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Welcome to the Morales Lab

We are a group in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. The goal of our research is to deepen the understanding of the processes that regulate transport and fate of dissolved and suspended substances in soils. To this end, we use various experimental and modeling tools to identify and quantify the links between the physico-chemical and biological interactions between fluids/suspensions and the pore space, the resulting flow fields, and the effective transport behavior.  Applications of our research include studies on the impacts of agricultural management strategies on groundwater quality, spreading of groundwater pollutants, disposal/storage of hydraulic fracturing wastewater, and customizing soil amendments for sustainable agriculture. To find out more about our projects visit the Research page.  



Welcome Nico (BS), Khang (BS), and Zhe (MS) our newest group members!

We bid farewell to Janice, as she enters the workforce to improve the environment in the private sector. Best wishes Jan!

Veronica is interview by the ASCE UCD chapter for the Let's Get Civil! podcast, where we discussed why students may consider studying CEE with a water depth. 

Our collaborative project on Enhanced Hyporheic Zone Reactions by Bioclogging with Kevin Roche and Jackie Pena has been selected for funding at NSF! 


Our group attended the annual AGU meeting in San Francisco to present our latest work on flow-reaction feedback processes, hydrodynamics in ag-soils, bioreactive transport of manganese, and transport of nanoparticles. Veronica co-chaired the session on Environmental Vadose Zone Hydrology

Oct 24, 2023: Invited seminar and visit by Prof Judy Yang (University of Minnesota) on "Multiscale Biota-Particle-Fluid Interactions and their Environmental and Health Impacts"

Oct 17, 2023: Invited seminar and visit by Profs Dani Or and Rishi Parashar (University of Nevada, Reno and Desert Research Institute) on "Surface Evaporation and Rainfall Partitioning in Arid Lands - Local and Global Perspectives"

Welcome Dr Alessandra Bonazzi, our newest postdoc! 


Welcome Jorge and Kimberly (BS), our newest group members!

Our team taught a three part class on Groundwater Basics for the MESA summer school attended by 45 high school students from Yolo County 

Our group has been awarded an NSF-RAPID grant to investigate the impact of two Managed Aquifer Recharge strategies on water quality  

Zoe is giving a webinar on channelized flow at the next Porous Media Tea Time Talk (InterPore) on July 11th at 6:00 pm CEST, join us!

June 15, 2023: We celebrated Zoe's  PhD commencement ceremony. Many congratulations Dr. Kanavas!

Welcome Brandon (BS), our REU this summer!

Congratulations Lena and Ella for receiving our Department's Undergraduate Citation and Salisbury Award, respectively!

We wish Bhuvi and Eschwar best of luck in college! We really enjoyed working with you on your water treatment project

We are presenting at the InterPore 2023 meeting our work on filtration in heterogeneous media and flow path instability during bioclogging

Our latest work on biofilm heterogeneity and reactive transport has been accepted in Environmental Science & Technology

Filippo is presenting our work on colloid filtration under soil structural heterogeneity at this year's EGU 

Our latest work on filtration in chemically heterogeneous systems has been accepted for publication in J. Colloid & Interface Science

Welcome Jaclyn (BS), our newest group member!



Our group attended the annual AGU meeting in Chicago to present our latest work on dissolution hotspots and biofilm permeability. Veronica co-chaired two sessions on Environmental Vadose Zone Hydrology and Pore-Scale Physics

Congratulations Janice for winning 1st place in the AGU-H3S Summer Contest for a rewritten abstract with the 1,000 most common words

Nov 29, 2022: Invited seminar and visit by Dr Lazaro Perez (Desert Research Institute) on "Metal-Organic Frameworks for Arsenic Removal in Porous Media"

Welcome Taylor (BS) and Janice (PhD), our newest group members!

Our group is presenting at the 2022 Computational Methods in Water Resources and at the Frontiers in Hydrology meetings on geologic dissolution, colloid transport, and 3D printed porous media

June 9, 2022: We celebrated Janis's  PhD commencement ceremony, our group's first doctoral graduate. Many congratulations Dr. Patiño!

Veronica spent a productive week at EMSL conducting experiments to detect microbial hotspots in the hyporheic zone with Kevin Roche, Jason Mick, Arunima Bhattacharjee, and Tom Wietsma

Our group is presenting at the InterPore 2022 meeting our work on geologic dissolution hotspots and transport of agrochemicals in soils

Our latest work on the role of soil structure on colloid retention has been accepted for publication in Water Resources Research 

Bhuvi and Eschwar (HS students) took first place in the Alameda County science fair for their water filter project, and also received the US Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Water Research Award from the Alameda County Water and Wastewater District. Many congratulations on your hard work!

Feb/Mar 2022: Invited seminar and visit by Dr Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez (ETH Zürich/Eawag) on "Elucidating the Coupling of Processes in Soils and Aquifers Key for Life-Sustaining and Protection of Resources: A Microscale View"

Mogan's groundwater contamination interactive web-tools are now live for teaching plume evolution as cross-sections and spatial maps

Welcome Dr Filippo Miele, our newest postdoc! 



Congratulations to Mackenzie Dughi for finishing her Masters of Science this December, 2021. Best wishes on the next step!

Our group is presenting in person and online at the AGU 2021 Fall Meeting our work on colloid filtrationgeologic dissolution, and intermittency in transport

Veronica joins the Young Editorial Board for the journal Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology

Our group hosted >30 freshmen and sophomores from Ghidotti Early College High School to learn about what Environment/Water Resource Engineering is all about

Congratulations to Janis who has been selected to receive this year's Velez Graduate Fellowship for excellence in character and ability!

