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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 contaminants in aquatic ecosystems; and assessing the impact of watershed degradation and conservation on stream integrity. Current projects include the Watershed Dynamics & Evolution Science Focus Area (WaDE SFA) and Uptake and Bioaccumulation/Biomagnification of PFAS by Lotic, Food Webs (SERDP ER19-1032).

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 and B.S. in Geology from The College of William & Mary. 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.

Highlights & happenings:

  • Highlight on some of our student interns this summer (2023)
  • Feature story on the growing number of partnerships between ESS and minority serving institutions (2023)
  • 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 (2021)