My research group broadly aims to understand the role of natural and built infrastructure in the cycling of pollutants and protecting our water resources as nature-based solutions. Specifically, our current work explores the interactions between hydrologic processes and biogeochemical cycles across terrestrial-aquatic interfaces (such as wetlands, the vadose zone, and the hyporheic zone) from site to watershed to continental scales using a combination of data synthesis, process-based models, geospatial analysis, and machine/deep learning. We are deeply interested in how the functionality of these ‘reactive interfaces’ are affected by climate change and other anthropogenic pressures and how this ultimately will affect the quality of our water resources. Our work aims to address questions of how we can sustainably manage and use these ecosystems at large scales while balancing societal and environmental tradeoffs.
Now recruiting two graduate students for fall 2024 – see *here* for more information.
- Cheng, F., Park, J., Kumar, M., and Basu, N. 2023. Disconnectivity matters: The outsized role of small ephemeral wetlands in landscape-scale nutrient retention. Environmental Research Letters. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/acab17
- Cheng, F., Gall, H., Mashtare, M., Lee, L., and Basu, N. 2021. Nevertheless, they persisted: Can hyporheic zones increase the persistence of estrogens in streams? Water Resources Research. doi: 10.1029/2020WR028518
- Cheng, F., Van Meter, K., Byrnes, D., and Basu, N. 2020. Maximizing US nitrate removal through wetland protection and restoration. Nature. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-03042-5.
- Cheng, F. and Basu, N. 2017. Biogeochemical hotspots: Role of small water bodies in landscape nutrient processing. Water Resources Research. doi: 10.1002/2016WR020102.