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May 27, 2016

At its meeting on 25 and 26 May , the ETH Board appointed Nathalie Dubois from the Surface Waters Research and Management Department as an Assistant Professor of Paleolimnology at ETH Zurich. Read more

Biofilms – the slimy layer of microorganisms covering the bottom of streams – serve important ecosystem functions. Photo: Jörg Hemmer
May 25, 2016

Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms such as bacteria or algae. In aquatic ecosystems, they serve essential functions, e.g. as a food resource. They also play an important role in wastewater treatment and in biofuel production. Read more

NEST: building of the future is up and running (Picture: Roman Keller)
May 23, 2016

A unique research and innovation platform has opened its doors: on 23 May 2016, the modular experimental building NEST was inaugurated on the Dübendorf campus of the two research institutes Empa and Eawag. Read more

Conventional systems for water supply and wastewater management do not represent a sustainable solution for the future. Photo: Max Maurer
May 20, 2016

Ageing infrastructure, global population growth and increasing urbanization call for new approaches in the water supply and wastewater management sector. Read more

Single K. oxytoca cells. This images, generated using a NanoSIMS, shows the enrichment of the cells with heavy nitrogen (15N) after being fed with it. (Copyright: Frank Schreiber)
May 9, 2016

No two bacteria are identical – even when they are genetically the same. A new study reveals the conditions under which bacteria become individualists and how they help their colony grow when times get tough. Read more

Weltweit beziehen 300 Millionen Menschen ihr Wasser aus Grundwasservorräten, die stark mit Arsen oder Fluorid belastet sind.
April 28, 2016

The interactive and free available Groundwater Assessment Platform (GAP) is now online. Over 300 million people worldwide use groundwater contaminated with arsenic or fluoride as a source of drinking water. Researchers in the Department of Water Resources & Drinking Water have developed a method whereby the risk of contamination in a given area can be estimated using geological, topographical and other environmental data without having to test samples from every single groundwater resource. Read more

Fig. 1: The NEST experimental building provides accommodation for guests, as well as office space used on a daily basis. When individual projects have been completed, the modular units are to be removed and replaced by new ones. (Photo: Empa)
April 28, 2016

In the modular experimental building known as NEST, Eawag and Empa – together with industrial and scientific partners – are investigating new forms of living and working, innovative construction methods and energy-efficient technologies. Read more

Sample of Corbicula fluminea from the Lake Constance. Photo: Madleina Gerecke, Eawag / ETHZ
April 28, 2016

The filter-feeding Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), an invasive species which entered Europe in the 1980s and was not recorded in Lake Constance until after 2000, has now colonized the eastern part of this lake. The extent of the invasion is shown by an ETH Zurich Environmental Sciences student’s Bachelor thesis, supervised at Eawag: densities of up to 900 clams per square metre were found in the lake. Read more

Fig. 1: Juvenile whitefish prior to their release from a hatchery into Lake Thun. (Photo: Emanuel Ammon, Ex-Press)
April 21, 2016

In the last century, the natural reproduction of whitefish and Arctic char in several Swiss lakes was adversely affected by high levels of nutrient inputs. So far, stocking measures have been implemented in efforts to support fish populations and maintain yields. The effectiveness of these measures varies according to the particular species and lake. Read more

© Eawag (Photo: Jürg Siegrist)
April 13, 2016

The pipe material used for shower hoses or tap connections influences the type and amount of bacterial growth. This was shown by an Eawag study in which the microbiological impact of six commonly used plastic pipe materials was compared in a shower simulator over an eight-month period. Read more

To obtain more reliable estimates of illicit drug use based on wastewater analysis, Christoph Ort and Ann-Kathrin McCall are studying the stability of drug residues in sewers. The detection of these substances in wastewater is a complete task.  G. Pasquin
April 6, 2016

Environmental engineer Christoph Ort is one of the Eawag scientists whose work has been particularly widely covered in the media over the last few years. His research field – drugs in wastewater – is a magnet for journalists. Read more

March 22, 2016

Researchers at Eawag have brought daphnia back to life that were more than 40 years old. They then tested the organisms’ varying reactions to lead pollution. Read more

Experimental set-up with the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus in microfluidic chips: each chip comprises eight channels, with a bacterial population growing in each channel (Graphic: Stephanie Stutz)
March 7, 2016

