My research focuses on how environmental variability affects hydrology in coastal settings. I have a particular interest in how waves, tides, sea level rise, recharge, and other climactically-variable land-sea forcings drive groundwater flow and chemistry in coastal and marine aquifers and the resulting impacts on chemical fluxes to the ocean, ecosystem health and availability of groundwater drinking supplies. To understand the extent of these impacts, I use a combination of field, laboratory, and numerical modeling techniques to investigate how hydrology and geology control flow of groundwater and contaminants through coastal aquifers into the sea. I have published papers that apply novel techniques to upscale process- and site-scale understanding to regional and global scales. Through collaborations with biogeochemists and geophysicists I have been able to assimilate additional data to extend the impact of my research. My research training at Syracuse University has broadened my knowledge and interests, and I am excited to continue asking questions about how to mitigate environmental impacts of climate variability on hydrology in the arid West and investigating how best to visually share scientific information with novice and expert audiences—in and out of the classroom.

I have several first-author publications on these topics in leading academic journals with more in preparation. These papers, which cover scales from centimeters-to-globe and seconds-to-centuries have important implications for extrapolating site-and-lab scale measurements of flow and chemistry toward broader-scale implications, estimating groundwater and chemical fluxes to the ocean, and understanding the global impacts of a changing climate. I look forward to expanding my research to incorporate additional processes while continuing to think across the largest scales possible to address these important concerns. 


Coastal Groundwater

How do fresh and saltwater mix at the coast



Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Associate

Advisor: Dr. Laura K. Lautz

Benthic Exchange

How waves, tides, and currents drive surface water/groundwater mixing


University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Ph.D. Geology

Advisor: Dr. Holly A. Michael

Hyporheic Exchange

Groundwater/surface water interaction in streams

Water Supply Sustainability

The resiliency of aquifers in response to rising sea levels, changes in precipitation, and increased demands


University of Delaware, Newark, DE

M.S. Geology

Advisor: Dr. Holly A. Michael


Colby College, Waterville, ME

B.A. Geology

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer D. Shosa


Department of Geology & Geography



T: (304) 293-9803

E: chris.russoniello@mail.wvu.edu

O: G35 Brooks Hall

330 Brooks Hall

98 Beechurst Ave.

Morgantown, WV 26506



T: (304) 293-5603

F: (304) 293-6522


West Virginia University

Dept. of Geology and Geography

© 2020 Chris Russoniello

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