Faculty Directory

Benjamin R. Runkle

Benjamin R. Runkle

Associate Professor

ENGR 231


(BENG)-Biological & Agricultural Engineering

Phone: 479-575-6800

Fax: 479-575-2846

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Dr. Runkle runs the Landscape Flux research group, investigating connections between the carbon and water cycles in agricultural and wetland environments. This field-based research involves long-term measurements of key environmental fluxes (e.g., evapotranspiration, surface water flows, carbon dioxide and methane emissions from the landscape to the atmosphere). This research also provides the basis for agricultural sustainability, process studies, and computer modeling approaches to environmental systems.

Research projects are based in rice agriculture in Arkansas and may follow past work in low-lying permafrost tundra wetlands in the Arctic. Projects use flux budgeting methods to understand the landscape’s ecological and hydrological functioning. This research connects between site dynamics and climate drivers with the goal of feeding simplified process representations used at the scale of the global climate model. Interested and qualified graduate student or post-doctoral candidates welcome to write with a resume, transcripts, test scores and cover letter of interest.

Research Focus

  • Micrometeorological fluxes
  • Carbon and water cycle interactions
  • Dissolved organic matter in wetlands
  • Sustainability & resilience - agro-ecosystems, green stormwater runoff strategies

Application Areas

  • Rice irrigation strategies
  • Carbon accounting
  • Evapotranspiration management
  • Global climate models

BENG 4933 Sustainable Watershed Engineering (Fa). 3 Hours

BENG 5963/4963: Modeling Environmental Biophysics (Spr/even years). 3 Hours

GNEG 3113: Study abroad (Ghent, Belgium): Sustainability in the European Food System. May intersession. 3 Hours


B.S.E., Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
Post-undergraduate Fulbright Scholarship, University of Mauritius
M.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Post doctoral Research Scientist:  January 2010 – August 2014 Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Germany

See also my google scholar profile: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=SeZEXyoAAAAJ&hl=en

Or my ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Benjamin_Runkle

Or my ORCID profile: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2583-1199

Or my SCOPUS profile: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=24779753600

Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Carroll SR, Le KN, Moreno-García B, Runkle BRK, 2020, Simulating Soybean-rice rotation and irrigation strategies in Arkansas, USA Using APEX, Sustainability, 12, 6822, doi:10.3390/su12176822
  2. Helbig M, Waddington JM, Alekseychik P, Amiro B, Aurela M, Barr AG, Black TA, Carey SK, Chen J, Chi J, Desai AR, Dunn A, Euskirchen E, Flanagan LB, Friborg T, Garneau M, Grelle A, Harder S, Heliasz M, Humphreys ER, Ikawa H, Isabelle P-E, Iwata H, Jassal R, Korkiakoski M, Kurbatova J, Kutzbach L, Lapshina E, Lindroth AM, Löfvenius MO, Lohila A, Mammarella I, Marsh P, Moore PA, Maximov T, Nadeau D, Nicholls EM, Nilsson MB, Ohta T, Peichl M, Petrone RM, Prokushkin A, Quinton WL, Roulet N, Runkle BRK, Sonnentag O, Strachan IB, Taillardat P, Tuittila E-S, Tuovinen J-P, Turner J, Ueyama M, Varlagin A, Vesala T, Wilmking M, Zyrianov V, (2020), The biophysical climate mitigation potential of boreal peatlands during the growing season, Environmental Research Letters, https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abab34.
  3. Helbig M, Waddington JM, Alekseychik P, Amiro B, Aurela M, Barr AG, Black TA, Blanken P, Carey SK, Chen J, Chi J, Desai AR, Dunn A, Euskirchen E, Flanagan LB, Forbrich I, Friborg T, Grelle A, Harder S, Heliasz M, Humphreys ER, Ikawa H, Iwata H, Isabelle P-E, Jassal R, Korkiakoski M, Kurbatova J, Kutzbach L, Lindroth A, Löfvenius MO, Lohila A, Maksimov T, Mammarella I, Marsh P, Maximov T, Melton JR, Moore PA, Nadeau D, Nicholls EM, Nilsson MB, Ohta T, Peichl M, Petrone RM, Petrov R, Prokushkin A, Quinton WL, Reed D, Roulet N, Runkle BRK, Sonnentag O, Strachan IB, Taillardat P, Tuittila E-S, Tuovinen J-P, Turner J, Ueyama M, Varlagin A, Wilmking M, Wofsy S, Zyrianov V (2020), Increasing contribution of peatlands to boreal evapotranspiration in a warming climate, Nature Climate Change, doi: 10.1038/s41558-020-0763-7, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0763-7.
  4. Castellví F, Suvocarev K, Reba ML, Runkle BRK (2020), A new free-convection form to estimate sensible heat and latent heat fluxes for unstable cases, Journal of Hydrology, 124917, 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.124917.
  5. Castellví F, Suvocarev K, Reba ML, Runkle BRK (2020), Friction-Velocity Estimates Using the Trace of a Scalar and the Mean Wind Speed, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 10.1007/s10546-020-00520-1.
  6. Fong B, Reba ML, Teague TG, Runkle BRK, Suvocarev K (2020), Eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide and water fluxes in US mid-south cotton production, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 292, 15 April 2020, 106813, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016788091930430X
  7. Suvocarev K, Castellví F, Reba ML, Runkle BRK (2019) Surface renewal measurements of H, LE and CO2 fluxes over two different agricultural systems, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 279, 107763, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016819231930379X.
  8. Simpson G, Runkle BRK, Eckhardt T, Kutzbach L. (2019) Evaluating closed chamber evapotranspiration estimates against eddy covariance measurements in an arctic wetland, Journal of Hydrology, in press, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169419307577.
  9. Knox SH, Jackson RB, Poulter B, McNicol G, Fluet-Chouinard E, Zhang Z, Hugelius G, Bousquet P, Canadell JG, Saunois M, Papale D, Chu H, Keenan TF, Baldocchi DD, Torn MS, Trotta C, Mammarella I, Aurela M, Bohrer G, Campbell D, Cescatti A, Chamberlain S, Chen J, Chen W, Dengel S, Desai AR, Euskirchen E, Friborg T, Gasbarra D, Goded I, Goeckede M, Heimann M, Helbig M, Hirano T, Hollinger D, Iwata H, Kang M, Klatt J, Krauss KW, Kutzbach L, Lohila A, Mitra B, Morin TH, Nilsson MB, Niu S, Noormets A, Oechel WC, Peichl M, Peltola O, Reba ML, Runkle BRK, Richardson A, Ryu Y, Sachs T, Schaefer KVR, Schmid HP, Shurpali N, Sonnentag O, Tang ACI, Ueyama M, Vargas R, Vesala T, Ward EJ, Windham-Myers L, Wohlfahrt G, Zona D. (2019), FLUXNET-CH4 Synthesis Activity: Objectives, Observations, and Future Directions, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0268.1, 100(12), 2607-2632.
  10. Liang L, Runkle BRK, Sapkota BB, Reba ML, (2019), Automated mapping of rice fields using multi-year training sample normalization, International Journal of Remote Sensing, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01431161.2019.1601286, https://doi.org/10.1080/01431161.2019.1601286.
  11. Holl D, Wille C, Sachs T, Schreiber P, Runkle BRK, Beckebanze L, Langer M, Boike J, Pfeiffer EM, Fedorova I, Bolshianov DY, Grigoriev MN, Kutzbach L, (2019), A long-term (2002 to 2017) record of closed-path and open-path eddy covariance CO2 net ecosystem exchange fluxes from the Siberian Arctic, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 11, 221-240, 2019, online
  12. Runkle BRK, Suvocarev K, Reba ML, Reavis CW, Smith SF, Chiu Y-L, Fong B, (2019), Methane emissions reductions from alternate wetting and drying of rice fields detected using the eddy covariance method, Environmental Science & Technology, 53(2), 671-681, doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b05535, online.
  13. Linquist BA; Marcos M; Adviento-Borbe MA; Anders M; Harrell D; Linscombe S; Reba ML; Runkle BRK; Tarpley L; Thomson A, (2018) Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Management Practices that Impact Emissions in US Rice Systems, Journal of Environmental Quality (online version, here), 47(3), 395-409, doi:10.2134/jeq2017.11.0445.
