Ass. Prof. Dr. Marie Muehe


Ass.-Prof. Dr. E. Marie Muehe
Junior Group Leader
Helmholtz Young Investigator / Phone +49 341 6025-1336

Working Team Plant Biogeochemistry

For more details see my personal webpage

E. Marie Muehe

Department of Applied Microbial Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

Research Interest

Soils and sediments are increasingly burdened by contaminants and changes in climate. Both of these interlink as climatic conditions affect the availability of contaminants to biota in the environment. My research focuses on biogeochemical processes in the rhizospheres of crops and phytoremediating plants when stressed with metallic soil contaminants and a shifting climate. I investigate biogeochemical changes that occur at the micrometer scale in the rhizospere to explain macroscopic outcomes of plant productivity and product quality. My goal is to contribute to advancing sustainable agriculture, which is key to the global challenge of food security.

If you are interested in working in my team, don't hesitate to contact me. If you would like to do a master/bachelor thesis or a lab internship, I have plenty of great ideas and am open to discussing yours.

Scientific Career

01/2022 present

Assistant Professor for Plant Biogeochemistry (W1) - Department of Geoscience, University of Tuebingen, Germany

05/2020 present

Junior Group Leader - Plant Biogeochemistry group, Helmholtz Young Investigator, Department of Environmental Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

05/2018 present

Research Affiliate of the Ithaka Institute for Carbon Intelligence - scientific advisor and collaborator, The Ithaka Institute is an international open source non-profit research network for carbon sequestration strategies and cycling through agronomic methods.

05/2015 03/2020

DFG and Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Associate - Stanford University, School of Earth Energy and Environmental Science, Earth System Science Department, California, USA

Return phase to University of Tuebingen: 2018-2019

06/2014 03/2015

08/2008 07/2009

Post-Doctoral Fellow - University of Tuebingen, Center for Applied Geoscience, Geomicrobiology, Tuebingen, Germany

Environmental Volunteering Service - Cape Town, South Africa. Zeekovlei Environmental Education Center and Rondevlei Nature Preserve




Environmental Science at the University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany



 Biology at the University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

2004 2005

Study Abroad Program, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Main Funding Record

  • DFG Grant (2022-2024): Project Title: The role of root-soil interactions in shaping greenhouse gas dynamics from thawing permafrost soils. 233,188 €.
  • Helmholtz Young Investigator Grant (2020-2026): Project Title: RhizoThreats: Rhizospheres under Attack from Coupled Climate and Heavy Metal Threats. 1.8 million €.
  • Baden-Württemberg Elite Programme for Postdocs (2019-2022): Project Title: GreenCad: Cadmium and Climate Impacts on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions. One PhD student financed with 114,000 €.
  • Marie Sklodowska Curie Postdoctoral Grant (2016-2020): Project Title: RACe: The Impact of Climate Change on the Uptake of Arsenic into Rice. 239,861 €.
  • German Research Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarship (2014-2015): The impact of Global Warming on the Accumulation of Arsenic in Rice Grains. 82,000 €.
  • German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) PhD Fellowship (2009-2012): Impact of Mineral-Forming and Dissolving Bacteria on the Uptake and Accumulation of Cadmium in Arabidopsis halleri. 40,400 €.


17 peer-reviewed articles, 1 book chapter, several public outreach activities. Total number of citations: 910; H-index: 14 (January, 2022).


  • 2014 Medalist of the German Dissertation Award (Koerber Foundation, Science division)
  • 2014 University of Tuebingen PhD Award
  • 2014 Department of Geoscience PhD Award at the University of Tuebingen
  • 2008 Medalist of the Biotechnica Study Award for Master theses

Public Outreach

I immensely enjoy talking to school classes, clubs and societies about the work I do and how it links to their every day life. If you are interested in a general audience or popular science talk about my work, then do not hesitate to contact me.

Here are some examples of my public outreach endeavours: