Ciaran Harman grew up in Western Australia, where he received undergraduate degrees in Arts and Engineering with first class honors. In 2005 he began graduate studies with Murugesu Sivapalan at the University of Illinois, where he earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 2011.
I met Ciaran for the first time in 2007 at the Joint Assembly in Acapulco, Mexico. I didn’t know who he was, and he introduced himself as a student of Siva’s working on hillslope processes. He asked me details about my papers that I didn’t even remember, and for the next 3 days he basically stalked me. It was the first sign of his persistence and his desire to understand every little detail of the problem he is working on.
By the time he finished his Ph.D., Ciaran had published 22 papers. This productivity is in part due to his ability to make substantive contributions in collaborative enterprises, including the NSF-funded Hydrological Synthesis Summer Institute of 2008, and the early design meetings for the Landscape Evolution Observatory of Biosphere 2. In 2011, Ciaran joined my research group as a CZO postdoc, exploring catchment co-evolution, and the combination of Newtonian and Darwinian approaches to hydrology. His paper on Darwinian hydrology quickly became a classic on the topic.
Since starting at Johns Hopkins University he has focused on nonstationary flow and transport processes, and his work has helped establish the theory of storage selection functions for lumped transport modeling. Together, we continue to work on transport and co-evolution through two NSF-funded collaborative research projects at Biosphere2.
Ciaran is a wonderful friend and colleague, and is an outstanding mentor to his students. It has been a pleasure to see Ciaran develop from a young Ph.D. student into this year’s Early Career Award recipient.
—Peter Troch, University of Arizona, Tucson
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