  14. Sabrekov AF, Runkle BRK, Glagolev MV, Terentieva IE, Stepanenko VM, Kotsyurbenko OR, Maksyutov SS, and Pokrovsky OS, (2017) Variability in methane emissions from West Siberia’s shallow boreal lakes on a regional scale and its environmental controls, Biogeosciences, 14, 3715-3742, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-3715-2017.
  15. Runkle BRK, Rigby JR, Reba ML, Anapalli SS, Bhattacharjee J, Krauss KW, Liang L, Locke M, Novick KA, Sui R, Suvocarev K, White PM, (2017), Delta-Flux: an eddy covariance network for a climate-smart Lower Mississippi Basin, Agricultural & Environmental Letters, 2:170003. doi:10.2134/ael2017.01.0003.
  16. Cresto Aleina F, Runkle BRK, Brücher T, Kleinen T, Brovkin V, (2016) Upscaling methane emission hotspots in boreal peatlands, Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 915-926,  http://www.geosci-model-dev.net/9/915/2016/, doi:10.5194/gmd-9-915-2016.
  17. Avagyan A, Runkle BRK, Hennings N, Haupt H, Virtanen T, Kutzbach L, (2016) Dissolved organic carbon dynamics during the spring snowmelt at a boreal river valley mire complex in Northwest Russia. Hydrological Processes, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hyp.10710/abstract, 30(11), 1727–1741, doi:10.1002/hyp.10710
  18. Cresto Aleina F, Runkle BRK, Kleinen T, Kutzbach L, Schneider J, Brovkin V, (2015) Modeling micro-topographic controls on boreal peatland hydrology and methane fluxes, Biogeosciences, 12, 5689-5704, http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/5689/2015/, doi:10.5194/bg-12-5689-2015
  19. Avagyan A, Runkle BRK, Hartmann J, Kutzbach L, (2014) Spatial variations in pore-water biogeochemistry greatly exceed temporal changes during baseflow conditions in a boreal river valley mire complex, Northwest Russia. Wetlands, 34(6), 1171-1182 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13157-014-0576-4).
  20. Avagyan A, Runkle BRK, Kutzbach L (2014) Application of high-resolution spectral absorbance measurements for the determination of the dissolved organic carbon contents. Journal of Hydrology, 517, 435–446 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169414004247).
  21. Sabrekov AF, Runkle BRK, Glagolev MV, Kleptsova IE, Maksyutov SS, (2014) Seasonal variability as a source of uncertainty in the West Siberian regional CH4 flux upscaling. Environment Research Letters, 9, 045008 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/4/045008).
  22. Runkle BRK, Wille C, Gažovic M, Wilmking M, Kutzbach L (2014): The surface energy balance and its drivers in a boreal peatland fen of northwestern Russia. Journal of Hydrology, 511, 359-373 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002216941400078X).
  23. Runkle BRK, Sachs T, Wille C, Pfeiffer E-M, Kutzbach L, (2013) Bulk partitioning the growing season net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in Siberian tundra. Biogeosciences, 10, 1337-1349 (http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/1337/2013/bg-10-1337-2013.html).
  24. Helbig M, Boike J, Langer M, Schreiber P, Runkle BRK, Kutzbach L, (2013), Spatial and seasonal variability of polygonal tundra water balance, Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia. Hydrogeology Journal, 21(1), 133-147 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10040-012-0933-4).
  25. Runkle BRK, Wille C, Gažovic M, Kutzbach L, (2012) Attenuation correction procedures for water vapour fluxes from closed-path eddy-covariance systems. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 142(3), 401-423 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10546-011-9689-y).
  26. Sonnentag O, Detto M, Vargas R, Ryu Y, Runkle BRK, Kelly M, Baldocchi DD, (2011) Tracking the structural and functional development of a perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.) infestation using a multi-year archive of webcam imagery and eddy covariance measurements. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 151(7), 916-926 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192311000773).
  27. Sonnentag O, Detto M, Runkle BRK, Teh YA, Silver WL, Kelly M, Baldocchi DD, (2011) Carbon dioxide exchange of a pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.) infestation: how do flowering and mowing affect canopy photosynthesis and autotrophic respiration? Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, G01021 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010JG001522/full).
  28. Dougherty W, Kartha S, Rajan C, Lazarus M, Bailie A, Runkle BRK, Fencl A, (2009) Greenhouse gas reduction benefits and costs of a large-scale transition to hydrogen in the USA. Energy Policy, 37(1), 56-67 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421508003418).

2001-2003  Research Associate, The Stockholm Environmental Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

2018 Professional Engineering licensure, Arkansas #18338

BAEG Department Outstanding Teacher, Spring 2016.

Runkle was part of the 2018 Rice Technical Working Group Distinguished Rice Research and/or Education Team Award for “Advancing irrigation management practices to achieve sustainable intensification outcomes”, alongside Merle Anders, Michele Reba, Christopher Henry, Joseph Massey, Jarrod Hardke, Arlene Adviento-Borbe, Steve Linscombe, Dustin Harrell, and Bruce Linquist.

Advisor to senior design team, Gunlogson competition for ASABE, 2018, placed 2nd; 2019, placed 2nd; 2020, placed 1st.

2018 Rising Teaching Award, UA College of Engineering

2018 NSF CAREER Grant Awardee

2018 Faculty advisor, oSTEM Rookie Chapter Award

2019 ASEE BAE Division Early Achievement in Engineering Education Award

2020 Dean’s Award of Excellence: Collaborative Research Faculty Award, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas