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. I enjoy engaging in a diverse set of projects from international water development to ecohydrology.

Currently, my primary research focus is on understanding how rivers function hydrologically, particularly in semi-arid to arid regions where streamflow ceases for some part of the year. Within an inclusive, interdisciplinary context, I aim to improve our understanding of how rainfall becomes streamflow, and how this streamflow recharges our aquifers. 

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
Associate supervisor: Hydrogeology (3)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Jesus Eliana Rodriguez Burgueno

PhD completed - JAN 2017

Hai Manh Vu

PhD - AUG 2019

Karina Gutierrez-Jurado

PhD - OCT 2020

Ferijal Teuku

PhD - DEC 2020

Phongeun Thammavongsa

Masters - NOV 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
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0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Hydrology
  • Water Resources
  • Groundwater
  • Lakes
  • Rivers