Francois Birgand

Associate Professor


Ph.D. 2000

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

North Carolina State University

B.S., M.S. 1994

Agronomic Engineering

Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Rennes, France

Research Description

Biogeochemical processes for ecologically engineered and natural systems; Impacts of land use changes on hydrology and water quality at the watershed scale; Wetland and stream monitoring, restoration and modeling; Continuous sensor development and metrology; UV-vis spectrometry for continuous water quality measurements; Image-based sensors; Evaluation of nutrient load uncertainties at the watershed scale.

Honors and Awards

  • University Faculty Scholar, 2018
  • NC State Kenneth R. Keller Research Award for graduate excellence, 2000


A small-volume multiplexed pumping system for automated, high-frequency water chemistry measurements in volume-limited applications
Maxwell, B. M., Birgand, F., Smith, B., & Aveni-Deforge, K. (2018), HYDROLOGY AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES, 22(11), 5615–5628.
Contrasting suspended sediment export in two small agricultural catchments: Cross-influence of hydrological behaviour and landscape degradation or stream bank management
Vongvixay, A., Grimaldi, C., Dupas, R., Fovet, O., Birgand, F., Gilliet, N., & Gascuel-Odoux, C. (2018), Land Degradation & Development, 29(5), 1385–1396.
Stream response to an extreme drought-induced defoliation event
Addy, K., Gold, A. J., Loffredo, J. A., Schroth, A. W., Inamdar, S. P., Bowden, W. B., … Birgand, F. (2018), BIOGEOCHEMISTRY, 140(2), 199–215.
Calibration of paired watersheds: Utility of moving sums in presence of externalities
Ssegane, H., Amatya, D. M., Muwamba, A., Chescheir, G. M., Appelboom, T., Tollner, E. W., … Skaggs, R. W. (2017), Hydrological Processes, 31(20), 3458–3471.
Comparison of four nitrate removal kinetic models in two distinct wetland restoration mesocosm systems
Messer, T. L., Burchell, M. R., & Birgand, F. (2017), Water, 9(7).
Comparison of four nitrate removal kinetic models in two distinct wetland restoration mesocosm systems (vol 9, 517, 2017)
Messer, T. L., Burchell, M. R., & Birgand, F. (2017),
High-frequency dissolved organic carbon and nitrate measurements reveal differences in storm hysteresis and loading in relation to land cover and seasonality
Vaughan, M. C. H., Bowden, W. B., Shanley, J. B., Vermilyea, A., Sleeper, R., Gold, A. J., … Schroth, A. W. (2017), Water Resources Research, 53(7), 5345–5363.
Nitrate removal potential of restored wetlands loaded with agricultural drainage water: A mesocosm scale experimental approach
Messer, T. L., Burchell, M. R., Birgand, F., Broome, S. W., & Chescheir, G. (2017), Ecological Engineering, 106, 541–554.
Water quality effects of switchgrass intercropping on pine forest in Coastal North Carolina
Muwamba, A., Amatya, D. M., Chescheir, G. M., Nettles, J. E., Appelboom, T., Ssegane, H., … Tian, S. (2017), Transactions of the ASABE, 60(5), 1607–1620.
First report of a novel multiplexer pumping system coupled to a water quality probe to collect high temporal frequency in situ water chemistry measurements at multiple sites
Birgand, F., Aveni-Deforge, K., Smith, B., Maxwell, B., Horstman, M., Gerling, A. B., & Carey, C. C. (2016), Limnology and Oceanography-Methods, 14(12), 767–783.
Greenhouse gas emissions from a created brackish marsh in eastern North Carolina
Shiau, Y. J., Burchell, M., Krauss, K., Birgand, F., & Broome, S. (2016), Wetlands (Wilmington, N.C.), 36(6), 1009–1024.
In-situ falling-head test for hydraulic conductivity: Evaluation in layered sediments of an analysis derived for homogenous sediments
Burnette, M. C., Genereux, D. P., & Birgand, F. (2016), Journal of Hydrology, 539, 319–329.
Quantifying the fate of agricultural nitrogen in an unconfined aquifer: Stream-based observations at three measurement scales
Gilmore, T. E., Genereux, D. P., Solomon, D. K., Solder, J. E., Kimball, B. A., Mitasova, H., & Birgand, F. (2016), Water Resources Research, 52(3), 1961–1983.
Amending irrigation channels with jute-mesh structures to decrease arsenic loading to rice fields in Bangladesh
Polizzotto, M. L., Birgand, F., Badruzzaman, A. B. M., & Ali, M. A. (2015), Ecological Engineering, 74, 101–106.
Effects of site preparation for pine forest/switchgrass intercropping on water quality
Muwamba, A., Amatya, D. M., Ssegane, H., Chescheir, G. M., Appelboom, T., Tollner, E. W., … Tian, S. (2015), Journal of Environmental Quality, 44(4), 1263–1272.
Quantifying nutrient and suspended solids fluxes in a constructed tidal marsh following rainfall: The value of capturing the rapid changes in flow and concentrations
Etheridge, J. R., Birgand, F., & Burchell, M. R. (2015), Ecological Engineering, 78, 41–52.
Seasonal variation in the quality of dissolved and particulate organic matter exchanged between a salt marsh and its adjacent estuary
Osburn, C. L., Mikan, M. P., Etheridge, J. R., Burchell, M. R., & Birgand, F. (2015), Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 120(7), 1430–1449.
Reducing uncertainty in the calibration and validation of the INCA-N model by using soft data
Etheridge, J. R., Lepisto, A., Granlund, K., Rankinen, K., Birgand, F., & Burchell, M. R. (2014), Hydrology Research, 45(1), 73–88.
Technical note: Alternative in-stream denitrification equation for the INCA-N model
Etheridge, J. R., Birgand, F., Burchell, M. R., Lepisto, A., Rankinen, K., & Granlund, K. (2014), Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18(4), 1467–1473.
Using in situ ultraviolet-visual spectroscopy to measure nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and suspended solids concentrations at a high frequency in a brackish tidal marsh
Etheridge, J. R., Birgand, F., Osborne, J. A., Osburn, C. L., Burchell, M. R., & Irving, J. (2014), Limnology and Oceanography-Methods, 12, 10–22.
Addressing the fouling of in situ ultraviolet-visual spectrometers used to continuously monitor water quality in brackish tidal marsh waters
Etheridge, J. R., Birgand, F., Burchell, M. R., & Smith, B. T. (2013), Journal of Environmental Quality, 42(6), 1896–1901.
Analysis of consecutive events for nutrient and sediment treatment in field-monitored bioretention cells
Brown, R. A., Birgand, F., & Hunt, W. F. (2013), Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 224(6).
Factors controlling nitrate concentrations in surface waters of an artificially drained agricultural watershed
Billy, C., Birgand, F., Ansart, P., Peschard, J., Sebilo, M., & Tournebize, J. (2013), Landscape Ecology, 28(4), 665–684.
Measuring flow in non-ideal conditions for short-term projects: Uncertainties associated with the use of stage-discharge rating curves
Birgand, F., Lellouche, G., & Appelboom, T. W. (2013), Journal of Hydrology, 503, 186–195.
River flux uncertainties predicted by hydrological variability and riverine material behaviour
Moatar, F., Meybeck, M., Raymond, S., Birgand, F., & Curie, F. (2013), Hydrological Processes, 27(25), 3535–3546.
Source and magnitude of error in an inexpensive image-based water level measurement system
Gilmore, T. E., Birgand, F., & Chapman, K. W. (2013), Journal of Hydrology, 496, 178–186.
Estimating nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon fluxes in forested and mixed-use watersheds of the lower coastal plain of north carolina: uncertainties associated with infrequent sampling
Birgand, F., Appelboom, T. W., Chescheir, G. M., & Skaggs, R. W. (2011), Transactions of the ASABE, 54(6), 2099–2110.
Uncertainties in assessing annual nitrate loads and concentration indicators: Part 2. deriving sampling frequency charts in Brittany, France
Birgand, F., Faucheux, C., Gruau, G., Moatar, F., & Meybeck, M. (2011), Transactions of the ASABE, 54(1), 93–104.
Effect of pipe pressurization on the discharge of a tile drainage system
Henine, H., Nedelec, Y., Augeard, B., Birgand, F., Chaumont, C., Ribstein, P., & Kao, C. (2010), Vadose Zone Journal, 9(1), 36–42.
Temperature coefficient for modeling denitrification in surface water sediments using the mass transfer coefficient
Appelboom, T. W., Chescheir, G. M., Birgand, F., Skaggs, R. W., Gilliam, J. W., & Amatya, D. (2010), Transactions of the ASABE, 53(2), 465–474.
Uncertainties in assessing annual nitrate loads and concentration indicators: Part 1. impact of sampling frequency and load estimation algorithms
Birgand, F., Faucheux, C., Gruau, G., Augeard, B., Moatar, F., & Bordenave, P. (2010), (Vol. 53, pp. 437–446).
Nitrogen removal in streams of agricultural catchments - A literature review
Birgand, F., Skaggs, R. W., Chescheir, G. M., & Gilliam, J. W. (2007), Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 37(5), 381–487.

