Daniel Obenour, PhD, PE
Assistant Professor


My CCEE Departmental Website

Dan Obenour is interested in the development of quantitative models that improve our ability to understand and manage complex environmental systems.  His research has focused on the problems of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) and harmful algal blooms in lakes and coastal systems.  Dan also has considerable experience in the modeling of watersheds, streams, and reservoirs, related to the development of total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies and nonpoint-source pollution control plans.  Dan recognizes the inherent uncertainties involved with modeling coupled human-natural systems, and thus focuses on the development of advanced probabilistic (e.g., Bayesian and geostatistical) modeling frameworks.  He also aims to reduce model uncertainty through the assimilation of diverse sources of environmental information within these frameworks.


PhD Students:

Smitom Borah,

Smitom is a Ph.D. student in Civil Engineering focusing on Water Resources Engineering. He received his B.E. degree from Gauhati University (Assam, India) and M.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (Assam, India). In his Masters program, he worked on the development of an ecological model to study the extent of eutrophication in a Ramsar site in Northeastern India. His current research interest lies in understanding nutrient dynamics in lakes and reservoirs through Bayesian mechanistic modeling approaches.


Kimia Karimi,

Kimia is a PhD student in Center for Geospatial Analytics focusing on water resources. She received a B.S. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from University of Tehran, Iran. Her master research was focused on designing spatiotemporal water quality networks using geostatistics. Currently, she is working on spatio-temporal watershed nutrient load trend analysis and modeling for central North Carolina watersheds.


Rohith Matli,

Rohith is a PhD student in Geospatial Analytics.  He received  Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from NC State and a Bachelors degree from Pondicherry University, India. His previous research focused on analyzing compositional variability of rainwater for long-term storage and utility. He is currently working on modelling hypoxia in Gulf of Mexico using geostatistical methods.


Master’s students:

Raven McLaurin,

Raven is a Master’s student studying Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. Raven received her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Engineering from North Carolina State University in Spring 2022 with minors in Business Administration and Journalism. Her research focuses on the collection and analysis of phosphorus isotope data, in conjunction with the University of Florida, to create a site-specific phosphorus budget and mechanistic phosphorus model for Eastern North Carolina’s Tidewater Research Station. Raven is co-advised by Drs. Natalie Nelson and Dan Obenour.




Alexey Katin,

Alexey Katin received a B.S. from National University of Science and Technology (Moscow, Russia), M.S. from Dresden University of Technology, and PhD from NC State University. His research interests center on understanding and forecasting water quality dynamics.  He has studied hypoxia in the Neuse River Estuary through the application of coupled mechanistic and probabilistic models for predicting bottom dissolved oxygen concentrations.  His post-doctoral research (with co-advisor Kevin Craig, NOAA) explores hypoxia impacts on fish and fisheries in the northern Gulf of Mexico.


Undergraduate researchers:

  • Laura Gomez Rodriguez (NC State, Bio & Ag Engineering)
  • Chiemerigo Ogboi (NC A&T, Chemical Engineering)


Former graduate students and post-docs:

  • Dario Del Giudice (post-doc 2018-2020, now sr. data scientist at AllState)
  • Shiqi Fang (PhD student, 2016-2020, now post-doc at NC State)
  • Yue Han (PhD student, 2015-2020, now post-doc at Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Kevin Li (lab researcher, 2015-2017, now post-doc at University of Michigan)
  • Jonathan Miller (PhD student and post-doc 2014-2019, now teaching assistant professor at NC State)
  • Yini Shangguan (lab researcher, 2019, now at US EPA)
  • Jeremy Smithheart (MS student, 2016-2018, now consulting engineer at Moffatt & Nichol)
  • Hayden Strickling (MS student, 2016-2017, now consulting engineer at AECOM)


Former undergraduate student researchers:

  • Wesley Hayes (graduating 2020)
  • Bright Elijah (Benedict College, graduating 2019)
  • Erick Saunders (graduating 2018)
  • Brianne Walker (graduating 2016)
  • Kristen McCahill (graduated 2016)
  • Jeremy Smithheart (graduated 2016, continuing for MS)