Frederik Hammes

Dr. Frederik Hammes

Group Leader

Department Environmental Microbiology

About Me

I studied microbiology in South Africa and Belgium, did a post-doc in Switerland and now lead the Drinking Water Microbiology group at Eawag. My main interest is in understanding drinking water as a complex ecological environment inhabited by diverse microbial communities. We focus on measuring and understanding the dynamics of bacteria in drinking water treatment and distribution systems. To do that we have established flow cytometry and a main method and developed fully automated online and realtime flow cytometric systems for high frequency monitoring. In addition, my research focus on the nutrients - particularly organic carbon - which these microbes use for their proliferation.

[[ element.title ]]


Even with effective drinking water treatment, microbial growth in the household is inevitable and can lead to problems for consumers

Regionale Wasserversorgung Basel-Landschaft 21

Advances in the microbiological drinking water analysis

Unexpected changes in source water microbial quality can profoundly influence the efficacy of drinking water treatment resulting in potential risk to consumers.
Inhalation of legionella bacteria – which thrive in warm water – can cause illness: in a new project, an Eawag-led multidisciplinary research team is investigating how the risks associated with these bacteria can best be managed.

[[ element.title ]]

Curriculum Vitae

[[ || 'empty' ]]

[[ element.title ]]


Altermatt, F.; Fronhofer, E. A.; Garnier, A.; Giometto, A.; Hammes, F.; Klecka, J.; Legrand, D.; Mächler, E.; Massie, T. M.; Pennekamp, F.; Plebani, M.; Pontarp, M.; Schtickzelle, N.; Thuillier, V.; Petchey, O. L. (2015) Big answers from small worlds: a user's guide for protist microcosms as a model system in ecology and evolution, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6(2), 218-231, doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12312, Institutional Repository
El-Chakhtoura, J.; Prest, E.; Saikaly, P.; van Loosdrecht, M.; Hammes, F.; Vrouwenvelder, H. (2015) Dynamics of bacterial communities before and after distribution in a full-scale drinking water network, Water Research, 74, 180-190, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2015.02.015, Institutional Repository
Proctor, C. R.; Hammes, F. (2015) Drinking water microbiology - from measurement to management, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 33, 87-94, doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2014.12.014, Institutional Repository
Besmer, M. D.; Weissbrodt, D. G.; Kratochvil, B. E.; Sigrist, J. A.; Weyland, M. S.; Hammes, F. (2014) The feasibility of automated online flow cytometry for in-situ monitoring of microbial dynamics in aquatic ecosystems, Frontiers in Microbiology, 5, 265 (12 pp.), doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00265, Institutional Repository
Heck, T.; Pham, P.-H.; Hammes, F.; Thöny-Meyer, L.; Richter, M. (2014) Continuous monitoring of enzymatic reactions on surfaces by real-time flow cytometry: sortase a catalyzed protein immobilization as a case study, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 25(8), 1492-1500, doi:10.1021/bc500230r, Institutional Repository
Helbling, D. E.; Hammes, F.; Egli, T.; Kohler, H.-P. E. (2014) Kinetics and yields of pesticide biodegradation at low substrate concentrations and under conditions restricting assimilable organic carbon, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80(4), 1306-1313, doi:10.1128/AEM.03622-13, Institutional Repository
Lautenschlager, K.; Hwang, C.; Ling, F.; Liu, W.-T.; Boon, N.; Köster, O.; Egli, T.; Hammes, F. (2014) Abundance and composition of indigenous bacterial communities in a multi-step biofiltration-based drinking water treatment plant, Water Research, 62, 40-52, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.05.035, Institutional Repository
Lipphaus, P.; Hammes, F.; Kötzsch, S.; Green, J.; Gillespie, S.; Nocker, A. (2014) Microbiological tap water profile of a medium-sized building and effect of water stagnation, Environmental Technology, 35(5), 620-628, doi:10.1080/09593330.2013.839748, Institutional Repository
