Dr Maria Alexou completed her studies in Forestry at Aristotle University, Greece, with a Master’s Degree in environmental pollution in plantation soil (2001).
She also holds a PhD in Tree Physiology, which she acquired in Freiburg, Germany, having won the Chloros scholarship in Greece (2002-2007). During her PhD, she investigated the impact of drought stress and air pollution due to tropospheric ozone on the physiology of adult beech and spruce trees.
Later, she attended an extended series of Meteorology and Climatology seminars in the School of Physical Sciences at Aristotle University (2007-2008), which focused on extreme weather events.
Maria also won two postdoctoral scholarships in Greece (2009-2011) to further examine abiotic stress in plants. At NAGREF (Thessaloniki, Greece), she investigated how the antioxidative capacity of a drought-tolerant species is mirrored in the mobilization of soluble metabolites and how the stress duration compares to the severity of the stressor. With the department of Forest Protection at Aristotle University, she used a forest fire simulation to examine trees’ capacity to respond to stress events as acclimation is initiated.
She has been a reviewer for Plant Biology, BARD-Funding, and the Journal of Experimental Botany since 2009. Her experience in edaphology, climatology and air pollution provides her with a more in-depth insight on environmental change.
Presently, Maria is very interested in tree “source-to-sink”, C&N, relations and the connections to ascorbate and reactive oxygen species. She is quite self-reliant in research, from the conception of an idea to its implementation in the field and publication of the findings. She experiments with new methods, looking for innovation and exploring new kinds of interdisciplinary cooperation (e.g. tree physiology and forest fires).
Apart from her scientific pursuits, Maria has an inclination towards foreign languages. She speaks English, German and French, and has studied Spanish and even ancient Greek. She has occasionally worked in a translation office and has translated books from Greek into English, from German into Greek and from Greek into German. She has been involved in publishing books in Greece on several occasions.