Jeffrey McDonnell

Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability
Associate Director, Global Institute for Water Security

(306) 966-8529


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Hydrology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Master of Science in Watershed Ecosystems, Trent University
  • Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography, University of Toronto

Research Interests

Watershed hydrology; runoff processes and modelling; isotope hydrology; hydrological theory



Recent Grants/Awards

Recent Grants:

  • NSERC Discovery Grant, How do watersheds store and release water?, $89,000 per year, 2014-2019
  • NSERC Accelerator Award, How do watersheds store and release water?, $40,000 per year, 2014-2016

Recent Activities:

  • 2015-    President-Elect, AGU Hydrology Section
  • 2015     CONICYT Visiting Professor, Universidad Austral de Chile and Universidad Catolica de Chile
  • 2014     Visiting Professor, University of Arizona and Biosphere-2
  • 2014     Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • 2014-    Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (UK)
  • 2014      NSERC Joint Prizes Selection Committee (for the John C. Polanyi Award, the Brockhouse Canada Prize, and the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal)

Recent Publications

  • Ali, G., C. Birkel, D. Tetzlaff, C. Soulsby, J.J. McDonnell and T. Paola. 2013. A comparison of wetness indices for the prediction of connected saturated areas under contrasting conditions. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, DOI: 10.1002/esp.3506.

  • Ali, G., Tetzlaff, D., Kruitbos, L., Soulsby, C., Carey, S., McDonnell, J., Buttle, J., Laudon, H., Seibert, J., McGuire, K., and Shanley, J., 2013. Analysis of hydrological seasonality across northern catchments using monthly precipitation–runoff polygon metrics. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59 (1), 1–17.

  • Allen, S. T., Brooks, J. R., Keim, R. F., Bond, B. J. and McDonnell, J. J., 2013. The role of pre-event canopy storage in throughfall and stemflow by using isotopic tracers. Ecohydrology. doi: 10.1002/eco.1408

  • Carey, S., D. Tetzlaff, J. Buttle, H. Laudon, J.J. McDonnell, K. McGuire, J. Seibert, C. Soulsby and J. Shanley, 2013. Use of color maps and wavelet coherence to discern short and longer-term climate influences on streamflow variability in northern catchments. Water Resources Research, 49(10): 6194-6207, DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20469

  • Gupta, H.V, G. Blöschl, J. J. McDonnell, H. H. G. Savenije, M. Sivapalan, A. Viglione and  T. Wagener, 2013. Synthesis of the Benchmark Report, in Blöschl et al. Runoff Prediction in Ungauged Basins: Synthesis Across Processes, Places and Scales. Cambridge University Press.

  • Hrachowitz, M., Savenije, H.H.G., Blöschl, G., McDonnell, J.J., Sivapalan, M., Pomeroy, J.W., Arheimer, B., Blume, T., Clark, M.P., Ehret, U., Fenicia, F., Freer, J.E., Gelfan, A., Gupta, H.V., Hughes, D.A., Hut, R.W., Montanari, A., Pande, S., Tetzlaff, D., Troch, P.A., Uhlenbrook, S., Wagener, T., Winsemius, H.C., Woods, R.A., Zehe, E. and C. Cudennec, C., 2013. A decade of Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) - a review. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58(6): 1198-1255, DOI:10.1080/02626667.2013.803183.

  • Jaeger, W., A. J. Plantinga, H. Chang, K. Dello, G. Grant, D. Hulse, J.J. McDonnell, S. Lancaster, H. Moradkhani A.T. Morzillo, P. Mote, A. Nolin, M. Santelmann and J. Wu, 2013. Toward a formal definition of water scarcity in natural-human systems. Water Resources Research,  49(7): 4506–4517, DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20249.

  • Klaus, J. E. Zehe, M. Elsner, C. Külls, and J. J. McDonnell, 2013. Macropore flow of old water revisited: experimental insights from a tile-drained landscape? Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17, 103-118. DOI: 10.5194/hess-17-103-2013

  • Lanni C., J.J. McDonnell, L. Hopp, R. Rigon, 2013. Simulated effect of soil depth and bedrock topography on near-surface hydrologic response and slope stability. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms,38: 146-159. DOI: 10.1002/esp.3267

  • Laudon, H, D. Tetzlaff, C. Soulsby, S. Carey, J. Seibert, J. Buttle, J. Shanley, J.J. McDonnell and K. McGuire, 2013. Change in winter climate will affect dissolved organic carbon and water fluxed in mid-to-high latitude catchments, Hydrological Processes, 27(5): 700-709. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9686.

  • Muñoz-Villers, L. E. and McDonnell, J. J., 2013. Land use change effects on runoff generation in a humid tropical montane cloud forest region, Hydrology and Earth System Science, 17: 3543-3560, doi:10.5194/hess-17-3543-2013, 2013.

  • McDonnell, J.J., 2013. Are all runoff processes the same? Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10076.

  • McDonnell, J.J., 2014. The two water worlds hypothesis: Ecohydrological separation of water between streams and trees? Wires Water, in press.

  • McDonnell, J.J. and K. Beven, 2014. A call to action aimed at understanding velocities, celerities and residence time distributions of the headwater hydrograph. Water Resources Research, in press.

  • Pangle, L, J.J. McDonnell and J. Gregg, 2014. Rainfall seasonality and an ecohydrological feedback offset the potential impact of climate warming on evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge. Water Resources Research, 50: DOI: 10.1002/2012WR013253

  • Pangle, L., J. Klaus, E. Berman, M. Gupta and J,J. McDonnell, 2013. A new multisource and high-frequency approach to measuring 2H and 18O in hydrological field studies. Water Resources Research, DOI: 10.1002/2013WR013743

  • Seibert, J. and J.J. McDonnell, 2013. Gauging the ungauged basin: the relative value of hard and soft data. Journal of Hydrological Engineering, 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0000861.

  • Tetzlaff, D., C. Soulsby C, Buttle, R. Capell, S.K. Carey, L. Kruitbos, H. Laudon, J.J. McDonnell, K. McGuire, J. Seibert and J. Shanley, 2013. Catchments on the Cusp? Structural and functional change in northern ecohydrological systems. Hydrological Processes, 27(5):766-774,  doi: 10.1002/hyp.9686.