Shishir Basant: 2014-Present. Master's Student

Shishir Basant (Post Doctoral Researcher, 2022 – ; PhD student, 2014–2021) 

Shishir is currently working as a post doctoral resarcher on a project looking potential for increasing groundwater recharge through savanna and grassland restoration in Post Oak savanna, Texas. For his PhD, Shishir did his field work in the South Texas mesquite shrublands where he investigated interaction of lateral redistribution of water with vegetation patterns and sap flux rates in the dominant woody species. For a part of his PhD work, he also studied the effect of thicketization in oak woodlands in Post Oak savannas on chloride accumulation in soils and soil moisture/water storage which was the basis for our most recently awarded grant (USDA-NIFA) of $ 750,000.

Prior to his graduate school in Texas, Shishir worked with startups and NGOs in India until 2014. He acquired his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India in 2009. He worked in the energy sector till 2011 before switching to working on natural resource management issues in rural and semi-urban environments.

Shishir enjoys field work in ecology and hydrology and investigating questions related to connection between water resources and land management. He is broadly interested in producing science relevant for improving management and helping with better policy making.



Pedro Afonso Leite ( PhD. 2017 – current; M.S., 2014–2016,)

Pedro is currently working at the Sonora research station for his PhD. His research involves application of  COSMOS rover  and Electromagnetic methods for soil moisture estimation in shrublands. He graduated with his MS thesis in 2016 on land use and forest regrowth influences on soil hydraulic properties in the Caatinga, a semi-arid region in Brazil.

Pedro is interested in the effects of land use and land cover change on hydrological processes and other ecosystem functions. He is particularly interested in how insects modify landscape processes at different scales. He acquired his Bachelors in Biology from Universidade de Sao Paulo in 2014 in Brazil before moving to US for his masters. For his undergraduate research, he studied ecosystem services provided by social insects in the Atlantic rainforest. He enjoys outdoor activities – fishing, camping and climbing.

Xiangmin Sun: 2013-Present. PhD Student

Xiangmin Sun (PhD, 2013 – 2019)

Xiangmin’s main research interests are Evapotranspiration partioning, Soil moisture modeling, Remote Sensing, ET modeling on heterogeneous landscapes. His current research is based in Oklahoma and includes studies on ecohydrology wherein he is incorporating isotopes, remote sensing (LIDAR) and Eddy-covariance Flux.

Before joining A&M in 2013, Xiangmin acquired his Bachelor in Hydrology and Water resources engineering from Lanzhou University in China and MS in Environmental Engineering at Chinese academy of Sciences.

Other interests includes ArcGIS, R, Powerpoint Design, Infographics, Critical thinking, History. Sam enjoys listening to music and playing volleyball.



Cynthia Wright: 2010-2011, 2014-Present. Undergraduate Researcher and PhD Student

Cynthia Wright (PhD, 2014- 2019)

Cynthia’s current research seeks to understand how hydrology and water resources are affected by land use change in the Caatinga biome of northeastern Brazil. Moreover, she is intrigued by the effect of seasonality on soil water, corresponding shrub responses, and land use strategies, and how these dynamics manifest at larger catchment and landscape scales.

Cynthia earned a B.Sc. in Environmental Geoscience at Texas A&M and an M.Sc. in Ecohydrology at the University of the Algarve, Portugal and UNESCO-IHE, Netherlands







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