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E. Marie Muehe

RELP Cohort: 2018
Earth System Science
School: Sustainability

Marie Muehe is a postdoctoral fellow in the Fendorf Lab within the Earth System Science Department at Stanford. Marie is fascinated by the interplay of plants and microorganisms in metal(loid)-contaminated environments. Her work at Stanford ascertains how climate change affects the accumulation of toxic arsenic in rice, and to this end the future production and quality of this global staple. In collaboration with the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology, she realizes highly climate-controlled greenhouse studies. These studies simulate the current and future climate of arsenic-affected rice producing regions in the world. Marie and her colleagues connect rice productivity data to changes in soil and pore water properties and microbial activities. Besides obtaining estimates for future rice production and quality, her work aims at developing successful strategies to decrease arsenic uptake and accumulation in future rice.

Marie obtained her Diplom in Biology from the University of Tbingen, Germany, in 2008. She received a Biotechnica award for outstanding master theses on the interplay of rice and iron-oxidizing bacteria in arsenic-contaminated water. After graduation, Marie became a fellow of the Weltwrts program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with which she volunteered for a year for an environmental protection and education service in South Africa.

In 2009, Marie was awarded a German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) fellowship and returned to the University of Tbingen, Germany, for her Ph.D. Within her thesis, she investigated the interaction of metal-accumulating plants and soil bacteria to increase the bioremediation efficiency of cadmium-contaminated soils. Marie graduated in 2014 and became a medalist for First Honors at the University of Tbingen, and received a German-wide dissertation award of the Krber-Foundation. Her appointment at Stanford is consecutively funded by the German Research Foundation and a Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Global Fellowship of the European Commission.