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Marie J Kurz

R&D Staff Scientist


Marie Kurz is a hydro-geochemist in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Kurz’s research takes an integrated approach to understanding how solutes and matter move and transform within watersheds in order to evaluate and predict how coupled hydrologic, geochemical and ecosystem functions respond to human activities and environmental change. Current research themes include improving our predictive understanding of metabolism, reactive solute transport and coupled biogeochemical processes within stream networks; evaluating the fate and risks of PFAS contaminants in aquatic ecosystems; and assessing the impact of watershed degradation and conservation on stream integrity.

Before starting at ORNL in 2021, Dr. Kurz was head of the Biogeochemistry Section at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, and a staff scientist at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig, Germany. She completed her Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Florida. During her PhD she was a fellow in the NSF IGERT ‘Adaptive Management: Wise use of Water, Wetlands & Watersheds’, which trained scientists to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams to address the complex issues of coupled human and natural systems and the interface of science and policy required to manage them. Dr. Kurz received her B.S. in Geology from The College of William & Mary.

Highlights & happenings:

  • Feature story on the growing number of partnerships between ESS and minority serving institutions
  • Great to be back in person at the AGU 2022 Fall Meeting, presenting on PFAS bioaccumulation (H12J-0812) and chairing some of the Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions sessions (H35A & H42D).
  • Invited speaker at the 2022 SERDP-ESTCP-OE Innovation Symposium, sharing results on PFAS uptake and bioaccumulation in mid-Atlantic stream food webs.
  • ORNL Researcher Profile (2022)
  • Invited presentation for the SERDP and ESTCP Webinar Series: Advances in Understanding PFAS Ecological Risks available here.

Older Publications

Disentangling multiple chemical and non-chemical stressors in lotic ecosystems using a longitudinal approach (2021) Science of the Total Environment

Contrasting Raz-Rru stream metabolism and nutrient uptake downstream of urban wastewater effluent sites (2021) Freshwater Science

The method controls the story - Sampling method impacts on the detection of pore-water nitrogen concentrations in streambeds (2020) Science of the Total Environment

Spatial and temporal variation in river corridor exchange across a 5th order mountain stream network (2019) Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

Solute transport and transformation in an intermittent, headwater mountain stream with unsteady discharge (2019) Water 

Co-located contemporaneous mapping of morphological, hydrological, chemical, and biological conditions in a 5th order mountain stream network, Oregon, USA (2019) Earth System Science Data 

Exploring tracer information and model framework trade-offs to improve estimation of stream transient storage processes (2019) Water Resources Research

Woody debris is related to reach-scale hotspots of lowland stream ecosystem respiration under baseflow conditions (2018) Ecohydrology 

Low flow controls on stream thermal dynamics (2018) Limnologica

Helophyte impacts on the response of hyporheic invertebrate communities to inundation events in intermittent streams (2017) Ecohydrology

Impacts of water level on metabolism and transient storage in vegetated lowland rivers: Insights from a mesocosm study (2017) Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Synoptic estimates of diffuse groundwater seepage to a spring-fed karst river at high spatial resolution using an automated radon measurement technique (2017) Journal of Hydrology

Estimating time-variable aerobic respiration in the streambed by combining electrical conductivity and dissolved oxygen time-series (2016) Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Climate control of decadal-scale increases in apparent ages of eogenetic karst spring water (2016) Journal of Hydrology

Stream solute tracer timescales changing with discharge and reach length confound process interpretation (2016) Water Resources Research

Diffusion and seepage-driven element fluxes from the hyporheic zone of a karst river (2015) Freshwater Science 

Controls on diel metal cycles in a biologically productive carbonate-dominated river (2013) Chemical Geology

Diel phosphorus variation and the stoichiometry of ecosystem metabolism in a large spring-fed river (2013)  Ecological Monographs 

Influence of diel biogeochemical cycles on carbonate equilibrium in a karst river (2011) Chemical Geology