Dr Margaret Shanafield

DECRA Fellow Chief Investigator

College of Science and Engineering

place Earth Sciences Building (104a)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

My research is at the nexus between hydrology and hydrogeology. I began in hydrology by studying water clarity in Lake Tahoe, a deep mountain lake, then shifted my research to surface water-groundwater interactions, where focus was on developing the use of heat as a tracer of streambed water flux and advancing an integrated model capable of simulating streamflow down a dry riverbed. 

Current research interests still focus on surface water-groundwater actions, although I work on a diverse set of projects from international development projects to ecohydrology. The use of multiple tracers to understand groundwater recharge patterns in streambeds and understanding the dynamics of intermittent and ephemeral streamflow are my main passions. Since 2015, I have been an ARC DECRA fellow, measuring and modelling what hydrologic factors lead to streamflow in arid regions, using Pedler Creek in the important wine region McLaren Vale as an example.

Read about some of my projects here:






Ph.D., Hydrogeology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, December 2010, Advisor: Greg Pohll
  Dissertation Title: Spatial and Temporal variation in seepage from unlined channels. 

M.S., Hydrology, University of Nevada, Summer 2004

  Thesis Topic: Trends in water clarity in the near-shore of a mountain lake. Advisor: Kendrick Taylor

B.A., Environmental Science, minor in German, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2000

Honours, awards and grants

Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) (2015)

Vice-chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers, Flinders University (2014)

Director’s Award, National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (2012)

U.S. Civilian Research Defense Fund, Impact of lining canals and afforestation on groundwater (2010)

George Burke Maxey Award in Water Resources Research, Desert Research Institute (2010)

George Burke Maxey Hydrology/Hydrogeology Fellowship, Desert Research Institute (2008)

U.S. Student Representative to the Meeting of the Nobel Laureates in Physics, Lindau, Germany (2008)

Fulbright student fellow (Uzbekistan) (2005)

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding the dynamic processes of the hydrologic cycle, especially in arid regions. This has included evapotranspiration, streambed discharge and recharge, and groundwater flow. I have worked on several international water development projects to better manage freshwater resources around the world.

Teaching interests

Surface water- groundwater interactions

Watershed hydrology

Fluid mechanics

Field methods in Hydrology/hydrogeology.

Topic lecturer
EASC2711 Microclimate
EASC8711 Soil Hydrology
Supervisory interests
Aquatic ecology
Groundwater hydrology
Groundwater/surface water interaction
Surface water hydrology
Water quality
Water resources development
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Hydrogeology (1)
Associate supervisor: Hydrogeology (3)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Jesus Eliana Rodriguez Burgueno

PhD completed - JAN 2017

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