, Wuhan University, China, 2015
B.E. Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering, Wuhan University, China, 2015


Lingcheng is interested in understanding the role of plant hydrodynamics on the water cycle and land-atmosphere interaction. His graduate research seeks to represent the plant hydrodynamics in the large-scale land surface modeling, and explore the influence of plant hydrodynamics on the hydrological cycle.

Lingcheng’s researchgate: