Dr. Markus Berli

( Desert Research Institute )


(702) 862-5452
  • Institutions:Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Departments: DRI Hydrologic Sciences, UNLV Geosciences
  • Research Fields: Soil Physics, Soil Mechanics, Vadose Zone Hydrology, Post-fire Hydrology, Desert Soils
  • Disciplines: Environmental Science, Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Location:Clark County
  • Funding:DoD - Department of Defense, DoE - Department of Energy, EPSCoR - Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, USDA - U.S. Department of Agriculture


I have had the privilege to mentor undergraduate and graduate students for more than 20 years. Mentees are an integral part of my Environmental Physics group and I strive to provide them with cutting-edge and hands-on research experience.


Dr. Markus Berli’s research interests focus on modeling and measurement of soil structural dynamics affecting fluid flow and solute transport. Key issues are the connection of hydraulics and mechanics of soils at the micro-scale and upscaling physical soil behavior from pore to sample- and eventually field-scale.

Further areas of interest are: New methods for in-situ characterization of soil hydraulic and mechanical properties; improved characterization of soil pore geometry using X-ray-Micro-Tomography and pore water flow employing Neutron-Tomography; improved methods to assess and predict soil deterioration due to mechanical impacts.

His vision is that micro-scale coupling of soil hydraulics and mechanics with chemical and microbial processes will provide a conceptual framework for an improved understanding of fluid flow, contaminant fate and transport in the vadose zone, to sustain soil productivity and to secure water resources of sufficient quality and quantity world-wide.


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Dr. Markus Berli
Our lysimeters in Boulder City, NV