Roland Stenger

Roland Stenger

Principal Scientist, Environmental

Dr.agr., Dipl.Ing.agr., TUM, Germany

Office +64 7 858 4840

Direct +64 7 858 4844

Email roland.stenger@lincolnagritech.co.nz

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Roland specialises in researching the movement of water, and transport and transformation of nitrogen, between a parcel of land and the receiving surface water. As defensible cause-effect relationships between land use and water pollution require both, the hydrological pathways and the contaminant transformations occurring along them to be understood, it has been a feature of his work to advance hydrological and biogeochemical research concurrently.

Roland has 20 years of experience working with New Zealand regional councils and primary industry organisations, both through collaboration in government-funded research programmes and through consulting projects.

Roland led the “Transfer Pathways Programme” funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment from 2015-2018 and now leads its successor programme. This new “Critical Pathways Programme” focuses particularly on unravelling the typically shallow and relatively fast pathways between a parcel of land and a local stream or small river. Roland also contributes to the “Enhanced Mitigation of Nitrate in Groundwater” programme led by Environmental Science and Research (ESR), the “Doubling Diffuse Pollution Mitigation” programme led by the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), and the “Sources and Flows” programme of the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.

He has published over 30 journal articles, contributed to a number of book publications, and is a reviewer for several academic journals including Hydrological Processes; Biogeosciences; Geoderma; Journal of Environmental Quality; European Journal of Soil Science; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.

Roland is an active member of the New Zealand Hydrological Society and the New Zealand Society of Soil Science and sits on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the “Land Use and Water Quality” conference series – assisting in organising the biennial conferences in Austria (2015), Netherlands (2017) and Denmark (2019).

Roland’s research areas include:

  • Quantification of pathway-specific transfers of nitrogen and phosphorus from land to surface waters that take lag times and attenuation into account.
  • Biogeochemical and hydrological controls on denitrification in the vadose zone-groundwater zone continuum.
  • Redox-stratification of groundwater systems.
  • Harnessing built and natural nitrogen attenuation capacity to optimise land use patterns.

Recent Projects

Latest Publications View All

Woodchip bioreactors – design considerations

New Zealand Land Treatment Collective Annual Conference: Improving outcomes for land treatment

Barkle, G., Rivas, A., Moorhead, B., Stenger, R., Schipper, L., & Clague, J. May, 2021

The importance of the hydrological pathways in exporting nitrogen from grazed artificially drained land

Journal of Hydrology, 597: 126218

Barkle, G., Stenger, R., Moorhead, B., Clague, J. Mar, 2021

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.126218

Application of a Bayesian Chemistry-Assisted Hydrograph Separation (Bach) Model to 48 Diverse Catchments In Waikato, Hawke's Bay And Taranaki.

Weathering the Storm Conference Handbook, Oral abstracts.

Park, J, Stenger, R, Woodward, SJR, Rivas, A, Clague, J Dec, 2020

A novel method for calculating nitrate removal rates in woodchip bioreactors using data from high-frequency monitoring.

Weathering the Storm Conference Handbook, Oral abstracts.

Rivas, A., Barkle, G., Maxwell, B., Moorhead, B., Stenger, R., Park, J., Schipper, L., and Clague, J. Dec, 2020

Synoptic flow gaugings/stream sampling to unravel heterogeneity within catchments

NZHS, NZ Rivers Group and NZFSS Joint Conference

Stenger. R, Rivas.A, Brakle.G, Clague.J, Moorhead.B, Park.J, Morgenstern.U Dec, 2020

Synoptic gaugings/samplings to elucidate water and nutrient fluxes within catchments.

NZ-China Water Research Centre workshop

Stenger, R, Rivas, A, Barkle, G, Owers, J, Clague, J, Moorhead, B, Park, J, Morgenstern, U. Nov, 2020

Extension of Bayesian chemistry-assisted hydrograph separation to reveal water quality trends (BACH2)

Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment

Woodward, S.J.R., Stenger, R. Oct, 2020

Likely controls on dissolved reactive phosphorus concentrations in baseflow of an agricultural stream Journal of Soils and Sediments

Journal of Soils and Sediments

McDowell, R.W., Depree, C., Stenger, R. Apr, 2020

Achieving unbiased predictions of national-scale groundwater redox conditions via data oversampling and statistical learning. Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 705, 135877 14pp.