Our latest work on flow path resistance has been accepted for publication in the Special Issue on Mixing inTransport in Porous Media

Welcome Bhuvi (HS) and Eschwar (HS), our newest group members!

The Morales group attends the InterPore 2021 annual meeting online

Zoe has been awarded NSF INTERN funding to work this summer at the USGS 

Zoe successfully advanced to candidacy this May 4th. Well done Zoe!

Welcome Mogan (BS) and Lena (BS), our newest group members!

Congratulations to Zoe Kananvas for finishing her Masters of Science this March, 2021. Very well done!

Congratulations to Jiahui Zhou for finishing her Masters of Science this March, 2021. Great work!

Janis is away for two quarters to do an exchange in Environmental Soil Chemistry with the Parikh group

Congratulations to Zoe for receiving the 2021 College of Engineering Excellence in Graduate Student Service & Leadership Award!

Congratulations to Zoe for being selected as an awardee for the ARCS 20-21 scholarship!


The Morales lab presented our most current work on flow resistivity, transport in agricultural soils, bioclogging effects on hydrodynamics, and frontiers in subsurface transport at the 2020 AGU Fall Meeting 

Our work on short-range forces through organic matter-rich solutions is now published in Environmental Science & Technology

Congratulations to Alejandro Perez for finishing his Masters of Science this October, 2020. Well done Alex!

Veronica receives the 2020 Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award from AGU (Frontiers in Subsurface Transport webinar)

Zoe has been selected to receive the Dennis L. Salisbury and Patricia K. Salisbury Award. Congratulations Zoe!

Janis successfully advanced to candidacy this May 5th. Well done Janis!

Our latest work on colloidal aggregate filtration has been accepted for publication in Environmental Science & Technology 

Veronica and Zoe attended the Lorentz Center workshop on “Mixing in Porous Media”  presenting their work on "Particle dynamics in porous media: colloid filtration and anomalous transport" and "Predicting the distribution of primary-flow paths from pore-network structure"

Welcome Mackenzie (MS/PhD) and Jiahui (MS), our newest group members!


Our entire lab presented the most recent work on preferential flow, colloid filtration, and surface forces at the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting 

Nov 12, 2019: Invited seminar and visit by Prof Peter Kang (University of Minnesota) on "Flow and Reactive Transport in the Subsurface"

Our review on recent advances in anomalous transport models is now published in Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering

Veronica receives a 2019 Hellman Fellows Award

Over the summer, Veronica visited the group of Pietro de Anna at UNIL to work on flow heterogeneity and colloid filtration

Veronica is guest editing a special issue in the journal Water on Colloid and Pathogen Transport in Groundwater

Janis Patino has received the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship for the second time. Congratulations Janis!

Veronica has been awarded the NSF-CAREER grant to work on fundamental controls of transport attributes from porous media microstructure


Congratulations to Zain Azzaino for finishing his Masters of Science this Dec 20, 2018. Well done Zain!

Welcome Zoe, our newest MS/PhD student!

Janis Patino and Veronica Morales presented their latest work, respectively, on 3D printed soil micromodels and preferential flow predictions at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting in Washington D.C.

Nov 27, 2018: Invited seminar and visit by Dr Jeffrey Hyman (Los Alamos National Lab) on "Influence of Multiple Scales in Fractured Media on Flow and Transport Properties"

Nov 2, 2018: The Morales Lab contributed to making the 13th Annual Northern California Community College STEM Transfer Day a success. Happy to be a part of the MESA program at UCD! 

Sept 4, 2018: Prof Alberto Tiraferri (Politecnico di Torino) visits our lab to share perspectives on surface chemistry, membrane filtration and environmental remediation

The Women for Water Research swim team completed the 2018 Trans Tahoe Relay for the love of science. Go team! 

Veronica Morales gave an invited talk on Intermittent Pore-Scale Particle Motion at the GRS/GRC Flow and Transport in Permeable Media

This spring, Alejandro and Valerie completed their Bachelor degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Well earned guys! 

This year Zain Azzaino won the 2018-2019 Summer GSR Award. Congratulations Zain!

Janis Patino presented her latest work on Colloid Immobilization in Porous Media at the InterPore annual meeting in New Orleans 

Our very own Janis Patino has been awarded the 2018 -2019 P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship. Congratulations Janis!

Welcome Valerie, our new undergrad research assistant!

Back to back, our latest work on feedback mechanisms between biofilm development and porescale hydrodynamics is now published in Water Research and Water Resources Research



Congratulations to Dr Maxence Carrel for successfully defending his PhD thesis on "Pore-Scale Investigation of Biofilm Growth in

Three-Dimensional Porous Media" on Oct 25, 2017 at ETH Zürich. Well done Max!

Oct 31, 2017: Invited seminar by Prof Arturo Keller (University of California, Santa Barbara) on "Assessing the Risk of Engineered Nanomaterials in the Environment with the NanoFate Model"

Welcome Janis and Zain, our incoming MS/PhD students!

Congratulations to Grace Hoang for finishing her Masters of Science this October, 2017. Well done Grace!

Our latest work on anomalous transport is now published in Geophysical Research Letters

Aug 3, 2017: Invited seminar by Prof Diogo Bolster (University of Notre Dame) on "Incomplete Mixing & Reactions in Heterogeneous Porous Media" 

Welcome Alejandro, our undergrad research assistant!

Maxence's first publication is online in PLoS ONE

Maxence Carrel is visiting our group this spring from ETH Zürich as a Swiss National Science Foundation Scholar

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