Nescerecka, A.; Rubulis, J.; Vital, M.; Juhna, T.; Hammes, F. (2014) Biological instability in a chlorinated drinking water distribution network, PLoS One, 9(5), e96354 (11 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096354, Institutional Repository
Prest, E. I.; El-Chakhtoura, J.; Hammes, F.; Saikaly, P. E.; van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.; Vrouwenvelder, J. S. (2014) Combining flow cytometry and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing: a promising approach for drinking water monitoring and characterization, Water Research, 63, 179-189, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.06.020, Institutional Repository
van der Merwe, R.; Hammes, F.; Lattemann, S.; Amy, G. (2014) Flow cytometric assessment of microbial abundance in the near-field area of seawater reverse osmosis concentrate discharge, Desalination, 343, 208-216, doi:10.1016/j.desal.2014.01.017, Institutional Repository
Arnoldini, M.; Heck, T.; Blanco-Fernández, A.; Hammes, F. (2013) Monitoring of dynamic microbiological processes using real-time flow cytometry, PLoS One, 8(11), e80117 (11 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080117, Institutional Repository
Lautenschlager, K.; Hwang, C.; Liu, W.-T.; Boon, N.; Köster, O.; Vrouwenvelder, H.; Egli, T.; Hammes, F. (2013) A microbiology-based multi-parametric approach towards assessing biological stability in drinking water distribution networks, Water Research, 47(9), 3015-3025, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2013.03.002, Institutional Repository
Prest, E. I.; Hammes, F.; Kötzsch, S.; van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.; Vrouwenvelder, J. S. (2013) Monitoring microbiological changes in drinking water systems using a fast and reproducible flow cytometric method, Water Research, 47(19), 7131-7142, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2013.07.051, Institutional Repository
Ross, P. S.; Hammes, F.; Dignum, M.; Magic-Knezev, A.; Hambsch, B.; Rietveld, L. C. (2013) A comparative study of three different assimilable organic carbon (AOC) methods: results of a round-robin test, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 13(4), 1024-1033, doi:10.2166/ws.2013.079, Institutional Repository
Ugolini, F.; Schroth, M. H.; Bürgmann, H.; Hammes, F.; Zeyer, J. (2013) Chemical extraction of microorganisms from water-saturated, packed sediment, Water Environment Research, 85(6), 503-513, doi:10.2175/106143012X13373575831475, Institutional Repository
Van Nevel, S.; Koetzsch, S.; Weilenmann, H.-U.; Boon, N.; Hammes, F. (2013) Routine bacterial analysis with automated flow cytometry, Journal of Microbiological Methods, 94(2), 73-76, doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2013.05.007, Institutional Repository
Hammes, F.; Broger, T.; Weilenmann, H.-U.; Vital, M.; Helbing, J.; Bosshart, U.; Huber, P.; Peter Odermatt, R.; Sonnleitner, B. (2012) Development and laboratory-scale testing of a fully automated online flow cytometer for drinking water analysis, Cytometry Part A, 81(6), 508-516, doi:10.1002/cyto.a.22048, Institutional Repository
Vital, M.; Dignum, M.; Magic-Knezev, A.; Ross, P.; Rietveld, L.; Hammes, F. (2012) Flow cytometry and adenosine tri-phosphate analysis: alternative possibilities to evaluate major bacteriological changes in drinking water treatment and distribution systems, Water Research, 46(15), 4665-4676, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2012.06.010, Institutional Repository

[[ element.title ]]

[[ element.title ]]


Phone: +41 58 765 5372
Fax: +41 58 765 5802
Address: Eawag
Überlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
Office: BU F03

[[ element.title ]]

[[ element.title ]]

Expert on

drinking water, water treatment, sensors, Flow cytometry, Biological filtration

[[ element.title ]]

Research Group

Drinking Water Microbiology

[[ element.title ]]


Bacterial dynamics in drinking water; Biological filtration; Biological stability; Materials in contact with drinking water; Premise plumbing microbiology

[[ element.title ]]