E. Marie Muehe is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Fendorf Lab within the Earth System Science Department at Stanford University. Marie is fascinated by the intricate interplay of plants and microbial communities in metal(loid) contaminated environments. Currently, her work seeks to understand how climate change parameters affect the uptake and accumulation of toxic arsenic in rice and to this end the production and quality of this global staple in the future. At Stanford she collaborates with the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology to perform highly controlled greenhouse studies simulating the current and future climate of arsenic-affected rice producing regions in the world. Marie and her colleagues combine rice productivity data with changes in soil and pore water properties and microbial activities. Besides obtaining estimates for future rice production and quality, this works also aims to develop successful strategies to decrease arsenic uptake and accumulation in rice in the future.
Marie received her German Diplom (equivalent to a Master) from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, in 2008. Her thesis on the interplay of rice and iron-oxidizing bacteria in arsenic contaminated water was awarded the runner-up BIOTECHNICA award for outstanding master thesis. After graduation, Marie became a fellow of the Weltwärts program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with which she volunteered for an environmental protection and education service in the Southern townships of Cape Town, South Africa. In 2009, Marie was awarded a German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) fellowship and returned to the University of Tuebingen, Germany. As part of her PhD she investigated the interaction of the metal-accumulating plant A. halleri with soil bacteria to increase the efficiency of phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated soils. Marie graduated in 2013 and became a medallist for First Honors at her Department, the University, and received a German-wide dissertation award of the Körber-Foundation. Her appointment at Stanford University is funded by the German Research Foundation and currently by a Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Global Fellowship of the European Commission.