Understand and manage ecosystems

Why does one species of toad live in ponds, while another prefers shingle banks? How does the flora and fauna in a mountain stream change when the glacier has melted away? And how do invasive species affect their new habitat? It is only by answering questions such as these that entire ecosystems can be understood and, to some extent, managed.


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July 19, 2017

Central Switzerland is shaped by Lake Lucerne, which offers not only rich landscape diversity but also habitats for numerous animal species. As part of the Swiss-wide “Projet Lac” study, the lake’s fish fauna was surveyed for the first time using standardized quantitative methods – producing some surprising findings. Read more

July 13, 2017

If the wind blows away the warm surface waters of a lake, cold water flows in from the depths. As a result of this effect the temperature in Lake Geneva recently sank to 8 degrees. A project led by Eawag and EPFL had predicted this cooling event. Read more


Scientific publications

Harvey, E.; Gounand, I.; Ward, C. L.; Altermatt, F. (2017) Bridging ecology and conservation: from ecological networks to ecosystem function, Journal of Applied Ecology, 54(2), 371-379, doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12769, Institutional Repository
Alexander, T. J.; Vonlanthen, P.; Seehausen, O. (2017) Does eutrophication-driven evolution change aquatic ecosystems?, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1712), 1-10, doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0041, Institutional Repository
Tomonaga, Y.; Brennwald, M. S.; Livingstone, D. M.; Kwiecien, O.; Randlett, M.-È.; Stockhecke, M.; Unwin, K.; Anselmetti, F. S.; Beer, J.; Haug, G. H.; Schubert, C. J.; Sturm, M.; Kipfer, R. (2017) Porewater salinity reveals past lake-level changes in Lake Van, the Earth’s largest soda lake, Scientific Reports, 7, 1-10, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-00371-w, Institutional Repository
Honti, M.; Schuwirth, N.; Rieckermann, J.; Stamm, C. (2017) Can integrative catchment management mitigate future water quality issues caused by climate change and socio-economic development?, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21, 1593-1609, doi:10.5194/hess-21-1593-2017, Institutional Repository
Lavrieux, M.; Schubert, C. J.; Hofstetter, T.; Eglinton, T. I.; Hajdas, I.; Wacker, L.; Dubois, N. (2017) From medieval land clearing to industrial development: 800 years of human-impact history in the Joux Valley (Swiss Jura), Holocene, xx (12 pp.), doi:10.1177/0959683617693892, Institutional Repository
To the library

Publications for practitioners

  • Factsheet: Invasive species spread by recreational boats transported overland [pdf, available in German and French]
  • Factsheet: River Corridors [pdf, available in German and French]
  • Factsheet: Facts about phosphorus in Lake Brienz [pdf, available in German and French]
  • River revitalisation: Focus on fish [pdf, available in German and French]
Weber, C. (2013) Schweizer Fließgewässer im Spannungsfeld zwischen Schutz und Nutzung, 259-268, Institutional Repository


Prof. Dr. Rik Eggen
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • micropollutants
  • surface water
Prof. Dr. Jukka Jokela
  • algae
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • fish
  • genetics
  • plankton
  • proteomics
Dr. Hans Peter Kohler
  • micropollutants
  • organic pollutants
  • drinking water
Dr. Blake Matthews
  • biodiversity
  • plankton
  • evolution
  • Ecosystems
Dr. Carsten Schubert
  • isotopes
  • surface water
Prof. Dr. Ole Seehausen
  • fish
  • genetics
  • ecology
  • evolution
Dr. Piet Spaak
  • plankton
  • sediments
Prof. Dr. Alfred Johny Wüest
  • aquatic ecology
  • water quality
  • Lake management