I am currently a Helmholtz Young Investigator Fellow at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany. 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 rhizosphere to explain macroscopic outcomes of plant productivity and quality. My goal is to contribute to advancing sustainable agriculture, which is key to the global challenge of food security.


June/July 2020

I am looking for a PhD student and a chemical/analytical technician for my new lab at the UFZ in Leipzig. If you are interested, apply!

May 2020

As of May 2020 I will be a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany. I am extremely stoked to be working with the Environmental Microbiology Department. The project I am funded for is called RhizoThreats: Rhizosphere Adaptation to Coupled Climate and Heavy Metal Threats

April 2020

Our work on climate impacts on arsenic accumulation in rice was presented in the research magazine Attempto! of the University of Tuebingen.  

February 2020

First extremely successful Bachelor thesis titled "Effect of cadmium on (a)biotic greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural soils" on the GreenCad project finished.
Wishing the student all the best and thank you for all your excitement and hard work on the project. Great supervision by the GreenCad PhD student.

January 2020

Public Outreach: Evening presentation at the Leibniz Kolleg in Tuebingen
Great discussion with very interested students. Thank you for an intriguing evening.

January 2020

Trip to SSRL to measure the binding environment of cadmium in soil and mineral samples.
First trip to a synchrotron for the GreenCad PhD student working on the impact of Cd on greenhouse gas emissions under different climates. We had a blast and good data.

November 2019

October 2019

Our manuscript "Rice production threatened by coupled stresses of climate and soil arsenic" is accepted in Nature Communications
by E. Muehe, Tianmei Wang, Carolin Kerl, Britta Planer-Friedrich, and Scott Fendorf.

August 2019
Session Co-chair:
  • 12f: Role of microbial metabolisms and microenvironments in biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem adaptation in soils, sediments, and aquatic systems.
Poster presentation:
  • Microbiome dynamics in rice's rhizosphere when stressed by climate and soil arsenic.
August 2019

May 2019

Meeting of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung scholars in Stuttgart, Germany, with a session on career perspectives within the German research landscape.

April 2019

Great news on the private front: Our son was born!

April 2019

The PhD student working on the project GreenCad: Cadmium impacts on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions started, and
the scientific practice 1 student working on Microbial abundance dynamics in rhizospheres of rice exposed to combined climate and arsenic stress started as well. 

February 2019

Second Leadership Academy of the German Scholars Organisation, this time in Darmstadt, Germany.
 January 2019
November 2018

Within this program, I will hire and supervise a PhD student working on the project: Cadmium impacts on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

October 2018

Leadership Academy of the German Scholars Organisation in Boston.

September 2018

Public outreach into a high school.
Talking to grade 10, 11 and 12 students about the future of rice in the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn high school in Salzwedel.

August 2018
    Goldschmidt 2018 Conference in Boston, USA.
    • Altered Regulation of Arsenic by Iron Plaque on Rice Roots Under a Changing Climate
July 2018

    A new synchrotron proposal got accepted at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource SSRL.
    Proposal 5111: Identifying key differences in arsenic dynamics in the rhizosphere of rice that translate to major losses in grain yield and quality.

June 2018

Visit back to Stanford to start up a new greenhouse gas emission experiment from Californian paddy soil together with Alandra.

May 2018
General audience presentations in Germany
Do you like to eat rice? - The future of the most important food in the world.
Great, motivating discussions at the Jenny Marx Forum in Salzwedel (funded by the Rosa   Luxemburg Foundation) and the Rotary Club in Braunschweig.

May 2018
Move to the University of Tübingen for the Marie Curie Return Phase
Emotional roller-coaster: Very excited to be part of the Kappler Lab again and at the same time super sad to leave the Fendorf lab, where I had an amazing time - thank you all so much!
Now it is time to write everything up!

March 2018


Obtained the Postdoc Teaching Certificate at Stanford

March 2018

RELP - Rising Environmental Leaders Program
I was honored to be part of this amazing Program facilitating contacts to policy makers and their education chain. The highlight of this program was a 1-week bootcamp in Washington D.C.  

Image credit: Nathan Mitchell Photography
January-February 2018
End of greenhouse gas emissions experiment with Alandra - we are rocking it in the lab

 November-December 2017

Rhizotron experiment ran successfully in the lab.
Exciting to do the elemental imaging of As and Fe in the rhizosphere of rice at SSRL in collaboration with Sam Webb and Nick Edwards.  


 October 2017

    Soils 2017 Conference in Tampa, Florida.
    • Changing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Flooded Rice Paddies Under Projected Future Climates.
    • Climate Change Coupled with Elevated Soil Arsenic Will Decrease Rice Productivity and Grain Quality

  October 2017
Start of greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies experiment with Alandra.
This is a revised experimental set-up and tackles the question how elevated soil arsenic affects greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies exposed to different climates.

  September 2017
Teaching grad student Tianmei to take over the greenhouse in a few months.

  September 2017
Trip to Germany with many fruitful meetings in Bayreuth and Tübingen.

  August 2017
    Goldschmidt 2017 Conference in Paris, France.
    • Climate Change Coupled with Elevated Soil Arsenic Will Decrease Rice Productivity and Grain Quality
    • Diminished Greenhouse Gas Emmissions from Flooded Rice Paddies Under Projected Future Climates
    Session co-chair:
    • Biogeochemical Processes Under Dynamic Redox Conditions in Soils and Sediments - Controls and Feedbacks

  August 2017
Participation in MBL summer workshop:
Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structure (STAMPS) in Woods Hole.

  July 2017
Harvesting of Californian rice experiment.

 June 2017
First Californian rice rhizotron experiment started:
How do rhizosphere biogeochemical processes change with climate change and elevated soil arsenic?

  June-August 2017

Three great students will work on the rice project this summer.

  May 2017
Greenhouse gas emission from rice paddy experiment started with Alandra:
How do greenhouse gas emissions from paddy soils change when exposed to climate change and elevated soil arsenic?

 March 2017
Californian rice experiment started:
How do rice productivity and quality change when rice is exposed to climate change and elevated soil arsenic?

  February 2017
Getting the greenhouse ready for another round of experiments.