Staff

Kathrin Fenner

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Fenner

Senior scientist / group leader

Department Environmental Chemistry

About Me

I am passionate about learning how chemicals degrade in the environment and whether any hazardous transformation products are formed during degradation. The ultimate goal of my research is to develop more accurate methods to assess persistence and risk from transformation product formation in regulatory risk assessment procedures. My research focuses on the following three areas in particular.

  1. Prediction of biodegradation pathways and rates
    Current (Q)SBRs tools to predict biodegradation half-lives produce highly uncertain results and available pathway prediction tools suffer from combinatorial explosion due to a lack of methods to prioritize possible pathways. In my research, I mine biotransformation pathway and rate information to develop novel algorithms for biotransformation prediction. In parallel, my team performs bioreactor experiments with pertinent microbial communities and employ high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify transformation products to use that data to further improve biotransformation prediction
  2. Hazard and risk assessment of transformation products
    The goal of this aspect of my research is to develop models and indicators to predict and assess the environmental fate of transformation products. In collaboration with the team of Prof. B. Escher (UFZ Leipzig, Universität Tübingen) we are developing methods to estimate mixture toxicity of transformation products and their parent compound, using the strong structural resemblance to the parent compounds and what is known about parent toxicity as a guiding principle.
  3. Improved tools for persistence assessment
  4. Persistence assessment is key to all chemical legislations in Europe. In my research, I try to contribute to a critical reflection of current persistence assessment paradigms and methods. For instance, I introduced the concept of joint persistence as novel persistence indicator that accounts for transformation product formation. Currently, I am also working on a project that evaluates the value of the OECD 308 guideline for evaluation of persistence of chemicals at the sediment-water interface.

[[ element.title ]]

Projects

Predicting environment-specific biotransformation of chemical contaminants
In regulatory hazard and risk assessment chemical persistence is assessed through a tiered system of degradation studies.

[[ element.title ]]

Curriculum Vitae

[[ entry.date || 'empty' ]]

[[ element.title ]]

Publications

[[item.title]]
Anliker, S., Santiago, S., Fenner, K., & Singer, H. (2022). Large-scale assessment of organic contaminant emissions from chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing into Swiss surface waters. Water Research, 215, 118221 (10 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118221, Institutional Repository
Athanasakoglou, A., & Fenner, K. (2022). Toward characterizing the genetic basis of trace organic contaminant biotransformation in activated sludge: the role of multicopper oxidases as a case study. Environmental Science and Technology, 56(1), 313-324. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c05803, Institutional Repository
Davenport, R., Curtis-Jackson, P., Dalkmann, P., Davies, J., Fenner, K., Hand, L., … Redman, A. (2022). Scientific concepts and methods for moving persistence assessments into the 21st century. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 18(6), 1454-1487. doi:10.1002/ieam.4575, Institutional Repository
Desiante, W. L., Carles, L., Wullschleger, S., Joss, A., Stamm, C., & Fenner, K. (2022). Wastewater microorganisms impact the micropollutant biotransformation potential of natural stream biofilms. Water Research, 217, 118413 (13 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118413, Institutional Repository
Riedo, J., Herzog, C., Banerjee, S., Fenner, K., Walder, F., Van Der Heijden, M. G. A., & Bucheli, T. D. (2022). Concerted evaluation of pesticides in soils of extensive grassland sites and organic and conventional vegetable fields facilitates the identification of major input processes. Environmental Science and Technology, 56(19), 13686-13695. doi:10.1021/acs.est.2c02413, Institutional Repository
Chalifour, A., Walser, J. C., Pomati, F., & Fenner, K. (2021). Temperature, phytoplankton density and bacteria diversity drive the biotransformation of micropollutants in a lake ecosystem. Water Research, 202, 117412 (10 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117412, Institutional Repository
Desiante, W. L., Minas, N. S., & Fenner, K. (2021). Micropollutant biotransformation and bioaccumulation in natural stream biofilms. Water Research, 193, 116846 (11 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.116846, Institutional Repository
Fenner, K., & Men, Y. (2021). Comment on "Role of ammonia oxidation in organic micropollutant transformation during wastewater treatment": overlooked evidence to the contrary. Environmental Science and Technology, 55(17), 12128-12129. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c04178, Institutional Repository
Fenner, K., Elsner, M., Lueders, T., McLachlan, M. S., Wackett, L. P., Zimmermann, M., & Drewes, J. E. (2021). Methodological advances to study contaminant biotransformation: new prospects for understanding and reducing environmental persistence?. ACS ES&T Water, 1(7), 1541-1554. doi:10.1021/acsestwater.1c00025, Institutional Repository
Fenner, K., & Scheringer, M. (2021). The need for chemical simplification as a logical consequence of ever-increasing chemical pollution. Environmental Science and Technology, 55(21), 14470-14472. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c04903, Institutional Repository

[[ element.title ]]

[[ element.title ]]

Address

E-Mail: kathrin.fenner@eawag.ch
Phone: +41 58 765 5085
Fax: +41 58 765 5802
Address: Eawag
Überlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
Office: BU F18

[[ element.title ]]

[[ element.title ]]

Expert on

biological degradation, mass spectrometry, micropollutants, organic pollutants

[[ element.title ]]

Research Group

See my team page

[[ element.title ]]

[[ element.title ]]