María Martín Roldán

Contact / Address

Maria Martin Roldan
PhD Student

Department of Soil Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4 | D-06120 Halle/Saale

Maria Martin

Research Project

Microzym project focuses on estimating the rates of microbially mediated processes in the rhizosphere of maize plants by coupling the microbial and enzymatic functional traits with visualized oxidative and hydrolytic processes of organic substances decomposition. For this, we are optimizing the novel technique "time-lapse zymography" which allows to see the enzymatic activity distribution on the surface of intact roots by using fluorogenic substrates and UV light. In addition, we study microbial growth kinetics in soil using respirometry and microcalorimetry. Overall, I focus on drought, increasingly affecting landscapes worldwide, and the response of bellow ground processes at different spatio-temporal scales: from maize plants grown several weeks to a 5 years monitoring of maize monoculture field. Finally, we are studying the interactive effect of root morphology (biotic factor) and soil texture (abiotic factor) in response to drought and consecutive years of maize monoculture.

This project belongs to the Priority Program SPP2089 - Rhizosphere spatiotemporal Organisation.

CV / Scientific Career

since 2022

Doctoral researcher at the Soil Ecology department, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ


Erasmus traineeship at GEPEA /AlgoSolis, Saint-Nazaire (France) on the culture of the microalgae Euglena gracilis


Traineeship at Fundación IDONIAL, Asturias (Spain) for chemical determination and analysis of impurities and
contaminants in industrial samples by GC-MS. Physical characterisation of bioplastics, DSC and TGA.

2019 - 2021

Double International Master Degree in Biotechnology of Environment and Health by University of Oviedo
(Spain) and Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (México)

2014 - 2019

Degree in Biochemistry with a specialization in biotechnology, University of Málaga (Spain). Degree thesis on the study of a microbial consortium of rhizobacteria with biological activity against a pathogenic fungus on avocado plants.

Other Info

I have participated in several European Solidarity Corps projects related to permaculture and sustainability, including Environmental Education workshops for local youth, for which I feel special interest. These projects gave me the ability to communicate in multicultural and multidisciplinary environments, as well as improve my scientific dissemination.

Conference Contributions


Martín Roldán, M., Vetterlein, D., Tarkka, M., and Blagodatskaya, E.: Stoichiometry of soil organic matter and microbial functional traits altered after 5 years of maize monoculture, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5424,, 2024.


POSTER AWARD for: Martín Roldán, M., Vetterlein, D., Tarkka, M., and Blagodatskaya, E.: Microbial growth and functional traits adaptation in a 5 years maize monoculture - ID Abs Web 140040, Centennial of the IUSS, 2024, Florence, Italy.

POSTER AWARD for: Martín Roldán, M.,Hartwig, R., Wimmer, M., and Blagodatskaya, E.: Drought effect on enzymes kinetics and microbial growth in the root environment of maize, Deutsche Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft (DBG) Conference 2023, Halle (Saale), Germany.

Martín Roldán, M., Hartwig, R., Wimmer, M., and Blagodatskaya, E.: Enzymes kinetics and microbial growth in the rhizosphere gradient of maize are sensitive to a short-term drought, BONARES Conference, Soil as a Sustainable Resource, 2023, Berlin, Germany.

Martín Roldán, M., Hartwig, R., Wimmer, M., and Blagodatskaya, E.: Short-term drought effect on biochemical processes and microbial growth in the rhizosphere of two maize genotypes., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15250,, 2023.