• Fan Reinfelder, Ying
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: (848) 445-3437
  • Office: Wright Labs Room 207
  • Research Interests: Hydrology, Ecology, Global Change
Also a member of the faculty of the Department of Environmental Sciences, SEBS


To Potential Students and Postdocs

If you are curious about the role of water in regulating global environmental change, physically, chemically or biologically, in the distant or recent geologic past, or in the present and the near future, please contact me and we'll chat. I am a hydrologist not interested in water per se, but in what water does to shape our landscape through the ages. Water connects all. Little happens without water. At least on this planet. 

Courses I Teach

  • Undergrad: Hydrologic Processes (01:460:414:01; 11:670:414:01), offered in Spring

  • Undergrad: Hydrogeology (01:460:428:01), offered in Fall

  • Undergrad/Grad: Major Events in Earth History (01:460:480; 16:460:580) on "The Devonian and the Rise of Plants"

  • Graduate: Groundwater Modeling (16:460:528:01), offered in Fall as needed    

Research Interests

  • Global water and biogeochemical cycles

  • Water-mediated global environmental change in the geologic past

  • Co-evolution of land plants and the terrestrial environment

Recorded Lectures

Members of Research Team


  • Jaclyn Watters, PhD student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Groundwater and heat flow modelling combined with mineralogical and morphological observations to characterize the history of potentially habitable regions in the Eridania Basin, Mars

  • Annie Mailoux, PhD student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Ecologic and phylogenetic patterns in plant rooting depth
  • Mazvita Chikomo, PhD student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Global wetlands dynamics since LGM


  • Aaron Potkay, PhD student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Modeling plant hydraulics for Earth System Models (now postdoc at U. Minnesota: https://feng.umn.edu/people#h.77rgvkueiurp)
  • Paul Romero Bello, M.S. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Estimating porosity, mineralogy, and pearmeability of geological formations using common geophysical logs

  • Justin Perket, Postdoctoral Associate (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - CUAHSI-NCAR collaboration on improving hydrology in Earth System Models (now research scientist at Princeton: https://cimes.princeton.edu/people/justin-perket)

  • Ross Alter, Ph.D. student (Atmospheric Sciences) - Land-atmosphere interaction, irrigation-precipitation link (now research scientist at US Army Corp of Engineers)

  • Yadu Pokhrel, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Amazon water cycle and climate, anthropogenic water cycle change (now professor at Michgan State U.: https://www.egr.msu.edu/people/profile/ypokhrel)

  • Haibin Li, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Regional and global climatic-hydrologic modeling

  • Alex Fiore, M.S. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Groundwater flow and transport in fractured rocks (now at USGS: https://www.usgs.gov/staff-profiles/alex-r-fiore)

  • Rami Abousleiman, undergraduate Senior Thesis (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Impact of pervious pavement on runoff reduction on RU campus

  • Deniz Kustu, Ph.D. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Hydrologic-climatic impact of groundwater pumping for irrigation in the US High Plains

  • Neil Ramchandani, RU Aresty undergraduate scholar (Electrical Engineering) -Groundwater database, Micro-hydropower

  • Anthony DeAngelis, M.S. student (Atmospheric Sciences) - Effect of High Plains' irrigation on local and downwind precipitation (now research scientist at NASA: https://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/sed/bio/anthony.m.deangelis)

  • Richard Anyah, Postdoctoral Associate (Atmospheric Sciences) - Effect of groundwater on soil moisture, ET, and precipitation (now professor at U. Connecticut: https://nre.uconn.edu/richard-anyah/)

  • Morgan Schaller, M.S. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Importance of long-distance groundwater flow in river basin water budget (now professor at RPI: https://faculty.rpi.edu/morgan-schaller)

  • Michael Serfes, Ph.D. student (Earth and Planetary Sciences) - Arsenic occurrence, sources and mobilization in bedrock aquifers, Newark Basin

Publications (under Y. Fan)

Recent Publications (my student/postdoc authors in bold font):

  • Mattos, C.R.C., M. Hirota, R.S. Oliveira, B.M. Flores, G. Miguez-Macho, Y. Pokhrel, and Y. Fan (2023) Double stress of waterlogging and drought drives forest–savanna coexistence, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120 (33) e2301255120, https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2301255120
  • Albert, James S, Ana C Carnaval, Suzette GA Flantua, Lúcia G Lohmann, Camila C Ribas, Douglas Riff, Juan D Carrillo, Ying Fan, Jorge JP Figueiredo, Juan M Guayasamin, Carina Hoorn, Gustavo H de Melo, Nathália Nascimento, Carlos A Quesada, Carmen Ulloa Ulloa, Pedro Val, Julia Arieira, Andrea C Encalada, Carlos A Nobre (2022) Human impacts outpace natural processes in the Amazon, Science, 179 (6630) eabo5003. https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.abo5003
  • Potkay, A., Teemu Hölttä, Anna T Trugman, Ying Fan (2021) Turgor-limited predictions of tree growth, height, and metabolic scaling over tree lifespans, Tree Physiology; tpab094, https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpab094

  • Weigelt, A., Mommer, L., Andraczek, K., Iversen, C.M., Bergmann, J., Bruelheide, H., Fan, Y., Freschet, G.T., Guerrero-Ramírez, N.R., Kattge, J., Kuyper, T.W., Laughlin, D.C., Meier, I.C., van der Plas, F., Poorter, H., Roumet, C., van Ruijven, J., Sabatini, F.M., Semchenko, M., Sweeney, C.J., Valverde-Barrantes, O.J., York, L.M. and McCormack, M.L. (2021), An integrated framework of plant form and function: the belowground perspective. New Phytol. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17590

  • Jasechko, S., Seybold, H., Perrone, D., Fan, Y., Kirchner, J. (2021) Widespread potential loss of streamflow into underlying aquifers across the USA, Nature, volume 591, p391–395, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03311-x

  • Potkay, A., Trugman, A., Wang, Y., Venturas, M.D., Anderegg, W.R.L., Mattos, C.R., Fan, Y. (2021). Coupled whole-tree optimality and xylem-hydraulics explain dynamic biomass partitioning. New Phytologist,  https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.17242

  • Roebroek, C. T. J., Melsen, L. A., Hoek van Dijke, A. J., Fan, Y., and Teuling, A. J. (2020) Global distribution of hydrologic controls on forest growth, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4625–4639, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-4625-2020

  • Jasechko, S., Perrone, D., Seybold, H., Fan, Y., Kirchner, J. (2020) Groundwater level observations in 250,000 coastal US wells reveal scope of potential seawater intrusion. Nat Commun 11, 3229. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17038-2

Publications Prior to Family Leave:

Service to the Scientific Community

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