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Improving performance and examining expansion of constructed wetlands for tertiary treatment of nitrogen from domestic and municipal wastewater
NCSU Water Resources Research Institute(6/01/18 - 5/29/19)
Collaborative Research: Consequences of Changing Oxygen Availability for Carbon Cycling in Freshwater Ecosystems
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/18 - 8/31/22)
Continuing Intensive Monitoring of Nutrient and Material Load in Claridge Nursery Stream “The Canal”: assessing the water quality impacts & benefits of a stream restoration in the coastal plain
NC Department of Transportation(8/01/16 - 7/31/19)
Quantifying Treatment Potential of Floating Treatment Wetlands to Benefit North Carolina Waters Using Improved Methodology and Novel Technology
NCSU Water Resources Research Institute(4/01/16 - 8/31/18)
Arsenic Treatment of Contaminated Water Using Surface-Functionalized Fabrics
NCSU Center for Human Health and the Environment(7/01/16 - 6/30/17)
Using Smart Control and Real-Time Data Collection to Improve SCM Design and Performance
NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund(10/04/16 - 7/31/20)
Transforming Denitrifying Bioreactor Research and Applications: Unveiling the Inside of the Blackbox
US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute of Food and Agriculture(6/15/16 - 6/14/19)
Intensive Monitoring of Nutrient and Material Load in Claridge Nursery Stream ?The Canal? Pre-,During and Post Construction of Highway 70 Bypass in Wayne County, NC
NC Department of Transportation(5/16/13 - 6/30/16)
A Mesocosm Study to Determine Nitrogen Assimilation Capacity of a Restored Wetland Slated to Receive Pumped Drainage Water - a Critical Component to Maximize Improvement to the Pamlico Sound
NCSU Water Resources Research Institute(3/01/13 - 2/26/16)
Predicting Water Quality Impacts of Rerouting Drainage Water From the Pamlico Sound to Restored Wetlands
NCSU Sea Grant Program(9/01/12 - 8/31/14)