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James Heiss

IMAGE OF James Heiss
James HeissAssistant Professor
  • College
    College of Sciences
  • Department
    Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Phone
    (978) 934-6304
  • Office
    Olney Hall - 102C
  • Email
  • Profile Links

Research Interests

Coastal Hydrogeology, Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions, Coastal Groundwater Resources, Aquifer Biogeochemistry

My research interests are in coastal groundwater dynamics and linkages between hydrology, geology, and biogeochemistry in coastal aquifers. I am also interested in interactions between groundwater and surface water in beach, estuarine, bay, and marsh environments. I investigate these topics through field experimentation and numerical groundwater flow, solute transport, and biogeochemical modeling.


  • Ph D: Geology, (2017), University of Delaware - Newark, DE
  • MS: Geology, (2011), University of Delaware - Newark, DE
  • BS: Geoenvironmental Studies, (2009), Shippensburg University - Shippensburg, PA

Selected Awards and Honors

  • AGU Water Resources Research Editor’s Choice Award (2015) - Water Resources Research
  • National Ground Water Association Student Sponsor (2015) - National Ground Water Association
  • Professional Development Award (2014) - University of Delaware
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2011) - University of Delaware
  • Professional Development Award (2011) - University of Delaware
  • Judith A. Achuff Memorial Scholarship Award (2009)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2009)

Selected Publications

  • Russoniello, C.J., Heiss, J.W., Michael, H.A. (2018). Variability in Benthic Exchange Rate, Depth, and Residence Time Beneath a Shallow Coastal Estuary. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.
  • Heiss, J., Post, V., Laattoe, T., Russoniello, C., Michael, H. (2017). Physical Controls on Biogeochemical Processes in Intertidal Zones of Beach Aquifers. Water Resources Research, 53(11).
  • Kim, K.H., Heiss, J., Michael, H.A., Cai, W.J., Laattoe, T., Post, V.E., Ullman, W.J. (2017). Spatial Patterns of Groundwater Biogeochemical Reactivity in an Intertidal Beach Aquifer. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122(10) 2548--2562.
  • Geng, X., Heiss, J., Michael, H.A., Boufadel, M.C. (2017). Subsurface flow and moisture dynamics in response to swash motions: Effects of beach hydraulic conductivity and capillarity. Water Resources Research, (2001) 317-335.
  • Walther, M., Heiss, J., Magri, F., Delfs, J., Graf, T. (2016). Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical-Chemical Processes in Fractured Porous Media: Modelling and Benchmarking: Benchmarking Initiatives (pp. 97-105). Springer International Publishing
  • Mcallister, S.M., Barnett, J.M., Heiss, J., Findlay, A.J., Macdonald, D.J., Dow, C.L., Luther, G.W., Michael, H.A., Chan, C.S. (2015). Dynamic hydrologic and biogeochemical processes drive microbially enhanced iron and sulfur cycling within the intertidal mixing zone of a beach aquifer. Limnology and Oceanography, 60(1) 329--345.
  • Heiss, J., Puleo, J.A., Ullman, W.J., Michael, H.A. (2015). Coupled surface-subsurface hydrologic measurements reveal infiltration, recharge, and discharge dynamics across the swash zone of a sandy beach. Water Resources Research, 1.
  • Heiss, J., Michael, H.A. (2014). Saltwater-freshwater mixing dynamics in a sandy beach aquifer over tidal, spring-neap, and seasonal cycles. Water Resources Research, 50(8) 6747-6766.
  • Heiss, J., Ullman, W.J., Michael, H.A. (2014). Swash zone moisture dynamics and unsaturated infiltration in two sandy beach aquifers. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 143 20-31.

Selected Presentations

  • Impact of Heterogeneity and Degradation of POC on Biogeochemical Transformations in an Intertidal Aquifer - International Association of Hydrological Sciences , July 2019 - Montreal, Canada
  • Geochemical response to hydrologic change along land-sea interfaces - American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2016 - San Francisco, CA
  • The influence of groundwater flowpaths and mixing on nutrient fluxes to estuaries and the ocean - Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, September 2016 - Denver, CO
  • Salinity dynamics in coastal aquifers affected by tides and Hurricane Sandy, Rising Seas and Extreme Events on Vulnerable Coasts, April 2016 - Newark, DE
  • Temporal and spatial variability of sediment saturation and patterns of groundwater-surface water exchange in the intertidal zone at swash and tidal time scales - American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2015 - San Francisco, CA
  • Linking swash zone surface processes to groundwater flow using subsurface measurements and video imagery, June 2015 - Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • Seasonal water table effects on tide-induced saltwater-freshwater mixing in sandy beaches - Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, December 2011 - Charlotte, NC