Department Environmental Chemistry

Eawag water experts contributing to a new online course
02. November 2017

Eawag water experts contributing to a new online course (Photo: University of Zurich)
Eawag water experts contributing to a new online course (Photo: University of Zurich)

Christian Stamm and Alfred Johny Wüest are lecturing along with other academics and practitioners in a new online course on “Water in Switzerland”, run by the University of Zurich. The course, addressed to the public, examines how this element affects various aspects of life in Switzerland. Read more

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Dr. Christian StammTel. +41 58 765 5565Send Mail

26. Oktober 2017
Determining when Anthropocene epoch starts

Sampling sediment cores on Greifensee near Zurich (photo: Aurea Chiaia, Eawag).
Sampling sediment cores on Greifensee near Zurich (photo: Aurea Chiaia, Eawag).

Humans have so profoundly altered the Earth that, some scientists argue, our current geologic epoch requires a new name: the Anthropocene. But defining the precise start of the era is tricky. Would it begin with the spread of domesticated farm animals or the appearance of radioactive elements from nuclear bomb tests? Scientists report in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology a method to measure levels of human-made contaminants in sediments that could help pinpoint the Anthropocene’s onset. Read more

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12. Oktober 2017
Pesticides: long-term persistence in soils

Many years after pesticides are applied, residues can still be detected in soils. (Photo: Markus Bolliger, FOEN)
Many years after pesticides are applied, residues can still be detected in soils. (Photo: Markus Bolliger, FOEN)

According to a study funded by the Federal Office for the Environment, pesticides or transformation products can persist in soils for a decade or more. In the study, Eawag and Agroscope scientists analysed topsoil samples collected from 14 agricultural sites between 1995 and 2008 as part of the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network programme. Read more 

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Dr. Aurea ChiaiaTel. +41 58 765 5309Send Mail

20. August 2017
Degradation of pharmaceuticals through sunlight in the water...

The degradation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in surface waters is accelerated by sunlight. The presence of organic matter affects photochemical degradation significantly. How the various processes are interconnected was presented in our current publication. read more

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Dr. Elisabeth JanssenSenior Scientist / group leaderTel. +41 58 765 5428Send Mail

01. Juni 2017
The scientists investigated water chemistry and biology in reaches upstream and downstream of WWTPs

Fig. 1: The scientists investigated water chemistry and biology in reaches upstream and downstream of WWTPs. (Photo: Eawag)
Fig. 1: The scientists investigated water chemistry and biology in reaches upstream and downstream of WWTPs. (Photo: Eawag)

Micropollutants enter rivers and streams in effluents discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As well as having adverse impacts on individual species, these substances appear to alter aquatic ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition. This was shown by a research project launched by Eawag in view of the planned upgrade of selected Swiss WWTPs to reduce micropollutant loads. The effects of the first upgrades are already evident. Read more 

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Dr. Christian StammTel. +41 58 765 5565Send Mail

01. Februar 2017
Kathrin Fenner appointed as Professor ad personam at University of Zurich

Kathrin Fenner was appointed as extraordinary professor ad personam in the field of environmental chemistry. Kathrin Fenner is group leader in the department of Environmental Chemistry at Eawag. She graduated in Chemistry at the University of Zurich and obtained her PhD at the Department of Chemistry of ETH Zurich.

Additionally, she achieved a postgraduate degree in Industrial Management and Manufacturing and in 2010 she received the venia legendi in Environmental Chemistry at ETH Zurich. The topic of her habilitation thesis was “Exposure assessment for organic contaminants - Improving scope and accuracy”. Kathrin Fenner was visiting researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, and visiting researcher with an SNF Fellowship for Advanced Researchers at the University of Minnesota, USA.

Related Links:
Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich

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Prof. Dr. Kathrin FennerSenior scientist/group leaderTel. +41 58 765 5085Send Mail