Markus Tuller

Director, Graduate Programs, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science

Professor of Soil and Environmental Physics, Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences

I joined the SWES Department in 2007 and I’ve enjoyed being part of the diverse and vibrant UA community since. Being a native of Austria and spending time at Utah State University and the University of Idaho prior to my appointment at UA, I was always surrounded by abundant water and lush greenery. I still remember when I flew to Tucson for my job interview and looked down on the brown and uninviting Sonoran desert, and thought that there is no way I could enjoy living in such environment. Once on the ground and after a hike through Saguaro National Park I recognized the immense diversity of desert plants and animals and all the green not visible from the plane, and immediately fell in love with the desert and Tucson’s mixture of Hispanic and American culture. I consider myself lucky for the opportunity to teach and conduct research at this great place. I have a variety of research interests that align with the overarching topic of “Critical Zone Science,” mainly with mass and energy transfer within the soil and at the soil-atmospheric boundary. I am involved in numerous projects with national and international collaborators. Motivated by the obvious trend of global warming and in view of potential federal regulations, my students and I are currently heavily involved with the development of cost-efficient novel means to measure greenhouse gas emissions from natural ecosystems and agricultural operations under varying environmental conditions. Another one of my favorite projects is the application of X-Ray Computed Tomography to determine pore morphological and hydraulic properties of soils. This project has wide-ranging implications for environmental remediation and many other applications, such as oil recovery.