Our department conducts a diverse range of water-related research with an emphasis on fundamental physical and chemical processes affecting water resources and environmental change.

Scientific interests of our students and faculty span water quantity and water quality; physical, chemical and biological systems; nanometer to global scales; and a wide range of study settings around the world.


Sherilyn Fritz
Paleohydrology, Limnology

Sheri Fritz and her students work on modern and ancient lakes to understand both contemporary ecosystem processes and the history of landscapes and climate during the Quaternary. Current students are working on patterns of aquatic ecosystem development following deglaciation in Yellowstone National Park and on diatom evolution in large tropical lakes (Titicaca and Malawi). Other active projects in the Fritz lab include investigations of long-term environmental history in the Amazon Basin, the history of the Asian monsoon based on sediment cores from Thai lakes, and reconstructing drought history in the Great Plains.

Richard Kettler

Karrie Weber
Geomicrobiology, Aquatic Biogeochemistry

Vitaly Zlotnik
Physical Hydrogeology, Groundwater-surface water interactions, Hydrogeophysics

Vitaly Zlotnik and his students study flow and transport processes in various formations and their links to the applied problems, such as effects of irrigation on stream runoff, salinity variations in lakes, methods of aquifer characterization at various scales, and contaminant remediation. We are working on mechanisms controlling dynamics of groundwater-fed lakes in the Nebraska Sand Hills and their future, stream depletion in the Platte River and Republican River watersheds, and groundwater recharge analyses. Recent projects included colleagues in the U.S., Australia, China, Germany, Jordan, and Oman.