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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April 11, 2017

Although chemical micropollutants are known to affect the ecology of natural waters, it has remained unclear how they do so. An Eawag study has now shown that increasing concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products reduce the diversity of algae in a lake, giving rise to more homogeneous communities with a reduced capacity to adapt to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Read more

April 6, 2017

Over the past five years, 23 Swiss research groups have been investigating the behaviour of synthetic nanomaterials. Today the steering Committee and project leaders present their findings and a synthesis in a press conference at Bern. One of the main aims of National Research Programme 64 was to assess the risks they pose for human health and the environment.  Read more

Scientific publications

Alexander,T.J.; Vonlanthen,P.; Seehausen,O. (2017) Does eutrophication-driven evolution change aquatic ecosystems?, Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B, 372(1712), 20160041 (10 pp.), doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0041, Institutional Repository
Tomonaga,Y.; Brennwald,M.S.; Livingstone,D.M.; Kwiecien,O.; Randlett,M.E.; 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, article 313 (10 pp.), doi:10.1038/s41598-017-00371-w, Institutional Repository
Honti,M.; Schuwirth,N.; Rieckermann,N.; 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), The Holocene, xx (12 pp.), Institutional Repository
Mondy,C.P.; Schuwirth,N. (2017) Integrating ecological theories and traits in process-based modeling of macroinvertebrate community dynamics in streams, Ecological Applications, xx (20 pp.), doi:10.1002/eap.1530, 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
Dr. Colette vom Berg
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • fish
Prof. Dr. Alfred Johny Wüest
  • aquatic ecology
  • water quality
  • Lake management