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  Mukesh Kumar Nicholas School of Environment 

    Email:          mk176_at_duke_dot_edu
    Phone:          +1-919-681-7837
   Address:    A207 Levine Science Research                        Center
                       Campus Box 90328
                       Duke University
                       Durham, NC 27708-0328

  • Sep. 2017: Yanlan's paper on "Increasing atmospheric humidity and CO2 concentration alleviate forest mortality risk" published in PNAS. Congratulations Yanlan!
  • May 2017: Chris Krapu gets NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship. Congratulations Chris!
  • Apr. 2017: Chris Krapu awarded Wetland Center's Graduate Research Grant. Congratulations Chris!
  • Apr. 2017: Yifan Zhou awarded Environment Innovation Fund Research Grant. Congratulations Yifan!
  • Feb. 2017: Yanlan Liu wins Outstanding Student Paper Award at AGU, 2016. Congratulations Yanlan!


Mukesh Kumar is an Assistant Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources at Duke University. He did his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur and Ph.D. from Pennstate University.
    Mukesh's research goal is to improve understanding and prediction of hydrologic processes. Primarily, he seeks to: (a) assess the individual and integrated role of processes and antecedent states on hydrologic response (e.g. JHM16, EMS16, JHM15, AWR13); (b) evaluate the eco-hydrological impacts of variations/changes in landcover (e.g. JGR14, JGR13) and climate (e.g. PNAS17, WRR16, GRL16, GRL12); and (c) quantify the role of approximations in data (e.g. AWR13) and processes (e.g. AWR12) on hydrologic estimates. To achieve these goals, Mukesh has co-developed several open-source numerical models (e.g. PIHM, FIHM, GaRM, FoRM, GeoTopSed) and data analytics methods (e.g. JH09). To facilitate the use of models over a range of scales and settings, he has also worked on the design of model interfaces (e.g. PIHMgis) and efficient modeling strategies (e.g. GIS09, pPIHM). Mukesh's research recognitions include NSF CAREER Award, UCOWR PhD Dissertation Award (2nd Prize), CUAHSI-CMWR Fellowship and Outstanding Student Paper Award at AGU. Mukesh's students have also received several honors including Outstanding Student Paper Award at AGU to Yanlan Liu, CUAHSI Pathfinder Fellowship to Bijan Seyednasrollah, and NASA Earth Science Fellowship, IGERT WiseNet Fellowship, James B Duke Fellowship and DUWC Research Grant to Chris Krapu. 
Focus Areas: Watershed Hydrology, Snow Hydrology, Ecohydrology, Numerical Modeling, Geographic Information Systems (GISs). 

Selected Projects

              Change Effects on Tree Mortality
How forest mortality risks will be affected by changes in precipitation, temperature, relative humidity and CO2? (@PNAS17)
Role of soil moisture and
                rainfall erosivity on sediment yield
How well can rainfall erosivity and soil moisture explain the daily suspended sediment yield from watersheds? (@EMS16)
Wetland Groundwater Dynamics
Can we predict the inter-annual groundwater dynamics in inland wetlands by only using precipitation and potential evapotranspiration data? (@WRR16)
Seasonal streamflow peak
How is annual streamflow peak from snow dominated watersheds affected by climate warming? (@GRL16)
Flood response to hurricanes
How does antecedent soil moisture and evapotranspiration affect flood response to hurricane storms? (@JHM15)
Extreme snow precipitation
Can more extreme precipitation regime negate the impact of climate warming on seasonal snow peak? (@GRL12)
Optimal forest density to
                minimize radiation

Is there an optimal tree density that minimizes seasonal net radiation on the forest floor? (@JGR-A13A ; JGR-A13B)
Streamflow Daily Peak Time

How does groundwater and snowpack depth affect the diurnal peak time of streamflow from snow dominated watersheds? (@JHM16)
Soil evaporation vs annual

Can annual soil evaporation from snow dominated watersheds decrease with increasing annual precipitation? (@AWR13)
Colorado River Basin
What are the dominant modes of precipitation, temperature and streamflow in Colorado River Basin (@JofH09)
Forest Gap Radiation

Is seasonal net radiation in the forest gap larger or smaller than rest of the forest? (@JGR-A14)
snow model intercomparison

How do representations of snow melt and accumulation processes affect distributed hydrologic response? (@AWR13)
              intercomparison of surface subsurface hydrologic models

How does coupling strategy affect overland and subsurface flow simulations (@WRR14)
Rain vs snow: Phase

Should the precipitation phase be determined based on thresholds of air temperature, dew point temperature, or wet-bulb temperature? (@AWR13)
Domain Partitioning

To what extent partitioning strategy of the model domain affect speedup of parallel hydrologic models? (@JHHE16)
Surface subsurface hydrology

How does aquifer anisotropy affect the groundwater flow field? (@VZJ09)

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