Director, Environmental Science and Environmental Studies

Delphis F. Levia, Ph.D.Ecohydrology Group

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

 

Contact information
Department of Geography
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716-2541
Tel: 1-302-831-3218
Fax: 1-302-831-6654
Email: dlevia@udel.edu

 

Beech blight aphids

2013 cover photo of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research by Prof. Levia. Beech blight aphids on a mature beech tree in Maryland (Used with permission of NRC Press, 2013)

Woolly beech aphids - Germany

Woolly beech aphids on a beech sapling in Germany

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

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

Research site in the Swiss Alps

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

The Ecohydrology Group at the University of Delaware seeks to better understand the effects of forest canopies on the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. 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, and the beech forests of east-central Germany. Building upon initial NSF funding, further work is proposed and 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.

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 influence of the broadleaved deciduous canopy on the fluxes of dissolved organic matter to the forest floor across time scales (with Prof. S. Inamdar, University of Delaware, funded by US NSF)
  • Achieving sustainability in alpine and subalpine regions: the ecological, climatic, and human dimensions of the avalanche hazard (with Drs. Bebi and Schneebeli and other American colleagues; initial funding by US NSF with a follow-up proposal in preparation)
  • Formulation of a 7Be radioisotope budget for deciduous forests in relation to rainfall partitioning and sediment fingerprinting (with Dr. D. Karwan, Stroud Water Resources Center, as part of the Christina River Basin CZO [CRB-CZO], funded by US NSF)

Other research includes using the LaserBark™ automated tree measurement system (co-invented by the Prof. Levia, patent pending) to better understand stemflow dynamics and whole-tree interception (with Prof. J. Van Stan of Georgia Southern University, formerly an Ecohydrology Group member, funded by US NSF through CRB-CZO), 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), and particulate matter dynamics in European beech forests (with Prof. B. Michalzik, University of Jena, funded by Humboldt Foundation.

Current group members: Del Levia (PI), Diana Karwan and Carl Rosier (Postdoctoral researchers), Fen Zhang (Visiting Scholar), Courtney Siegert (PhD student), Alex Remar (MS student), Katie Jungehenn (BS student), Alexey Shiklomanov (BS student), and Emma Sweeney (BS student).

 

 

Group news:

Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry

John Van Stan, Ph.D., takes tenure-track Assistant Professorship at Georgia Southern University

Ethan Frost, Ph.D., takes tenure-track Assistant Professorship at Millersville University

Courtney Siegert, Ph.D. student, awarded US NSF doctoral dissertation improvement grant

Professor Levia’s book entitled Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Past Research and Future Directions published by Springer

Undergraduate researchers Carrie Scheick, Michelle Lepori-Bui, and Andy Price graduate with environmental science degrees May 2012