Individual bacterial cells have short memories. But groups of bacteria can develop a collective memory that can increase their tolerance to stress. This has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time in a study by Eawag and ETH Zurich scientists published in PNAS. Read more

Nathalie Dubois (Photo: Eawag)
March 1, 2016

Nathalie Dubois from the Surface Waters Research and Management Department has received a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) professorship. She plans to use the professorship to research what effects early human activity had on ecosystems in previously uninhabited eastern Pacific islands. Read more

Photo: Andreas Hartl
February 29, 2016

Sometimes evolution proceeds much more rapidly than we might think. Genetic analysis makes it possible to detect the earliest stages of species formation and to gain a better understanding of speciation processes. Read more

Photo: Christine Bärlocher
February 24, 2016

In Switzerland, conflicts between the societal goals of agricultural production and protection of waterbodies arise in particular with regard to rehabilitation measures, nutrient management and ecological compensation areas. Read more

In mountainous terrain, peaks and valleys (grey background) are isolated habitats, like islands in the ocean, whereas mid-elevation sites (yellow-red gradient) form well-connected patches. (Picture: E. Bertuzzo)
February 2, 2016

A warming climate is likely to drive species to higher, cooler altitudes. A new study highlights a less obvious, yet crucial way in which their new habitat could differ from the one they leave behind. Read more

Fig. 1: The landscape of the Joux Valley (Canton Vaud) is today dominated by the lake and extensive woodlands. (Photo: Günter Fischer/Chromorange)
January 28, 2016

A lake’s sediments are a window onto the past – the various layers deposited over time can provide valuable information on changes in local environmental conditions. Read more

Outdoor experimental pond facility
January 26, 2016

The outdoor experimental pond facility constructed at Eawag’s Dübendorf site in 2015 is the only one of its kind in Europe. Read more

Joan S. Davis
January 21, 2016

Joan S. Davis died suddenly at the age of 78 on 10 January, 2016. The biochemist was a member of the academic staff at Eawag/ETH for over 30 years, teaching and researching in the field of flowing water bodies. Read more

Eawag-Forscher Alexandre Gouskov fischt beim Kraftwerk Dietikon (ZH) nach Alets. Eawag-Kollegin Marta Reyes unterstützt ihn beim Elektrofischen, Foto: Peter Penicka, Eawag
January 6, 2016

Hydroelectric power plants, weirs and waterfalls are often insurmountable barricades for fish. This can have a significant impact on the genetic structure of the separate populations. Whether and to what extent fish ladders mitigate this negative effect is now being investigated for the first time. Read more

December 24, 2015

Christoph Moschet has been awarded the Otto Jaag Water Protection prize for 2015 for his excellent dissertation entitled “Addressing Blind Spots in the Assessment of Pesticides in Surface Waters: A Complete Screening using Trace-Level Mass Spectrometry Techniques and Complementary Sampling Strategies“. Read more

© Andri Bryner, Eawag
December 22, 2015

Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a new study spanning six continents. Read more

December 1, 2015

Yesterday afternoon Eawag researcher Annette Johnson passed away after a serious illness. She was the leader of the group “Water Rock Interaction” of the Water Resources and Drinking Water Department. Read more

November 30, 2015

Florence Metz has bested 31 other teams to become this year’s Dance Your Ph.D. winner. Read more

Kay Schaller, representative of VSETH, presents the Golden Owl to Eawag researcher Martin Ackermann.  Rights: Giulia Marthaler; ETH Zürich
November 27, 2015

Martin Ackermann, Professor of Molecular Microbial Ecology at ETH Zurich and department head at Eawag, was presented the Golden Owl of the Association of Students at the ETH  (VSETH) at this year’s ETH Day. Read more

Cichlids – unlike the Nile perch – have a second set of jaws, but this trait is not always advantageous. (Photo: Eawag)
November 26, 2015

When the biodiversity of an ecosystem is reduced by invasive species, competition for food plays a more important role than has previously been supposed. This was the conclusion of research conducted by Eawag and Bern University scientists on cichlid species in Lake Victoria, which suffered mass extinction following the introduction of the fish-eating Nile perch in the 1950s. Read more

Volcanic eruption. Source: Pixabay.com
November 24, 2015

According to a new international study – in which Eawag scientists played a leading role – the global climate shifted to a warmer state in the late 1980s. The research also indicates that the cooling initially caused by the eruption of El Chichón was followed by a rapid rebound in global temperatures. Read more