People & Publications

Current Lab Members

Assistant Professor Frances O’Donnell (CV)
Ph.D. 2013: Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
B.A. 2007: Organismal & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Frances joined the faculty of Civil Engineering at Auburn in 2016 as part of the Climate, Human, and Earth System Science (CHESS) cluster. Prior to Auburn, she studied the impact of forest restoration, climate, and wildfire on ponderosa pine watersheds at Northern Arizona University. Her Ph.D. explored the soil carbon and water cycles of savanna ecosystems with extensive field work in southern Africa.
Publications via Google Scholar Twitter

Jessica Calhoun, Ph.D. Student
M.S. 2011: Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University
B.S. 2008: Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University

Jessica’s research seeks to evaluate and improve the use of stream restoration and rehabilitation to reduce sedimentation and siltation. She is performing a detailed case study of a 2017 restoration project at Moores Creek in Lanett, AL, using water quality data, and hydraulic and hydrologic modeling. Jessica is also a Professional Engineer and Certified Floodplain Manager.

Lonège Ogisma, Ph.D. Student
Co-advised by Joe Molnar, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
M.S. 2007: Economics, Université de Montréal
B.S. 2002: Agricultural Business and Economics, Université D’État D’Haïti

Lonège is working to improve drinking water testing in the Northern Corridor of Haiti through a partnership of Auburn, USAID, and the Campus Henri Christophe de Limonade, Université D’État D’Haïti. His research will determine how to best combine small, community-based water testing with a large central water quality laboratory to reduce the risk of waterborne illness for as many people as possible.

Publication: Ogisma, L., T. Li, H. Xiao, F.C. O’Donnell, and J.J. Molnar (accepted). Analysis of community-level factors contributing to cholera infection and water testing access in the Northern Corridor of Haiti. Water Environment Research.

Coleman Barrie, Ph.D. Student
Co-advised by Steven Brantley, The Jones Center at Ichauway
M.C.E. 2019: Civil Engineering, University of Georgia
B.S. 2017: Civil Engineering, University of Georgia

Coleman is studying the hydrologic and biogeochemical response of geographically isolated wetlands to agricultural expansion in southwestern Georgia. The work builds on his master’s thesis, which developed a better understanding of the hydrologic function of these wetlands and surface-groundwater interactions.

Guy Biessan, M.S. Student
Co-advised by Ben Bowers, Civil Engineering
B.S. 2018: Civil Engineering, University of Alabama Birmingham

Guy is studying the hydrologic behavior and cost-optimization of porous pavements in Alabama. His research will contribute to a decision support tool that allows developers and municipalities to employ this sustainable construction practice with greater confidence.

Homayra Asima, M.S. Student
B.S. 2018: Civil Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology

Homayra is working to determine the best species of vegetation to plant to prevent shallow landslides on steep slopes along roadways. Her work involves maintaining and monitoring the group’s vegetation test plots at the National Center for Asphalt Technology test track.

Lab Alumni

Victoria Niedzinski, M.S. Student
B.S. 2017: Biological Sciences, Purdue University
M.S. 2021: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Auburn University
Current: Ph.D. Student, University of Maine

Ross Ellis, M.S. Student
Co-advised by Jose Vasconcelos, Civil Engineering
B.S. 2018: Civil Engineering, Auburn University
M.S. 2020: Civil Engineering, Auburn University
Current: Geosyntec, Inc.

Publication: Ellis, J.R., O’Donnell, F.C. and Vasconcelos, J.G., 2020, May. A Cost-Optimization Tool for Stormwater Management Plans Using Green Infrastructure Practices. American Society of Civil Engineers World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2020. May 17-21, 2020, Henderson, NV (Conference Cancelled).

Elizabeth Prior, Undergraduate Researcher
Auburn University Undergraduate Research Fellow
B.S. 2019: Civil Engineering, Auburn University
Current: Ph.D. Student, Virginia Tech
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Publications: Prior, E. M., O’Donnell, F. C., Brodbeck, C., Donald, W. N., Runion, G. B., & Shepherd, S. L. (2020). Measuring High Levels of Total Suspended Solids and Turbidity Using Small Unoccupied Aerial Systems (sUAS) Multispectral ImageryDrones4(3), 54.

Prior, E.M., F.C. O’Donnell, C. Brodbeck, G.B. Runion, and S.L. Shepherd (2020). Investigating UAV multispectral imagery for total suspended solids and turbidity monitoring in small streamsInternational Journal of Remote Sensing: 1-26.

Reid McDaniel, M.S. Student
B.S. 2016: Civil Engineering, Auburn University
M.S. 2018: Civil Engineering, Auburn University
Current: England-Thims & Miller, Inc.

Publication: McDaniel, R.D., and F.C. O’Donnell, (2019). Assessment of hydrologic alteration metrics for detecting urbanization impacts. Water 11: 1017. DOI: 10.3390/w11051017

C. Preston Waid, Undergraduate Researcher
B.S. 2018: Biosystems Engineering, Auburn University
M.C.E. 2020: Civil Engineering, Auburn University
Current: Project Engineer, Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.