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Ecohydrology Research Group University of South Florida - School of Geosciences

Graduate Students

Leanne Stepchinski PhD student, Geology

Leanne Stepchinski

My research aims to increase understanding of our planet's water resources, as well as the impacts of climatic changes and human development on these systems. Previously, my work has included utilizing carbonate paleontology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy to characterize carbonate platforms in South China, and conducting assessments of groundwater and surface water systems in semi-arid to arid regions throughout Texas and in central Kenya. Currently, I investigate hydrologic connectivity within wetland complexes and the surrounding landscapes, especially within ephemerally to intermittently flowing headwater systems such as vernal pool wetlandscapes.

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Publications and Presentations
  • Stepchinski LM, Rains MC, Lee LC, Lis R, Nutter W, Rains K, Stewart S (2021) Headwater Wetlands or Headwater Streams? Hydrologic Connectivity and Flow Generation from California Vernal Depressions to Downstream Waters. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Lehrmann, DJ, Stepchinski, L, Wolf, H. E., Li, L., Li, X., Minzoni, M., Yu, M., and Payne, J.L. (2021). The role of carbonate factories and sea water chemistry on basin‐wide ramp to high‐relief carbonate platform evolution: Triassic, Nanpanjiang Basin, South China. The Depositional record 00: 1-33.https://doi.org/10.1002/dep2.166
  • Lehrmann, DJ, Minzoni, M, Enos, P, Kelleher, C, Stepchinski, L, Li, X, Payne, JL and Yu, M (2020). Giant sector-collapse structures (scalloped margins) of the Yangtze Platform and Great Bank of Guizhou, China: Implications for genesis of collapsed carbonate platform margin systems. Sedimentology 67: 3167-3198.https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12740
  • Lehrmann, D. J., Stepchinski, L., Altiner, D., Orchard M., Montgomery, P., Enos P., Ellwood, B., Bowring, S, Ramezani J., Wang,. H., Wei, J., Yu, M., Griffiths, J., Minzoni, M., Schaal, E., Li, X., Meyer, K., and Payne, J. (2015). An integrated biostratigraphy (conodonts and foraminifers) and chronostratigraphy (paleomagnetic reversals, magnetic susceptibility, elemental chemistry, carbon isotopes and geochronology) for the Permian-Upper Triassic strata of Guandao section, Nanpanjiang Basin, south China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 108:117-135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2015.04.030
  • Stepchinski, L. (2015). Controls on Carbonate Factory Type (Abiotic, Microbial, Skeletal) on the Hongyan Margin of the Yangtze Platform, South China. Geosciences Student Honors Theses, 14. https://digitalcommons.trinity.edu/geo_honors/14
Awards
  • USF Genshaft Family Doctoral Fellowship
  • USF Graduate Research Symposium: Science & Mathematics Research Section Award
  • USF Geology Alumni Society Karen D. Harro Scholarship for Women in Geology
  • USF Geology Alumni Society Richard A. Davis (RAD) Award
  • NSF Nitrogen S-STEM Program Scholarship
  • USF Geosciences Tharp Research Fellowship

Edgar Javier Guerrón Orejuela PhD student, Geology

Edgar Javier Guerron Orejuela

I am interested in learning how hydrological processes, including surface-water and ground-water interactions, influence the structure and function of fresh water and marine ecosystems, as well as how these ecosystems influence the life of people that live around them. Furthermore, I am interested in studying the potential implications of anthropogenic actions to hydrological processes. By having a better understanding of these systems, their processes, and the role they play for society, I hope to be able to provide valuable information and conservation strategies to law and policy makers so that well informed decisions can be made.

I have had the opportunity to study and work in many different ecosystems around the world, from the Ecuadorian Amazon to Alaskan Rivers and Lakes. My experience includes academic and applied research, natural resources management, endangered species conservation, water quality management, community engagement, GIS analysis, and environmental regulation. Currently, I am a NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Fellow at the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Homer, Alaska.

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Publications
  • Suresh A.S., M.P. Carey, J.M. Morton, E. Guerron-Orejuela, R. Decino, M. Willette, J. Boersma, J. Jablonski, C. Anderson (2017) Rapid response for invasive waterweeds at the arctic invasion front: Assessment of collateral impacts from herbicide treatments, Biological Conservation Volume 212, Part A, 2017, Pages 300-309.
Awards
  • NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship - View Video

Tyelyn Brigino M.S. student, Geology

Tyelyn Brigino

My research focuses on increasing the understanding of groundwater’s role in supporting ecological and human communities. I am interested in using geochemistry as a tool to better understand groundwater as a shared resource between salmon populations and adjacent human users in the Lower Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Specifically, I am investigating how groundwater contributes to the modulation of stream flow, temperature, and nutrient concentrations on an instantaneous and annual basis. I aim to assist resource managers and community members with water supply issues by providing information about the region’s water resources.

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Awards

Amy Pritt PhD student, Geology

Amy Pritt

My research interests are at the intersection of the physical and biological environments, especially in aquatic ecosystems. If climate, geology, and land use-land cover are held relatively constant, then what are the remaining roles of spatial variability in relief and connectivity in creating spatial variability in physical and chemical hydrological structure and function in depressional wetland and waterbody complexes? And, further, what are the roles of spatial variability in hydrologic structure and function in creating spatial variability in ecological structure and function and meta-ecosystem stability in depressional wetlands and waterbody complexes? I'm currently studying this in wetland and waterbody complexes in the Bahamas, where the wetlands and waterbodies vary greatly in both relief (e.g., shallow depressions to deep blue holes) and connectivity (e.g., surface-water isolated to surface-water and/or groundwater connected to one another and the ocean).

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Publications
Awards
  • USF Geosciences Tharp Research Fellowship

Undergraduate Students

Josephina Reyman B.S. student, Environmental Science and Policy

Josephina Reyman

I am in the honors college and am majoring in Environmental Science and Policy. I am currently learning about applications of GIS to landscape ecology and land managment by assisting on a project mapping wetland loss in Florida

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Publications

Abigail Reed B.S. student, Environmental Science and Policy

Abigail Reed

I am in the Judy Genshaft Honors College and majoring in Environmental Science and Policy with minors in Philosophy and Geology and am interested in environmental law and water management. I am assisting with a project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency to develop screening layers in GIS that will assist with establishing priorities for watershed restoration in the Indian River Lagoon. I am also exploring topics for my Honors thesis related to alterations to wetland distribution and stormwater pond creation relative to social justice issues in the Tampa Bay region.

Research Links and Contact
Awards
  • NOAA Hollings Scholar