Yuehan Lu

Associate Professor

  • yuehan.lu@ua.edu
  • (205) 348-1882
  • 2021 Bevill


BS, Geology/Geochemistry, Zhejiang University, China, July 2000

MS, Environmental Sciences, Zhejiang University, China, July 2003

PhD, Oceanography/ Marine Geochemistry, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, December 2008

NOAA Summer Fellow, NOAA Great Lakes Enviromental Research Laboratory, 2006 summer, 2007 summer

Post-Doctoral, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, College of William and Mary, 2008-2010

Courses Taught

Introductory courses:
Geo 105: Sustainable Earth (offered every semester)
Advanced courses:
GEO 525: Advanced Environmental Geochemistry
GEO 525: Organic Geochemistry
GEO 525: Global Biogeochemical Cycles (spring, 2016)
Geology Seminar (GEO 436/536/636, fall 2013, spring-fall 2014)

Research Interests

1) Biogeochemical cycling of natural organic matter in contemporary and paleo-ecosystems, with a particular focus on understanding interactions between human activities and natural cycles of organic matter;

2) Human impacts on water quality, with current projects including:

a. organic and inorganic nutrient exports from agricultural watersheds

b. fingerprinting organic matter in streams to determine the impacts of septic effluents on surface waters

c. impacts of coal mining on groundwater quality in China

3) Water quality-quantity connectivity, such as watershed exports of dissolved organic matter and inorganic nutrients during storm events;

4) Terrestrial-aquatic linkages through organic matter;

5) Biomarker records of mass extinctions recorded in Late Devonian black shales.

Among the most common tools include: 1) biomarkers, i.e., source-specific and resistant organic molecules that can record environmental and ecological processes over geological time scales, 2) stable and radiogenic isotopes (13C, 14C, 15N), 3) optical properties of organic matter (three dimensional fluorescence, absorption); and 4) ultra-high resolution FTICR-MS analysis.

 please visite my personal research website for more information.

Research Group Members

Current Students

Peng Shang (PhD student, Fall 2014- present) “Watershed and hydrological controls of organic matter and nutrients in lotic ecosystems”

Man Lu (PhD student, Fall 2015- present) “Wildfires in the Late Devonian recorded in black shales”

Zachary Stephens (Undergraduate student, 2015 – present) “Storm mobilization of carbon and nitrogen  within a forested watershed”

Siera Jann (Undergraduate student, 2015 – present) “Fossil reptile or plant remains? Mysterious organic matter from the Jurassic Morrison Formation of Western Colorado”

Yue Hu (PhD student, Fall 2012-present, in Peking University, China) “Watershed exports of organic matter in a large agricultural basin in arid northwestern China”

Visiting Professors

Dr. Wenli Zhong (June 2015 to June 2016; from College of Earth Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology) “Geomorphological controls on the amount and quality of dissolved organic matter in an unregulated river, Alabama”



Representative Publications

See Full List Here

*student advisee; ** student collaborator

Hu, Y. ** , Y. H. Lu (corresponding author), J. W. Edmonds , C. Liu , S. Wang , O. Das , J. Liu , C. Zheng (2016) Hydrological and Land Use Control of Watershed Exports of DOM in a Large Arid River Basin in Northwestern China, Journal of Geophysical Research-BiogeosciencesDOI: 10.1002/2015JG003082

Zhang Y., D. Chen, R. Garrard, H. G. Sun, Y. H. Lu (2016) Influence of bed clusters and size gradation on operational time distribution for non-uniform bed-load transport. Hydrological Processes (in press)

Qian J., L. Wang L, L. Ma, Y. H.  Lu, W. Zhao, Y. Zhang (2016) Multivariate statistical analysis of water chemistry in evaluating groundwater geochemical evolution and aquifer connectivity near a large coal mine, Anhui, China. Environmental Earth Sciences (in press).

