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Lauren Lowman

Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering

Lowman studies how changes in water availability affects ecosystem sustainability and predictability.

Biography

The mysteries of how water moves fuel both Lauren Lowman’s research and her imagination. Through computational modeling, geospatial analysis and field experiments, Lowman studies how changes in water availability impact overall ecosystem health, productivity and sustainability. But her observations of urban hydrology got her wondering about whether streams covered by city buildings could be considered healthy, and that led her to develop a program called the “Lost Waterways of Winston-Salem.” The Read More »

The mysteries of how water moves fuel both Lauren Lowman’s research and her imagination. Through computational modeling, geospatial analysis and field experiments, Lowman studies how changes in water availability impact overall ecosystem health, productivity and sustainability. But her observations of urban hydrology got her wondering about whether streams covered by city buildings could be considered healthy, and that led her to develop a program called the “Lost Waterways of Winston-Salem.” The program brings community stakeholders together to talk about hydrologic science, water issues, environmental issues and policy decision making. In the field, she aims to understand more about drought in the southeastern United States and how fires and weather events such as hurricanes affect the region’s water budget. You can find her and her students in the lab creating fire-resistant monitoring towers to collect data during controlled burns. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Remote Sensing and Ecological Modelling.

Articles

Rainfall Variability, Wetland Persistence, and Water–Carbon Cycle Coupling in the Upper Zambezi River Basin in Southern Africa

Simulations of the water–carbon cycles of seasonal wetlands show nearly double rates of carbon uptake as compared to dry areas, showing that wetland persistence into the dry season is key to the areas carbon sink and water budget.

Predicting canopy biophysical properties and sensitivity of plant carbon uptake to water limitations with a coupled eco-hydrological framework

In order to accurately estimate the terrestrial carbon storage component of the global carbon budget locally and regionally, you need to incorporate vegetation-specific life cycle responses to water availability.

Interplay of drought and tropical cyclone activity in SE U.S. gross primary productivity

Tropical cyclones, often associated with massive flooding and landslides in the Southeast U.S., add a significant amount of freshwater to the hydrologic system, and their timing and trajectory significantly impact drought severity and persistence.

Investigating links between climate and orography in the central Andes: Coupling erosion and precipitation using a physical‐statistical model

A flexible and interdisciplinary road map can be adapted to a number of geologic settings to better understand the relationship between mountain ecosystems, climate, and water erosion.

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More Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Hurricanes and drought
  • Water availability and its impact on the ecosystem
  • Hydrology
  • Role of fire on ecology and hydrology

Education

Duke University: Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering

Duke University: M.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering

Duke University: B.A., Public Policy Studies

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