• 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, in odd years

  • 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 , in even years   

Research Interests

  • Global water and biogeochemical cycles

  • Water-mediated global environmental change in the geologic past

  • Plant ecology and ecophysiology
  • Co-evolution of land plants and the terrestrial environment


  • 2022 - AGU Fellow

  • 2022 - Boussinesq Lecturer

  • 2021 - AAAS Fellow

  • 2014 - Peter Eagleson Lecturer

  • 2010 - Rutgers Board of Trustees Scholarly Excellence

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):

  • Jasechko, S, H Seybold, D Perrone, Y Fan, M Shamsudduha, RG Taylor and J Kirchner (2023) Rapid ground-water decline and some cases of recovery globally, Nature, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06879-8
  • Mattos, C.R.C., G. Mazzochini, B.F. Rius, D. Penha, L.L. Giacomin, M.C. Flores, B.M. Silva, R.O. Xavier, M.F Nehemy, A.R. Petroni, J.S.G.M. Silva, M.B. Schlickmann, M. Rocha, G. Rodrigues, S.S. Costa, F.V. Barros, J.V. Tavares, M.N. Furtado, L.S. Verona, M.J. Oliveira-Alves, R.S. Oliveira, Y. Fan, M. Hirota, (2023) Rainfall and topographic position determine tree embolism resistance in Amazonia and Cerrado sites, Env. Res. Letters, 18 (11) 114009 
  • 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

  • Potkay, A, ten Veldhuis, M‐C, Fan, Y, Mattos, CRC, Ananyev, G, Dismukes, GC. (2020) Water and Vapor Transport in Algal‐Fungal Lichen: Modeling constrained by Laboratory Experiments, an application for Flavoparmelia caperata. Plant Cell Environ. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.13690 

  • Rouholahnejad Freund, E., Fan, Y., and Kirchner, J. W. (2020) Global assessment of how averaging over spatial heterogeneity in precipitation and potential evapotranspiration affects modeled evapotranspiration rates, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1927–1938, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1927-2020.

  • Swenson, S. C., Clark, M., Fan, Y., Lawrence, D. M., & Perket, J. (2020) Representing Intra‐Hillslope Lateral Subsurface Flow in the Community Land Model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 11. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019MS001833

  • Fan, Y, Grant, G, Anderson, SP. (2019) Water within, moving through, and shaping the Earth's surface: Introducing a special issue on water in the critical zone. Hydrological Processes. 2019; 1– 6. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13638

Publications Prior to Family Leave:

Service to the Scientific Community

  • Steering Committe The Groundwater Project lead by John Cherry
  • Panelist for NSF, NASA, EPA

  • Reviewer for NSF, NASA, USGS, and UK NERC proposals

  • Reviewer for Nature, Science, PNAS, Nature Communication, Nature Geosciences, Nature Climate Change, Quaternary Science Reviews, New Phytologist, Global Change Biology, Journal of Quaternary Science, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, Geophysical Research Letters, Environmental Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Climate Dynamics, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Journal of Hydrology, Water Resources Research, Advances in Water Resources, Hydrological Processes, Ground Water, the Hydrogeology Journal, Geofluids, Hydrology and Earth System Science, Science of the Total Environment, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, POLARFORSCHUNG (Polar Research), Ecohydrology, WIREs-Water, etc., and USGS internal reviews

  • Co-Editor: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, EGU Journal (2010-2017)

  • Associate Editor: Hydrologic Processes (2016-present)

  • CUAHSI (Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc.) Board of Directors (2011-2013)

  • Hydrologic Sciences Award Committee, AGU Hydrology Section (2011-2013)

  • AGU Hydrology Section Nomination Committee (2022-present) 
  • Guest Co-Editor (with Suzanne Anderson and Gordon Grant) of Hydrologic Processes Special Issue on Water in the Critical Zone (2017-2019)

  • Contributor of Global Database of Maximum Plant Rooting Depth to TRY; See: Kattge, J., Bönisch, G., Diaz, S., Lavorel, S., Prentice, I. C., Leadley, P., et al. (2019). TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access. Glob Change Biol. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14904

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