Lu, Y. H., X. Li*, R. Mesfioui, J.E. Bauer, R. M. Chambers, E. A. Canuel, P. G. Hatcher (2015) Use of ESI-FTICR-MS to Characterize Dissolved Organic Matter in Headwater Streams Draining Forest-dominated and Pasture-dominated Watersheds, PLOS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145639 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0145639

Qian, J., Y. Wu, Y. Zhang, Y. L, Y. H. Lu, Z. Yu (2015) Evaluating Differences in Transport Behavior of Sodium Chloride and Brilliant Blue FCF in Sand Columns. Transport in Porous Media DOI: 10.1007/s11242-015-0551-4

Lu, Y. H., J. W. Edmonds, Y. Yamashita, B. Zhou, A Jaegge*, M. Baxley** (2015) Spatial variation in the origin and reactivity of dissolved organic matter in Oregon-Washington coastal waters. Ocean Dynamics 65, Issue 1 (2015), Page 17-32; DOI: 10.1007/s10236-014-0793-7

Ortmann A. C., and Y. H. Lu (2015) Initial community and environment determine the response of bacterial communities to dispersant and oil contamination. Marine Pollution Bulletin 90, 106-114; DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.11.013

Hu, Y.**, C. Liu**, Y. H. Lu, J. Liu, C. Zheng (2014) Environmental isotopes as tracers of hydrological processes in the Heihe River Basin Advances in Earth Sciences  29 (10): 1158-1166  (in Chinese with English abstract)

Fileds, D. J.*, Y. H. Lu, R. J. Donahoe (2014) A laboratory microcosm study of degradation of Macondo oil in a coastal salt marsh. GCAGS journal vol 3, 61-68

Lu, Y. H., P. A. Meyers, J. A. Robbins, B. J. Eadie, N. Hawley, K. H. Ji (2014) Sensitivity of sediment geochemical proxies to coring Location and corer type in a large lake: implications for paleolimnological reconstruction. G-cubed, special issue: Development of Isotopic Proxies for Paleoenvironmental Interpretation: A Carbon Perspective. DOI:10.1002/2013GC004989

Lu, Y. H., J. E. Bauer, E. A. Canuel, R. M. Chambers, Y. Yamashita, R. Jaffé, A. Barrett (2014) Effects of land use on sources and ages of inorganic and organic carbon in temperate headwater streams. Biogeochemistry 119: 275-292, DOI: 10.1007/s10533-014-9965-2

Lu, Y. H., E. A. Canuel, J. E. Bauer, R.M. Chambers (2014). Effects of watershed land use on sources and nutritional value of particulate organic matter in temperate headwater streams. Aquatic Sciences 76: 419–436, DOI: 10.1007/s00027-014-0344-9

Lu, Y. H., J. E. Bauer, E. A. Canuel, Y. Yamashita, R. M. Chambers, R. Jaffé (2013) Photochemical and microbial alteration of dissolved organic matter in temperatue headwater streams associated with different land use. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences 118: 566–580, DOI:10.1002/jgrg.20048, 2013. (selected by editors for being featured in AGU research spotlight and EOS) this work in news; this work in NSF news

Wei, G., L. Xie, Y. Sun, Y. H. Lu, Y. Liu. (2012) Major and trace elements of a peat core from Yunnan, Southwest China: implications for paleoclimatic proxies. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 58:64–77

Zhou, B., H. Zheng, W. Yang, D. Taylor, Y. H. Lu, G. Wei, L. Li, H. Wang. (2012) Climate and vegetation variations since the LGM recorded by biomarkers from a sediment core in Northern South China Sea. Journal of Quaternary Science 27: 948-955

Lu,Y. H., P. A. Meyers, B. J. Eadie, J. A. Robbins, H. Han (2010) δ15N values in Lake Erie sediments: indicators of nitrogen biogeochemical dynamics during lake eutrophication. Chemical Geology 273: 1–7

Lu, Y. H., P. A Meyers, B. J. Eadie, J. A. Robbins (2010) Carbon cycling in Lake Erie during cultural eutrophication over the last century inferred from the stable carbon isotope composition of sediments. Journal of Paleolimnology 43:261–272, doi: 10.1007/s10933-009-9330-y

Lu, Y. H., P. A Meyers (2009) Sediment lipid biomarkers as recorders of the contamination and cultural eutrophication of Lake Erie, 1909-2003. Organic Geochemistry 40: 912–921

Lu,Y. H., S. Ludsin, D. Fanslow, S. Pothoven (2008) Comparison of three micro-quantity techniques for measuring total lipids in fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 2233–2241 (this work cited in Cyberlipid) (this work cited in OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidelines for the testing of  chemicals http://www.oecd.org/chemicalsafety/testing/)