Department Environmental Toxicology

How do aquatic organisms respond to stress?

We investigate how freshwater organisms respond to chemical exposure and other stressors in their environment. In particular, we explore adaptive and toxicological response pathways and develop conceptual and computational models to support knowledge-based risk assessment.

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October 10, 2017

A study just published by Eawag scientists shows that gold and silver each amounting to around CHF 1.5 million a year are lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland. The concentrations measured do not pose risks to the environment – and recycling would not be economically worthwhile. However, the study also produced surprising findings on other trace elements in wastewater, including rare earth metals such as gadolinium and the heavy metal niobium. Read more

October 5, 2017

Single-celled bacteria are capable of mixing water layers in lakes – not directly, by movement of their flagella, but by accumulating locally and thus increasing water density. The heavier water then sinks, creating circular currents. Researchers have now observed this process for the first time not just in the laboratory, but in a natural water body – Lake Cadagno (canton of Ticino). Read more

SETAC Europe Rifcon Award

Yang Yue wins the SETAC Europe Rifcon Best Publication Award for his paper in Environmental Science: Nano, entitled, "Silver nanoparticle-protein interactions in intact rainbow trout gill cells". Congratulations Yang!

Latest Publications

Stadnicka-Michalak, J.; Knöbel, M.; Županič, A.; Schirmer, K. (2018) A validated algorithm for selecting non-toxic chemical concentrations, ALTEX: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 35(1), 37-50, doi:10.14573/altex.1701231, Institutional Repository
Oliveira, I. B.; Groh, K. J.; Schönenberger, R.; Barroso, C.; Thomas, K. V.; Suter, M. J. -F. (2017) Toxicity of emerging antifouling biocides to non-target freshwater organisms from three trophic levels, Aquatic Toxicology, 191, 164-174, doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.07.019, Institutional Repository
Tousova, Z.; Oswald, P.; Slobodnik, J.; Blaha, L.; Muz, M.; Hu, M.; Brack, W.; Krauss, M.; Di Paolo, C.; Tarcai, Z.; Seiler, T.-B.; Hollert, H.; Koprivica, S.; Ahel, M.; Schollée, J. E.; Hollender, J.; Suter, M. J. -F.; Hidasi, A. O.; Schirmer, K.; Sonavane, M.; Ait-Aissa, S.; Creusot, N.; Brion, F.; Froment, J.; Almeida, A. C.; Thomas, K.; Tollefsen, K. E.; Tufi, S.; Ouyang, X.; Leonards, P.; Lamoree, M.; Torrens, V. O.; Kolkman, A.; Schriks, M.; Spirhanzlova, P.; Tindall, A.; Schulze, T. (2017) European demonstration program on the effect-based and chemical identification and monitoring of organic pollutants in European surface waters, Science of the Total Environment, 601, 1849-1868, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.032, Institutional Repository
Odzak, N.; Kistler, D.; Sigg, L. (2017) Influence of daylight on the fate of silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles in natural aquatic environments, Environmental Pollution, 226, 1-11, doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2017.04.006, Institutional Repository