Potkay, Aaron

Office: 114 Geological Sciences Lab
Phone: (848) 445-2044


  • Rutgers University, NJ, Ph.D. Candidate in Geological Sciences
  • University of Texas at Austin, TX, M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering, 2017
    • Masters Thesis: "Flow Processes in Unsaturated, Expansive Soils"
  • Virginia Tech, VA, B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2015

Honors and Awards

  • Rutgers Graduate Program in Geological Science Excellence Fellowship: Fall 2017 - Spring 2019
  • CUASHI 2018 Pathfinder Fellowship
    • Project: "Developing a Whole-Plant Hydraulics Model along Soil-Root-Stem-Leaf-Atmosphere Continuum"

Research Interests

  • Vegetation and groundwater: how do soil water and groundwater dynamics drive changes in transpiration, carbon storage, and growth, particularly rooting depth?
  • Plant physiological traits: how do plants optimize their efficiencies within the limits of genotypic variation and environmental constraints? 
  • Water-Stress and Forest Mortality: how do forests respond to meteorological and hydrological droughts?



  • Potkay, A. 2017. One-dimensional seepage in unsaturated, expansive soils. Vadose Zone J.
  • Zornberg, J.G., Armstrong, C.P., Potkay, A. 2017. Implementation of centrifuge testing of
    expansive soils for pavement design. FHWA/TX-17/5-6048-03-1. Center for Transportation
    Research, UT Austin.

Meetings / Abstracts

  • Swenson, S.C., Potkay, A., Fan, Y., Clark, M.P., Lawrence, D.M. 2019. "Implementing Hillslope-scale Hydrology in the Community Terrestrial Systems Model: Do hillslope-scale hydrologic processes affect predictions of global environmental change?" - San Francisco, CA, Fall 2019 AGU Meeting
  • Potkay, A., ten Veldhuis, M.C., Fan, Y., Ananyev, G., Dismukes, G. 2018. "Understanding Water and Gas Transport in Algal-Fungal Symbionts: Integrating Laboratory Experiments and Numerical Modeling of Lichens" - Washington D.C., Fall 2018 AGU Meeting