Our Mission

Motivated by the need to sustainably and equitably support a growing world population, we study the physical underpinnings that make soils habitable environments. Our research blends fundamental environmental and soil physics with applications in agroecology and environmental stewardship.

Inclusivity and equity are the basis for the topics we study, how we treat one another, and how we engage with our community.

Areas of Interest

Flow & Transport

Dynamic soil properties, such aggregation and disaggregation cycles, and associated effects on flow and tranport in soils.

Machine Learning & AI

Physics-informed Deep Learning and application of Machine Learning in soil and environmental problems


Hydrologic factors that control biogeochemical processes including effects of soil structure and wetting/drying cycles on soil respiration.


Conservation tillage, inter-cropping of native shrubs and food crops, and applications of organic matter and biochar on water and nutrient use efficiency.

Latest Research Articles

Physics-informed neural networks with monotocnicity constraints for Richardson-Richards equation--Estimation of constitutive relationships and soil water flux density from volumetric water content measurements.

Bandai, T. and T.A. Ghezzehei
Water Resources Research, 57(2), e2020WR027642, 2021. | Abstract

Root uptake under mismatched distributions of water and nutrients in the root zone.

Yan, J., N.A. Bogie, and T.A. Ghezzehei
Biogeosciences, 17, 6377–6392, 2020. | Abstract

Quantifying the Effect of Subcritical Water-repellency on Sorptivity -- A Physically-based Model.

Shillito, R.A., M. Berli, and T.A. Ghezzehei
Water Resources Research, 56(11), e2020WR027942, 2020. | Abstract

Modeling Near-surface Water Redistribution in a Desert Soil.

Luo, Y., Ghezzehei, T. A., Yu, Z., & Berli, M.
Vadose Zone Journal, 19(1), e20081. 2020. | Abstract

Using Wastewater in Irrigation--The Effects on Infiltration Process in a Clayey Soil.

Albalasmeh, A. A., M.A. Gharaibeh, M.A. Alghzawi, R. Morbidelli, C. Saltalippi, T.A. Ghezzehei, and A. Flammini
Water, 12(4), 968. 2020. | Abstract

Effect of Cover Crop on Carbon Distribution in Size and Density Separated Soil Aggregates.

Schaefer, MV, NA Bogie, D Rath, AR Marklein, A Garniwan, T Haensel,...
Soil Systems, 4(1), 6. 2020. | Abstract

Soil structure is an important omission in Earth System Models.

Fatichi, S, D. OR, R Walko, H Vereecken, MH Young, TA Ghezzehei,...
Nature Communications, 11, 522. 2020. | Abstract

Using Machine Learning for Prediction of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity and Its Sensitivity to Soil Structural Perturbations.

Araya, S. N., and T.A. Ghezzehei
Water Resources Research, 55, 5715–5737. 2019. | Abstract

Recent Commentaries

Race and racism in soil science (Invited)

Berhe, A.A. and T.A. Ghezzehei
European Journal of Soil Science, 1-6, 2020. | Abstract

Towards diverse representation and inclusion in soil science in the United States (Invited Review).

Carter, T.L., L.L. Jennings, Y. Pressler, A. C. Gallo, A. A. Berhe, E. Marín-Spiotta, C. Shepard, T. A. Ghezzehei and K. L. Vaughan.
Soil Science Soiety of America Journal, 17, 6377–6392, 2020. | Abstract

Updates & News

February 11, 2020

Women & Girls in Science Day

Celebrating the women scientists of our group.

March 21, 2019

UC soil physicists convene at NRI Project field in Five Points!

Another visit to the NRI field site in Five Points.

September 14, 2018

News: Impact of low-severity wildfires more than previously believed

Two new publications covered in news outlets.

May 13, 2018

Congrats Luis and Abraham

Today two of our lab undergraduate assistants graduated with B.S. degree in Earth Systems Science.

July 19, 2017

New Partnesrhip & Research Site

We visited a new study site in Five Points to start a collaborative research with UC ANR, UC Davis and other partners. The following is an excerpt from a blogpost by ANR Specialist Dr. Jeff Mitchell.


ESS 110 Hydrology & Climate

Basics of the hydrological cycle and the global climate system. Fundamentals of surface water hydrology, hydrometeorology, evaporation, precipitation, statistical and probabilistic methods, unit hydrograph and flood routing.


ESS 112 Subsurface Hydrology

Hydrologic and geologic factors controlling the occurrence and use of groundwater on regional and local scales. Physical, mathematical, geologic and engineering concepts fundamental to subsurface hydrologic processes. Introduction to ground-water flow and transport modeling, with emphasis on model construction and simulation.


ES 228 Environmental Modeling

An advanced study of modeling environmental sciences. The first half of the course a survey of common modeling approaches of environmental phenomena. In the second half, student work on individual projects that involve modeling environmental systems or processes. Often students work on problems related to their thesis/dissertation area. (Graduate Only).



Like what you see here? We would love to hear from you if you have interest to join our lab as a student or to collaborate with us. You can find out about admission and degree requirements and offerings by visiting the websites of the Graduate Division and Environmental Systems Graduate Program (links are below).