Dr Margaret Shanafield

Senior Research Fellow

College of Science and Engineering

place Physical Sciences (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

South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Award (2020)

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)

Teaching interests

Surface water- groundwater interactions

Watershed hydrology

Fluid mechanics

Field methods in Hydrology/hydrogeology.

Topic lecturer
EASC2711 Microclimate
EASC8711 Soil Hydrology
ENVS3731 Ecohydrology
EASC9701 Field methods in hydrology
EASC9700 Australian Groundwater School
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

Phongeun Thammavongsa

Masters - NOV 2019

Hai Manh Vu

PhD - AUG 2019

Carl Greenall (UWA)

Masters - NOV 2019

Behzad Gitjamal

Masters - JUN 2019

Imogen Cescate

Masters - NOV 2018

Angela London

Masters - NOV 2016

Marianna Lagunas Ramirez

Masters - JUN 2017

Expert for media contact
Water Resources
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Hydrology
  • Water Resources
  • Groundwater
  • Lakes
  • Rivers

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