Photo of Lauren McPhillips

Lauren McPhillips

Assistant Professor


  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering

226B Sackett Building


Personal or Departmental Website

Research Areas:

Water Resources Engineering

Interest Areas:

Water quality; Stormwater management; Green infrastructure; Urban ecohydrology; Biogeochemistry




  • BS, Science of Earth Systems, Cornell University, 2007
  • MS, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2013
  • Ph D, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2016


Journal Articles

  • Bernice Rosenzweig, Lauren McPhillips, Heejun Chang, Chingwen Cheng, Claire Welty, Marissa Matsler, David Iwaniec and Cliff Davidson, 2018, "Pluvial Flooding Risk and Resilience", Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs)- Water, 5, (6)
  • Lauren E McPhillips and Marissa Matsler, 2018, "Temporal evolution of green stormwater infrastructure in three US cities", Frontiers in Built Environment, 4
  • Lauren McPhillips, Heejun Chang, Mikhail V. Chester, Yaella Depietri, Erin Friedman, Nancy B. Grimm, John S. Kominoski, Timon McPhearson, Pablo Méndez-Lázaro, Emma J. Rosi and Javad Shafiei Shiva, 2018, "Defining Extreme Events: A Cross-Disciplinary Review", Earth's Future, 6, (3), pp. 441-455
  • Lauren McPhillips, Christine Goodale and M. Todd Walter, 2018, "Nutrient Leaching and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Grassed Detention and Bioretention Stormwater Basins", Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 4, (1), pp. 04017014
  • Z. J. Grabowski, A. M. Matsler, C. Thiel, Lauren McPhillips, R. Hum, A. Bradshaw, T. Miller and C. Redman, 2017, "Infrastructures as Socio-Eco-Technical Systems: Five Considerations for Interdisciplinary Dialogue", Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 23, (4), pp. 02517002
  • Natalie R. Morse, Lauren McPhillips, James P. Shapleigh and M. Todd Walter, 2017, "The Role of Denitrification in Stormwater Detention Basin Treatment of Nitrogen", Environmental Science & Technology, 51, (14), pp. 7928-7935
  • Elliot S. Friedman, Lauren McPhillips, Jeffrey J. Werner, Angela C. Poole, Ruth E. Ley, M. Todd Walter and Largus T. Angenent, 2016, "Methane Emission in a Specific Riparian-Zone Sediment Decreased with Bioelectrochemical Manipulation and Corresponded to the Microbial Community Dynamics", Frontiers in Microbiology, 6
  • Lauren McPhillips, Peter M. Groffman, Rebecca L. Schneider and M. Todd Walter, 2016, "Nutrient Cycling in Grassed Roadside Ditches and Lawns in a Suburban Watershed", Journal of Environment Quality, 45, (6), pp. 1901
  • Lauren McPhillips and M. Todd Walter, 2015, "Hydrologic conditions drive denitrification and greenhouse gas emissions in stormwater detention basins", Ecological Engineering, 85, pp. 67-75
  • Lauren McPhillips, Peter M. Groffman, Christine L. Goodale and M. Todd Walter, 2015, "Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Drivers of Riparian Denitrification in an Agricultural Watershed", Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 226, (6)
  • Lauren McPhillips, Anne Elise Creamer, Brian G. Rahm and M. Todd Walter, 2014, "Assessing dissolved methane patterns in central New York groundwater", Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 1, pp. 57-73
  • J. W. Harvey, J. D. Drummond, R. L. Martin, Lauren McPhillips, A. I. Packman, D. J. Jerolmack, S. H. Stonedahl, A. F. Aubeneau, A. H. Sawyer, L. G. Larsen and C. R. Tobias, 2012, "Hydrogeomorphology of the hyporheic zone: Stream solute and fine particle interactions with a dynamic streambed", Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 117, (G4), pp. n/a-n/a
  • Ben L. O'Connor, Judson W. Harvey and Lauren McPhillips, 2012, "Thresholds of flow-induced bed disturbances and their effects on stream metabolism in an agricultural river", Water Resources Research, 48, (8)
  • Judson W. Harvey, Gregory B. Noe, Laurel G. Larsen, Daniel J. Nowacki and Lauren McPhillips, 2011, "Field flume reveals aquatic vegetation's role in sediment and particulate phosphorus transport in a shallow aquatic ecosystem", Geomorphology, 126, (3-4), pp. 297-313
  • Ashley Baker, Emma Brenneman, Heejun Chang, Lauren McPhillips and Marissa Matsler, , "Spatial Analysis of Landscape and Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Green Stormwater Infrastructure Distribution in Baltimore, Maryland and Portland, Oregon", Science of the Total Environment

Research Projects

  •  2019 -  2022, "Greening our stormwater: using campuses as living labs for green stormwater infrastructure," (Sponsor: Penn State Strategic Plan).
  •  2019 -  2020, "Improving green stormwater infrastructure performance and cost-effectiveness on PennState University Park's campus," (Sponsor: Penn State Office of Physical Plant).
  • April 2019 - June 2020, "Identifying sweet spots for green stormwater infrastructure interventions in Pennsylvania urban communities," (Sponsor: PennState Institutes of Energy and the Environment).
  •  2019 -  2020, "Healthy houses, healthy communities: improving water management to enhance health outcomes and global security," (Sponsor: Center for Security Research and Education).

Honors and Awards


Service to Penn State:

  • Committee Work, Committee Member, Water Graduate Program Committee, April 2019
  • Committee Work, Committee Member, Civil & Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Committee, August 2018
  • Committee Work, Committee Member, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Awards Committee, September 2018

Service to External Organizations:

  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Committee Member, ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute, May 2019
  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Committee Member, American Society of Civil Engineers, Committee on Sustainability, Sustainability Liaison Subcommittee, June 2018
  • Organizing Conferences and Service on Conference Committees, Organizer, Fall Meeting Session Co-Chair and Convener, American Geophysical Union, December 2018



The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084