Science of the Total Environment

Wilson, S. R., Close, M. E., Abraham, P., Sarris, T. S. Banasiak, L., Stenger, R., Hadfield, J. Mar, 2020

Nitrate removal and secondary effects of a woodchip bioreactor for the treatment of subsurface drainage with dynamic flows under pastoral agriculture. Ecological Engineering 148 (2020) 105786. doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2020.105786

Ecological Engineering

Rivas, A., Barkle, G., Stenger, R., Moorhead, B. Clague, J. Mar, 2020

Pilot-scale woodchip bioreactor for removing nitrate from artificial drainage in a Waikato dairy farm

A Workshop on Innovations for Attenuating Nutrient Loss from Farms

A. Rivas, G. Barkle, B. Moorhead, J. Clague, & R. Stenger Feb, 2020

Determining spatial variability of nitrate removal in a woodchip bioreactor through high frequency monitoring at multiple locations

FLRC 2020

Aldrin Rivas, Greg Barkle, Bryan Maxwell, Brian Moorhead, Roland Stenger, Louis Schipper, François Birgand, Juliet Clague Feb, 2020

Development of a national-scale framework to characterise transfers of N, P and Escherichia coli from land to water

NZ Journal of Agricultural Research

Srinivasan, M. S., Muirhead, R. W., Singh, S, K., Monaghan, R. M., Stenger, R., Close, M. E., Manderson, A., Drewry, J. J., Smith, L. C., Selbie, D., Hodson, R. Jan, 2020

Achieving unbiased predictions of national-scale groundwater redox conditions via data oversampling and statistical learning

Science of the Total Environment

Wilson, S.R., Close, M.E., Abraham, P., Sarris, T.s., Banasiak, L., Stenger, R., Hadfield, J. Nov, 2019

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135877

The influence of unsaturated zone drainage status on denitrification and the redox succession in shallow groundwater. Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 660, 1232-1244.

Science of the Total Environment

Clague, J.C., Stenger, R., Morgenstern, U. Nov, 2019

The influence of unsaturated zone drainage status on denitrification and the redox succession in shallow groundwater

Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 660, 1232-1244

Clague, J.C., Stenger, R., Morgenstern, U. Jan, 2019

AbstractSince nitrate is a major agricultural freshwater contaminant, denitrification is the environmentally most important step in the ecological succession of redox processes that can occur in groundwater. Understanding wh... Read More

Determining the vertical variation of hydraulic properties in the shallow groundwater zone

NZ Hydrological Society & Meteorological Society of NZ Joint Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand

Rivas, A., Barkle, G., Moorhead, B., Stenger, R. Dec, 2018

Estimating catchment-scale flowpath contributions based on widely available geospatial data

NZ Hydrological Society & Meteorological Society of NZ Joint Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand

Rivas, A., Stenger, R. Dec, 2018

Effect of varying flowpath contributions on longitudinal baseflow stream chemistry patterns

NZ Hydrological Society & Meteorological Society of NZ Joint Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand

Clague, J., Stenger, R., Morgenstern, U. Dec, 2018

Can we defensibly estimate catchment-scale flowpath contributions based on widely available geospatial data?

Soils 2018 Conference: Diverse Soils – Productive Landscapes, Napier, New Zealand

Rivas, A., Stenger, R. Dec, 2018

Reducing nitrate discharges from artificial drainage with woodchip bioreactors

NZ Hydrological Society & Meteorological Society of NZ Joint Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand

Rivas, A., Barkle, G., Moorhead, B., Clague, J., Stenger, R. Dec, 2018

Indirect Methods to Elucidate Water Flows and Contaminant Transfer Pathways through Meso-scale Catchments – a Review

Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment

Singh, S.K., Stenger, R. Oct, 2018

Bayesian chemistry-assisted hydrograph separation (BACH) and nutrient load partitioning from monthly stream phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations

Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment

Woodward, S. J. R., Stenger, R. Sep, 2018

The influence of a flood event on the potential sediment control of baseflow phosphorus concentrations in an intensive agricultural catchment

Journal of Soils and Sediments

McDowell, R. W., Simpson, Z. P., Stenger, R., Depree, C. Jun, 2018

Vertical stratification of redox conditions, denitrification and recharge in shallow groundwater on a volcanic hillslope containing relict organic matter

Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 639, 1205-1219

Stenger, R., Clague, J. C., Morgenstern, U., Clough, T. J. May, 2018

Understanding the linkage between hydrological and chemical signatures at catchment outlets and dominant contaminant transfer pathways

Integrating Multiple Aquatic Values (IMAV 2017), Hamilton, New Zealand

Stenger, R. Nov, 2017

Predicting nitrate discharge dynamics in mesoscale catchments using the lumped StreamGEM model and Bayesian parameter inference

Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 552, 684-703

Woodward, S. J. R., Wöhling, T., Rode, M., Stenger, R. Sep, 2017

Agriculture and water quality, developments and challenges in science, management and policy 2013-2017: Examples from a few countries

International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality (LuWQ2017)

Fraters, D., Kovar, K., Kronvang, B., Stenger, R., Bolster C. Jun, 2017

Using flow regimes to determine how well catchments buffer water quality contaminants

International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality (LuWQ2017)

McDowell, R. W., Snelder, T., Stenger, R., Rissmann, C., Larned, S. Jun, 2017

Nitrate assimilation capacity of shallow groundwater underlying dairy farms in the Reporoa Basin, NZ

International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality (LuWQ2017)

Stenger, R., Clague, J., Moorhead, B., McKelvey, T., Morgenstern, U. Jun, 2017

Nitrogen phosphorus exports from artificially drained dairy pastures in the Hauraki Plains, NZ

