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Jonathan Czuba, P.E.

Assistant Professor
  • Research areas: River and floodplain processes and restoration; sediment transport; ecohydraulics and ecomorphodynamics
Jonathan Czuba, Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Assistant Professor
301 Seitz Hall


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2016

M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009

B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007


August 2017 - present - Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

September 2016 - August 2017 - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington

June 2016 - August 2016 - Post-Doctoral Associate, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

June 2009 – July 2012 - Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington Water Science Center

April 2007 - June 2009 - Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Illinois Water Science Center

Selected Major Awards

2015-2016 - Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

2015-2016 - Edward Silberman Fellowship, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota

2015 - Alvin G. Anderson Award, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota

2015 - Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union

2012-2013 - Department of Civil Engineering Graduate Fellowship, University of Minnesota

2012 - International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) Chandler-Misener Award

Program Focus

Dr. Czuba's research program extends collaboratively across multiple disciplines to advance the understanding of riverine ecosystems and their response to human and natural forces. The challenge to provide water, food, and energy for a growing population in the context of climate change is and will continue to place increasing pressure on riverine ecosystems. Dr. Czuba's research group incorporates theory, modeling, and field measurements to improve our understanding of these complex systems and better inform river management. Dr. Czuba's research largely focuses on the development and application of modeling tools to better predict the transport and fate of sediment and nutrients in rivers, organized around three major themes:

(1) Understanding the fundamentals of stream and floodplain restoration, specifically quantifying the form and function of natural streams and floodplains to inform stream restoration efforts.

(2) River network modeling and connectivity, specifically modeling the transport of sediment and nutrients on the branching structure of a river network to determine how change at one location on the landscape manifests change at locations downstream and to inform river basin management.

(3) Ecohydraulics and ecomorphodynamics (eco-: ecosystem + -hydraulics: dynamics of flowing water; -morphodynamics: evolution of landforms in response to the erosion and deposition of sediment), specifically how flowing water and moving sediment affect and are affected by the living components of the riverine ecosystem (e.g., plants, fish, freshwater mussels) to inform aquatic ecosystem management and restoration.

Selected Recent Publications

Czuba, J.A., M. Hirschler, E.A. Pratt, A. Villamagna, and P. Angermeier (2021), Bankfull shear velocity predicts embeddedness and silt cover in gravel streambeds, River Research and Applications, Accepted, doi:10.1002/rra.3878.

Ahammad, M., J.A. Czuba, A. Pfeiffer, B.P. Murphy, and P. Belmont (2021), Simulated dynamics of mixed versus uniform grain size sediment pulses in a gravel-bedded river, Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 126(10), e2021JF006194, doi:10.1029/2021JF006194.

Hansen, A.T., T. Campbell, S.J. Cho, J.A. Czuba, B.J. Dalzell, C.L. Dolph, P.L. Hawthorne, S. Rabotyagov, Z. Lang, K. Kumarasamy, P. Belmont, J.C. Finlay, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, K.B. Gran, C.L. Kling, and P. Wilcock (2021), Integrated assessment modeling reveals near-channel management as cost-effective to improve water quality in agricultural watersheds, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., 118(28), e2024912118, doi:10.1073/pnas.2024912118.

Sumaiya, S., J.A. Czuba, J.T. Schubert, S.R. David, G.H. Johnston, and D.A. Edmonds (2021), Sediment transport potential in a hydraulically connected river and floodplain-channel system, Water Resources Research, 57(5), e2020WR028852, doi:10.1029/2020WR028852.

Pfeiffer, A.M., K.R. Barnhart, J.A. Czuba, and E.W.H. Hutton (2020), NetworkSedimentTransporter: A Landlab component for bed material transport through river networks, Journal of Open Source Software, 5(53), 2341, doi:10.21105/joss.02341.

Christensen, N.D., C.E. Wisinger, L.A. Maynard, N. Chauhan, J.T. Schubert, J.A. Czuba, and J.R. Barone (2020), Transport and characterization of microplastics in inland waterways, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 38, 101640, doi:10.1016/j.jwpe.2020.101640.

Murphy, B.P., J.A. Czuba, and P. Belmont (2019), Post-wildfire sediment cascades: a modeling framework linking debris flow generation and network-scale sediment routing, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 44(11), 2126-2140, doi:10.1002/esp.4635.