Member Profile

Xinyang Fan

PhD Student

School of Earth Sciences
University of Melbourne


Xinyang is a joint PhD student between the University of Melbourne and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. She started her PhD at the Department of Infrastructure Engineering and the Australian-German Climate and Energy College of the University of Melbourne in March 2019. She received her Bachelor in Ecology in the Ocean University of China and her Masters in Environmental Sciences in the University of Cologne, Germany. Her Masters thesis focused on investigating the underground structure and groundwater pollution of a waste deposit in Cologne, Germany by applying geophysical techniques. Xinyang has a keen interest in conducting interdisciplinary research to solve confronting environmental issues under the impact of climate change. During the time of her PhD research, she will contribute to the understanding of the impacts of climate change on groundwater quantity and quality in Australia and Germany under the supervision of Dr. Meenakshi Arora, Dr. Benjamin Henley, and Dr. Tim Peterson in the University of Melbourne, and Prof. Dr. Nico Goldscheider and Dr. Nadine Goeppert in the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

THESIS: Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Quantity and Quality in Australia and Germany

Groundwater provides a significant proportion of the drinking water and agricultural water in Australia as well as Germany. This contribution is expected to further rise due to climate change, as the availability of surface water resources becomes more uncertain, particularly in regions of the world likely to experience mean drying. Shallow and unconfined alluvial aquifers are particularly vulnerable to contamination and extreme events, such as droughts and floods, which have a strong impact on both water quantity and quality. Even though groundwater plays such a vital role in our daily life, there are critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of the interactions between climate change and groundwater. Therefore, my research focuses on analyzing the relationship between historical groundwater records and extreme events, and developing integrated modelling approaches to project future groundwater status under climate change. My research aims to improve our understanding of groundwater changes in future climates and provides scientific evidence for water managers so they can better manage groundwater resources.