International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality (LuWQ2017), The Hague, The Netherlands

Stenger, R., Barkle, G., Moorhead, B., McKelvey, T. May, 2017

AbstractThis work forms part of the MBIE-funded Transfer Pathways Programme, which targets quantification of the pathway-specific transfers of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from the land to receiving waters, taking lag time... Read More

Uncertainty in the modelling of spatial and temporal patterns of shallow groundwater flow paths: the role of geological and hydrological site information

Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 59(2), 680-694

Woodward, S. J. R., Wöhling, T., Stenger, R. Mar, 2016

AbstractUnderstanding the hydrological and hydrogeochemical responses of hillslopes and other small scale groundwater systems requires mapping the velocity and direction of groundwater flow relative to the controlling subsurf... Read More

Flow Stratification of River Water Quality Data to Elucidate Nutrient Transfer Pathways in Mesoscale Catchments

Transactions of The ASABE, Vol. 59(2),

Woodward, S. J. R., Stenger, R., Hill, R. B. Mar, 2016

AbstractWhile analysis of river water quality time series data alone allows observation of means, variances, trends, and seasonality, it cannot elucidate the catchment mechanisms responsible for these observations. Incorporat... Read More

Genome-scale investigation of phenotypically distinct but nearly clonal Trichoderma strains

Transactions of The ASABE, Vol. 59(2),

Lange, C., Weld, R. J., Cox, M. P., Bradshaw, R. E., McLean, K. L., Stewart, A., Steyaert, J. M. Mar, 2016

AbstractBiological control agents (BCA) are beneficial organisms that are applied to protect plants from pests. Many fungi of the genus Trichoderma are successful BCAs but the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understoo... Read More

Uncertainty in the modelling of spatial and temporal patterns of shallow groundwater flow paths: The role of geological and hydrological site information

Hydrological Processes, Vol. 534, 680-694

Woodward, S. J. R., Wöhling, T., Stenger, R. Mar, 2016

AbstractUnderstanding the hydrological and hydrogeochemical responses of hillslopes and other small scale groundwater systems requires mapping the velocity and direction of groundwater flow relative to the controlling subsurf... Read More

Denitrification in the shallow groundwater system of a lowland catchment: A laboratory study

CATENA, Vol. 131, 109-118

Clague J. C., Stenger, R., Clough, T. J. Aug, 2015

AbstractEvidence for the occurrence of denitrification in shallow groundwater systems in New Zealand (NZ) is poorly documented; however, an observational study of the Toenepi dairying catchment in the Waikato region of NZ rev... Read More

Evaluation of the stable isotope signatures of nitrate to detect denitrification in a shallow groundwater system in New Zealand

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol 202, 188-197

Clague J .C., Stenger, R., Clough T. J. Apr, 2015

AbstractDenitrification in the groundwater systems of agricultural catchments can provide a substantial ‘ecosystem service’ by attenuating leached nitrate (NO3−) before it reaches surface water bodies. Samples along a g... Read More

Flow Stratification of River Water Quality Data to Elucidate Nutrient Transfer Pathways in Mesoscale Catchments

Transactions of The ASABE, Vol. 59(2), 545-551

Woodward, S. J. R., Stenger, R., Hill, R. B. Jan, 2015

AbstractWhile analysis of river water quality time series data alone allows observation of means, variances, trends, and seasonality, it cannot elucidate the catchment mechanisms responsible for these observations. Incorporat... Read More

Variability of unsaturated Bromide fluxes as measured through a layered volcanic vadose zone in New Zealand

Hydrological Processes, Vol. 28 (5), 6080–6097

Barkle, G. F., Wöhling, T., Stenger, R. Jan, 2014

AbstractThe measured drainage fluxes through a layered volcanic vadose zone exhibited high spatial variability as a consequence of heterogeneous flow conditions. The drainage flux variability was quantified using automated eq... Read More

Quantifying groundwater contribution to stream flow generation in a steep headwater catchment

Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 53 (1)

Barkle, G. F., Stenger, R., Burgess, C., Wall, A. Jan, 2014

Silica (SiO2) concentration of water increases with contact time between the water and subsurface silica-bearing minerals. Consequently, SiO2 can be used as a tracer to investigate the water sources (reservoirs) and associate... Read More

A framework for understanding the linkages between land and water quality impacts.

Currie, L.D., Hedley, M.J. (eds) Science and policy: nutrient management challenges for the next generation.

Tanner, C. C., Muirhead, R., Burger, D., Carrick, S., Close, M., Monaghan, R., Singh, S., Srinivasan, M., Stenger, R., Tipa, G. ,

Using monthly stream water quality data to quantify nitrate transfer pathways in three Waikato catchments.

Currie, L.D., Hedley, M.J. (eds) Science and policy: nutrient management challenges for the next generation.

Woodward, S. J. R., Stenger, R. ,

AbstractMonthly water quality sampling at the catchment outlet is carried out at many sites across New Zealand for state of the environment monitoring. This data is used for trend analysis, but little else. We have been explo... Read More