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Dr. Daniel McLaughlin

Associate Professor
  • B.S., 2002, Civil Engineering, Clemson University; M.S., Environmental Engineering, Clemson University; Ph.D., Systems Ecology and Ecological Engineering, University of Florida

Dr. Daniel McLaughlin

Dr. Daniel McLaughlin
210C Cheatham Hall
310 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Forest and wetland ecohydrology; biotic feedbacks to landform development; watershed and landscape hydrology; emerging environmental sensors; restoration and management of water resources.

My research uses state-of-the-art field instrumentation and process-based modeling to explore the abiotic/biotic interactions that control ecosystem function.  Research questions span scales (e.g., patch, watershed, landscape) and systems (e.g., forests, wetlands, streams), and are ultimately aimed at improving restoration and management of water resources.

For graduate research opportunities, please send me your C.V. and contact information.

VA Water Resources Research Center

  • Drivers of Headwater Stream Condition:  Assessing the impacts of different watershed-scale activities (e.g., prescribed fire, mountaintop mining) on water quality and habitat of headwater streams.
  • Ecosystem Variation at the Great Dismal Swamp.   Evaluating variability and drivers of ecosystem structure and function across this large forested peatland system.
  • The Ecological Drill Hypothesis: Biotic Control on Carbonate Dissolution in a Low-Relief Patterned Landscape.  Exploring the role of wetland metabolism and hydrology in creating the striking landscape pattern in Big Cypress National Preserve.
  • Managing Forests for Increased Regional Water Availability.  Understanding the effect of varying forest management actions (e.g., fire and thinning) on water delivery to aquifers and water bodies.
  • Hydrologic Implications of Smoldering Fires in Wetland Landscapes.  Exploring how peat fires influence basin bathymetry, wetland hydroperiod, and vegetative response.
  • Functions and Connectivity of Geographically Isolated Wetlands.  Investigating the various ways that distributed isolated wetlands provide functions at local to landscapes scales.
  • Ecological and Hydrological Impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Understanding the coupled hydrologic and vegetative impacts resulting from EAB-induced mortality in Minnesota black ash forests.
  •  Schulte, M.L., McLaughlin, D.L., Wurster, F.C., Balentine, K., Speiran, G.K., Aust, M., Stewart, R.D., Varner, J.M., Jones, C.N. (2019) Linking ecosystem function and hydrologic regime to inform restoration of a forested peatland. Journal of Environmental Management 233: 342-351, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.12.042.
  • Evenson, G., Jones, C.N., McLaughlin, D.L., Golden, H., Lane, C., DeVries, B., Alexander, L.C., Lang, M.W., McCarty, G.W., Sharifi, A. (2018) A watershed-scale model for depressional wetland-rich landscapes. Journal of HydrologyX 1: doi:10.1016/j.hydroa.2018.10.002.
  • Diamond, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Slesak, R., D’Amato, A., Palik, B. (2018) Forested versus herbaceous wetlands: can management mitigate ecohydrologic regime shifts from invasive emerald ash borer. Journal of Environmental Management 222: 436-446, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.05.082.
  • Dong, X., Cohen, M.J., Martin, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Murray, A., Ward, N.D., Flint, M., Heffernan, J. (2018) Ecohydrologic processes and soil thickness feedbacks control limestone-weathering rates in a karst landscape. Chemical Geology: doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.05.021.
  • Chamberlin, C., Bianchi, T., Brown, A., Cohen, M.J., Dong, X., Flint, M., Martin, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Murray, A., Pain, A., Quintero, C., Ward, N., Zhang, X., Heffernan, J. (2018) Mass balance implies Holocene development of a low-relief karst patterned landscape. Chemical Geology: doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.05.029.
  • Evenson, G.R., Golden, H., Lane, C., McLaughlin, D.L., D’Amico, E. (2018) Depressional wetlands affect watershed hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological functions. Ecological Applications. doi: 10.1002/eap.01701.
  • Jones, C.N., McLaughlin, D.L., Henson, K., Hass, C.A., Kaplan, D.A. (2018) From salamanders to greenhouse gases: does upland management affect wetland function? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16(1): 14-19, doi:10.1002/fee.1744.
  • Jones, C.N., Evenson, G.R., McLaughlin, D.L., Vanderhoof, M., Lang, M., McCarty, G., Golden, H., Lane, C., Alexander, L. (2018) Estimating restorable wetland water storage at landscape scales. Hydrological Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.11405.
