To me, ecohydrology is the study of the processes that regulate how carbon, water, and energy move (in and out) in the dynamic living layer of the earth that extends from the top of the atmospheric boundary layer through the soil, bedrock, and the bottom of groundwater. I am especially interested in learning the lateral and vertical processes that regulate the interactions of carbon, water, and energy in ecosystems, and the importance of those to regulate earth’s climate and vice-versa.
What are your undergraduate and graduate degrees in?
I earned my BSc in Biology, with a minor in Hydrology and my MSc in Oceanography focused on Physical and Biological interactions, I studied both in Mexico where I was born. I came to the USA, to pursue a post-master scholar summer fellowship, were I continued my PhD studies in Environmental Science and Engineering focused on Land–Atmosphere interactions.
How did you arrive at working in/thinking about ecohydrology?
I think initially by my fascination of photosynthesis developed early in my biology classes. Then, when I was pursing my MS in Oceanography in La Paz, BCS, Mexico; I volunteered with a group of scientists from SDSU, who had portable towers, a bunch of sensors and a small plane, they all seemed to be enjoying their field campaign studying the mangroves of Bahia Magdalena. They introduced me to the world of eddy covariance, plant physiology, spectral indices, overall the use of technology to measure different components of the biosphere. I was amazed of how much data was collected and how much insight to understanding wetlands dynamics we learned in a relative short period. So, I was hooked!
What do you see as an important emerging area of ecohydrology?
The future of water availability for ecosystem functions, goods, and services in fragmented ecosystems undergoing environmental change.
Do you have a favorite ecohydrology paper? Describe/explain.
Many, especially the ones that help to communicate across disciplines as our research becomes more transdisciplinary. For example Chapin, F. S., et al. (2006). "Reconciling Carbon-cycle Concepts, Terminology, and Methods." Ecosystems 9(7): 1041-1050.
Also, Mares, R., et al. (2016). "Examining diel patterns of soil and xylem moisture using electrical resistivity imaging." Journal of Hydrology 536: 327-338, that describes the bidirectional water flux dynamics in the earth’s permeable Skin. This is another favorite as provide demonstrable insights to hydrology-ecology as a coupled system.
What do you do for fun (apart from ecohydrology)?
I enjoy sports, such as running, crossfit, cycling, and occasionally swimming, more lately meditation, in general all activities that I can do with my 25lb dog named Rupee. I also enjoy making new friends from different academic backgrounds and cultures. Traveling to all the small and big towns across Texas and elsewhere, tasting local cuisine and local breweries is always fun too.