Raina Maier

Research Focus Group Membership: 
Research Focus Group 2

Ph.D., Microbiology, 1988, Rutgers University
B.A., Biology/Chemistry, 1979, University of Minnesota

College Affiliations: 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Research Interests: 

Dr. Maier investigates of the ability of bacteria to survive in extremely oligotrophic environments and development of a fundamental understanding of the biological factors and processes influencing the transport and fate of bacteria and contaminants in the environment. Also the study of microbial surfactants (biosurfactants) including discovery of new biosurfactants, elucidation of the role of biosurfactants in microbial survival, and the development of potential biomedical and environmental applications for these fascinating molecules.

Environmental Health Research & Expertise: 

Raina M Maier, PhD, is a Professor of Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science and Director of the University of Arizona NIEHS Superfund Research Program. She also serves as Director of the University of Arizona Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining and as Deputy Director of the TRIF Water Sustainability Program. Dr. Maier is internationally known for her work on microbial surfactants (biosurfactants) including discovery of a new class of biosurfactants and of novel applications for these unique materials in remediation and green technologies. She is also recognized for her work on the relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function in oligotrophic environments such as carbonate caves, the Atacama desert, and mine tailings. 

Select Publications


Nelson, K. N., J. W. Neilson, R. A. Root, J. Chorover, and R. M. Maier, "Abundance and Activity of 16S rRNA, AmoA and NifH Bacterial Genes During Assisted Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings.", Int J Phytoremediation, vol. 17, issue 1-6, pp. 493-502, 2015. PubMed PMCID: PMC4269300  PMID: 25495940
Ramirez-Andreotta, M. D., M. L. Brusseau, J. Artiola, R. M. Maier, and J. A Gandolfi, "Building a co-created citizen science program with gardeners neighboring a superfund site: The Gardenroots case study.", Int Public Health J, vol. 7, issue 1, 2015 Jan. PubMed PMCID: PMC4420190  PMID: 25954473
Lothrop, N., S. T. Wilkinson, M. Verhougstraete, A. Sugeng, M. M. Loh, W. Klimecki, and P. I. Beamer, "Home Water Treatment Habits and Effectiveness in a Rural Arizona Community.", Water (Basel), vol. 7, issue 3, pp. 1217-1231, 2015. PubMed PMCID: PMC4479291  PMID: 26120482


Valentín-Vargas, A., R. A. Root, J. W. Neilson, J. Chorover, and R. M. Maier, "Environmental factors influencing the structural dynamics of soil microbial communities during assisted phytostabilization of acid-generating mine tailings: a mesocosm experiment.", Sci Total Environ, vol. 500-501, pp. 314-24, 2014 Dec 1. PubMed PMCID: PMC4253589  PMID: 25237788
Ramirez-Andreotta, M. D., M. L. Brusseau, J. F. Artiola, R. M. Maier, and J. A Gandolfi, "Environmental Research Translation: enhancing interactions with communities at contaminated sites.", Sci Total Environ, vol. 497-498, pp. 651-64, 2014 Nov 1. PubMed PMCID: PMC4186773  PMID: 25173762