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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March 16, 2017

Switzerland’s surface waters contain vast amounts of thermal energy which could be used for heating or cooling. Based on numerous studies, Eawag scientists have now estimated the ecological impacts of thermal use.  Read more

March 14, 2017

Over 8000 pharmaceuticals, with more than 3000 active substances, are currently authorized in Switzerland. Transformation products – arising from biological and chemical degradation processes – can sometimes be more toxic to aquatic organisms than the parent compounds; they may also be problematic as a result of their higher mobility.  Read more

Scientific publications

Sauer,S.; Hong,Wei-Li; Knies,J.; Lepland,A.; Forwick,M.; Klug,M.; Eichinger,F.; Baranwal,S.; Crémière,A.; Chand,S.; Schubert,C.J. (2016) Sources and turnover of organic carbon and methane in fjord and shelf sediments off northern Norway, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 17, 21 pp., doi:10.1002/2016GC006296, Institutional Repository
DelSontro,T.; Perez,K.K.; Sollberger,S.; Wehrli,B. (2016) Methane dynamics downstream of a temperate run-of-the-river reservoir, Limnology and Oceanography, 16 pp., doi:10.1002/lno.10387, Institutional Repository
Sgier,L.; Freimann,R.; Zupanic,A.; Kroll,A. (2016) Flow cytometry combined with viSNE for the analysis of microbial biofilms and detection of microplastics, Nature Communications, 7, article 11587 (10 pp), doi:10.1038/ncomms11587, Institutional Repository
Drugă,B.; Turko,P.; Spaak,P.; Pomati,F. (2016) Cyanobacteria Affect Fitness and Genetic Structure of Experimental Daphnia Populations, Environmental Science and Technology, 50(7), 3416-3424, doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b05973, Institutional Repository
Burdon,F.J.; Reyes,M.; Alder,A.C.; Joss, A.; Ort,C.; Räsänen,K.; Jokela,J.; Eggen,R.I.L.; Stamm,C. (2016) Environmental context and magnitude of disturbance influence trait-mediated community responses to wastewater in streams, Ecology and Evolution, 17 pp, doi:10.1002/ece3.2165, 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
Dr. Tom Gonser
  • groundwater
  • ecology
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