My research is focused on rivers and water in the US.  I am trained as a hydraulic engineer and hydrologist, but my work spans from basic field and lab science to policy and economics.  Most of my current basic science work is done through my very capable team of graduate students and post-docs, and through collaborations at the Duke River Center. My current scientific focus is on using novel approaches to studying rivers, particularly Lagrangian (flowpath) based approaches, being pioneered by Scott Ensign and John Gardner (see below).  I am also working on water infrastructure finance (municipal and federal), and through my work with the Nicholas Institute, the creation of an Internet of Water (link).

I typically publish my research in technical/scientific peer-reviewed journal outlets, a (mostly) full list of which is available through my Google scholar page or through my Duke page. What I consider to be my key academic/scholarly contributions are listed below.

I have also advised a number of stellar PhD students and post-docs (along with a large number of masters students, who are not listed here).

Nicholas Bruns (PhD, Duke, Ecology, 2017-present; co-advised with Jim Heffernan); non-linear systems analysis in rivers.

Katy Hansen (PhD, Duke, Environmental Policy; Megan Mullin primary advisor); water infrastructure.

John Gardner (PhD, Duke, Environment, 2014-2018); NSF EAR-Post-doc; Remote Sensing group (UNC-CH/Tamlin Pavelsky)

Matt Fuller (PhD, Duke, Environment, 2012-2017); ORISE scientist, EPA

Matt Ross (PhD, Duke, Ecology, 2011-; co-advised with E. Bernhardt); Assist Prof, Colorado State Univ.

Chuck Podolak (post-doc, 2012-2014); natural resource staff for Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ); currently director of water at Salt River Project, AZ.

Autumn Thoyre (PhD, UNC, Geography, 2014), Assist. Prof, San Francisco State Univ.

Jeff Muehlbauer (PhD, UNC, Ecology, 2013), Research ecologist, USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring & Research Center

Brian Lutz (post-doc, 2011-2013), program lead, soil sustainability, Climate Corporation/Monsanto.

Kimberly Meitzen (post-doc joint with TNC, 2013), Assist. Prof, Texas State Univ.

Lauren Patterson (MS and PhD, Geography, 2012), Research Analyst, Nicholas Institute

Tim Baird (PhD, Geography, 2012), Associate Professor, Virginia Tech (Geography)

Scott Ensign (PhD, Ecology, 2011), Assistant Director, Stroud Water Center.

JR Rigby (post-doc, 2010-2011); Research Hydrologist, Natl Sedimentation Laboratory

Erich Hester (PhD, Ecology, 2008); Assoc Prof, Virginia Tech Univ (Civil Engineering)

Jason Julian (PhD, Geography, 2007); Assoc. Prof, Texas State Univ.

Adam Riggsbee (PhD, Env Sci and Engin. 2006, UNC): Principal/Owner: Riverbank Ecosystems, Austin TX.

Cailin Orr (Post-doc, 2005-2006, UNC): Assistant Director, Science Education Research Center, Carleton College



Doyle et al. (2015). Morphology of streams restored for market and non-market purposes: Insights from a mixed natural-social science approach. Water Resources Research 51(7); 5603-5622.

Doyle and VonWindheim (2015). Environmental management strategy: Four forces analysis. Environmental Management 55: 6-18.

Doyle et al. (2014). The optimal scale of markets for water quality trading. Water Resources Research 50(9): 7231-7244.

Doyle (2012). America’s rivers and the American experiment. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 1-18: doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2012.00652.x.

Doyle and Ensign (2009). Alternative reference frames in river systems science. BioScience 59: 499-510.

Doyle et al. (2008). Aging infrastructure and ecosystem restoration. Science 319(5861): 286-287.

Doyle et al. (2005). Effective discharge analysis of ecological processes in streams. Water Resources Research, 41, W1141, doi: 10.1029/2005WR004222.

Doyle et al. (2003), Channel adjustments following two dam removals in Wisconsin.  Water Resources Research.  39(1), 1011, doi: 10.1029/2002WR001714.


photos by David Herasimtschuk, Freshwaters illustrated