Group Members

Interested in joining us? Please contact James Heiss at and include a resume or CV and a brief (<100 words) description of your research interests.

James Heiss
PhD, University of Delaware

Assistant Professor
UMass Lowell
Kennedy College of Sciences
Envir., Earth & Atmos. Science
Olney Hall 102C
One University Ave.
Lowell, MA 01854

Phone: 978-934-6304
Google Scholar

My research interests are in the role of terrestrial and oceanographic forcings on coastal groundwater dynamics, groundwater resources, and chemical fluxes to the coastal zone. A primary goal is to understand links between physical groundwater flow and biogeochemical processes in nearshore aquifers across temporal (waves to climate) and spatial (beach to bay) scales.

Postdoctoral researchers

Neshat Movahedi
PhD Hydraulic Structures Engineering, Gorgan University
MS Hydraulic Structures Engineering, Gorgan University
BS Water Engineering, Gorgan University

Neshat's research interests are experimental and numerical modeling of surface water and groundwater interactions. During her PhD, she conducted extensive laboratory experiments investigating hyporheic exchange caused by variations in channel bed and width. As a postdoc researcher, she aims to investigate how surface water dynamics affect exchanges of fresh and saline fluids in estuaries.

Graduate Students

Madelaine Griesel
PhD Student
BS, Physics, Trinity University

Madelaine’s interests are in modeling groundwater dynamics in estuaries. She is currently focusing on saltwater intrusion into groundwater and aquifers in various estuaries on the East Coast of the USA, with a goal to understand how groundwater-surface water exchange may impact water resources.

Asim Roy
PhD Student
MS, Geology, University of Dhaka BS, Geology, University of Dhaka

Asim Roy received an NST (National Science and Technology) fellowship to conduct his research in coastal Bangladesh while a MS student at the University of Dhaka. His current research interests are in coastal hydrodynamics, surface water-groundwater interactions, and extensive groundwater modeling. Out of academic study, he is a photographer, and he likes to travel, hike, and read novels.

Josh Griffin
MS Student
BS, Marine Science, Safety, and Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Josh is interested in tidally-driven groundwater-surface water exchanges and water quality.

Group Alumni

Graduate Students

Olasunkanmi Olorunsaye
MS, Environmental Studies, UMass Lowell
BS, Federal University of Technology Akure

Now at Stantec Inc.

Bryce Mase
BS, Mathematics, Eastern Connecticut State University
BS, Environmental Earth Science, Eastern Connecticut State University

Clara Cogswell
MS, Environmental Studies, UMass Lowell
BA, Geoscience, Wellesley College

Now at CAUSHI.

Undergraduate Students

Katlyn Santo, Fall 2022 - Fall 2023
Project topic: Grain size analysis of borehole sediment samples from an intertidal zone of a high-energy beach

Zachary McCann, summer 2020 - summer 2022
Project topic: Multi-parameter water quality sensor calibration, beta testing, software development, and hardware support.

John Swanson, summer 2020 - present
Project topic: IoT water quality sensor network prototype development.

Fiona Benzi, summer 2021
Project topic: Well construction and field preparation support.

Anthony Terravacchia, summer 2021
Project topic: Environmental sensor testing.

Eric Viscione, summer 2020 - Fall 2020
Project topic: Electrical conductivity, DO, ORP, and temperature sensor circuit board design.

Kristina Douglas, KCS Scholars, summer 2020
Project topic: Aquifer response to sea level rise beneath Boston, MA.

Sam Patriquin, Spring 2019 - Summer 2021
Project topic: Aquifer response to sea level rise beneath Boston, MA.

Christopher Leary, summer 2019 - spring 2020
Project topic: Hydrogeologic instrument design and construction.

Charlie Mirabile, summer 2019 - spring 2020
Project topic: Development of Internet of Things (IoT) device for water quality monitoring.

Grace Chin, 2018
Project topic: Wireless water quality network software and hardware development.

Joel Savits, 2018
Project topic: Wireless water quality network software and hardware development.

Peter Woislaw, 2019
Project topic: Wireless water quality network software and hardware development.

High school Students

Aarav Singh, summer 2022 - summer 2023
Project topic: Python scripting for analysis of numerically-modeled coastal aquifer salinity distributions