About Marisa

I am a PhD student at the University of Potsdam (Germany) studying the relationship between physical and biogeochemical processes in rivers, with a specific focus on the Rio Bermejo in northern Argentina. The goal of my PhD project is to quantify the role of rivers in the carbon cycle, with respect to carbon transport from source to sink.

Always trying to solve puzzles with data!

I currently work in the Geomorphology section at the German Center for Geoscience Research (GFZ Potsdam) with Niels Hovius (geomorphology), Dirk Sachse (organic geochemistry) and Hella Wittmann (earth surface geochemistry). My research is supported by the DFG-funded StRATEGy international research training group. Our goal is to understand the geomorphic drivers of terrestrial organic carbon transport and preservation through fluvial systems draining the central Argentinian Andes.

When I’m not in the lab or fishing samples out of the Rio Bermejo, you can find me in the mountains on my bike! Mountain biking has been key to improving my self-confidence and racing motivates me to keep challenging myself and improving my skills. I find many parallels between research and mountain biking, in terms of the uphill climbs, the crashes, fine-tuning my skills, and the awesome feeling of reaching the top of a climb/publishing a paper.

In 2016 I earned my master of science in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. Karl Karlstrom. There I studied the geologic and geomorphic evolution of the Rio Grande river system using U-Pb detrital zircon provenance and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. Rivers set the pace of regional landscape evolution, so by learning the rates of change in the Rio Grande and the processes that drive these changes, we now understand why the New Mexico landscape has evolved the way it has.

In 2014 I received my B.S. in Earth and Environmental Science from Lehigh University, where I fell in love with Geology and academia. In addition to discovering my passion, I played on Lehigh’s Division 1 women’s basketball team.


One thought on “About Marisa

  1. Ruthie Perez

    So proud of you. Marisa. I always knew you had great things in nind for the durure. Make a difference in the world so I g the things you love.


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