  • Creed, I.F., Lane, C.R., Alexander, L., Basu, N.B., Calhoun, A., Cohen, M.J., Craft, C., D’Amico, E., DeKeyser, E., Fowler, L., Golden, H.E., Jawitz, J.W., Kalla, P., Kirkman, L.K., Lang, M., Leibowitz, S.G., Lewis, D.B., Marton, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Raanan-Kiperwas, H., Rains, M.C., Smith, L., Serran, J.N. (2017) Enhancing protections for vulnerable waters. Nature Geoscience 10: 809-815, doi: 10.1038/NGEO3041.
  • Golden, H.E., Creed, I.F., Ali, G., Basu, N.B., Neff, B., Rains, M.C, McLaughlin, D.L., Alexander, L.C., Ameli, A.A., Christensen, J.R., Evenson, G.R., Jones, C.N., Lane, C.R., Lang, M. (2017) Scientific tools for integrating geographically isolated wetlands into land management decisions.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15(6):319-327, doi: 10.1002/fee.1504.
  • Chandler, H. C., McLaughlin, D.L., Gorman, T.A., McGuire, K.J., Feaga, J.B., Haas, C.A. (2017) Drying rates of ephemeral wetlands: implications for breeding amphibians. Wetlands: doi: 10.1007/s13157-017-0889-1.
  • Hensley, R.T., McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J., Decker, P.H. (2017) Stream phosphorus dynamics of minimally impacted coastal plain watersheds. Hydrological Processes: doi: 10.1002/hyp.11132.
  • Van Meter, K.J., Steiff, M., McLaughlin, D.L., Basu, N.B. (2016) The socioecohydrology of rainwater harvesting tanks in India: understanding water storage and release dynamics across spatial scales. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (20): 2629-2647, doi: 10.5194/hess-20-2629-2016.
  • Cohen, M.J., Creed, I., Alexander, L., Basu, N., Calhoun, A., Craft, C., D’Amico, E., DeKeyser, E., Fowler, L., Golden, H., Jawitz, J., Kalla, P., Kirkman, K., Lane, C., Lang, M., Leibowitz, S., Lewis, D., Marton, J., McLaughlin, D.L., Mushet, D., Rannan-Kiperwas, H., Rains, M., Smith, L., Walls, S. (2016) Do geographically isolated wetlands influence landscape functions? Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences 113(8): 1978-1986, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1512650113.
  • Watts, A. C., Schmidt, C.A., McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D.A. (2015) Hydrologic implications of smoldering fires in wetland landscapes. Freshwater Science: doi: 10.1086/683484.
  • Rains, M.C., Leibowitz, S.G., Cohen, M.J., Creed, I.F., Golden, H.E., Jawitz, J.W., Kalla, P., Lane, C.R., Lang, M.W., McLaughlin, D.L. (2015) Geographically isolated wetlands are part of the hydrological landscape. Hydrological Processes: doi:  10.1002/hyp.10610.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D.A., Cohen, M.J. (2014).  A significant nexus: geographically isolated wetlands influence landscape hydrology.  Water Resources Research: doi:10.1002/2013WR015002.
  • Watts, A.C., Watts, D.L., Cohen, M.J., Heffernan, J.B, McLaughlin, D.L., Martin, J.B., Kaplan, D.A., Osborne, T.Z., Kobziar, L.N. (2014) Evidence of biogeomorphic patterning in a low-relief karst landscape.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms: doi: 10.1002/esp.3597.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Carlson Mazur, M.L., Kaplan, D.A., Cohen, M.J. (2014) Estimating effective specific yield in inundated conditions: a comment on a recent application. Ecohydrology: doi: 10.1002/eco.1522.
  • Cademus, R., Escobedo, F.J., McLaughlin, D.L., Abd-Elrahman, A. (2014) Analyzing trade-offs, synergies, and drivers among timber production, carbon sequestration, and water yield in Pinus elliotii forests in southeastern USA.  Forests 5(6): 1409-1431, doi: 10.3390/f5061409.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J. (2014) Ecosystem specific yield for estimating evapotranspiration and groundwater exchange from diel surface water variation.  Hydrological Processes 28: 1495-1506, doi: 10.1002/hyp.9672.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Kaplan, D.A., Cohen, M.J. (2013) Managing forests for increased regional water yield in the southeastern U.S. coastal plain.  The Journal of the American Water Resources Association 49(4): 953-965, doi: 10.1111/jawr.12073.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J. (2013) Realizing ecosystem services: Wetland hydrologic function along a gradient of ecological condition.  Ecological Applications 23(7): 1619-1631.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Brown, M.T., Cohen, M.J. (2012) The ecohydrology of a pioneer wetland species and a drastically altered landscape.  Ecohydrology 5: 656-667, doi: 10.1002/eco.253.
  • McLaughlin, D.L., Cohen, M.J. (2011) Thermal artifacts in measurements of fine-scale water level variation.  Water Resources Research 47: W09601, doi:10.1029/2010WR010288.
  • FREC 4784/5784 Wetland Hydrology and Biogeochemistry
  • FREC 3754 Watersheds and Water Quality Monitoring