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Ryan Emanuel

Associate Professor

NC State University

Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources


Area(s) of Expertise

My work focuses on the cycling of water, carbon and other substances through terrestrial ecosystems. In particular, I study how soils and plants influence and are influenced by water movement through the environment, an area broadly defined as ecohydrology. I am interested in ecohydrology at spatial scales ranging from individual plants and soil plots to large river basins and from time scales of hours to many decades.

Of particular concern are the ecohydrological implications of climate change and the many related questions, including: How will water movement through soils and plants respond to more frequent hydrologic extremes (e.g. droughts, hurricanes) in the eastern US or to reduced snowpacks and longer growing seasons in the western US? How will freshwater-dependent coastal ecosystems respond to climate-induced seawater incursion? How will carbon sequestration by these ecosystems and other biogeochemical processes respond to climate-driven changes in the water cycle? How will climate change affect the availability of water supplies for human needs? These are some of the questions guiding research by my group at NC State University.