Department Environmental Chemistry

On the trail of pollutants

Our research team studies the presence, distribution and fate of organic pollutants in the aquatic environment. The focus of our research is on substance flux from urban areas and from agriculture, and the main tools that we use for this work are trace analysis, field and laboratory studies and modelling.

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Latest publications

Dietler, D.; Leuenberger, A.; Bempong, N.-E.; Campbell-Lendrum, D.; Cramer, C.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Erismann, S.; Ferazzi, S.; Flahault, A.; Fletcher, H. A.; Fuhrer, B.; Fuhrimann, S.; Greter, H.; Heerdegen, A. C.; Leach, M.; Leissing, A.; Lilje, J.; Penny, M. A.; Prytherch, H.; Staudacher, P.; Vounatsou, P.; Weiss, F.; Wiedemann, R.; Winkler, M. S.; Zhou, X.-N.; Utzinger, J. (2019) Health in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development: from framework to action, transforming challenges into opportunities, Journal of Global Health, 9(2), 020201 (6 pp.), doi:10.7189/jogh.09.020201, Institutional Repository
Stravs, M. A.; Pomati, F.; Hollender, J. (2019) Biodiversity drives micropollutant biotransformation in freshwater phytoplankton assemblages, Environmental Science and Technology, 53(8), 4265-4273, doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b07018, Institutional Repository
Lavrieux, M.; Birkholz, A.; Meusburger, K.; Wiesenberg, G. L. B.; Gilli, A.; Stamm, C.; Alewell, C. (2019) Plants or bacteria? 130 years of mixed imprints in Lake Baldegg sediments (Switzerland), as revealed by compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) and biomarker analysis, Biogeosciences, 16(10), 2131-2146, doi:10.5194/bg-16-2131-2019, Institutional Repository
Benateau, S.; Gaudard, A.; Stamm, C.; Altermatt, F. (2019) Climate change and freshwater ecosystems. Impacts on water quality and ecological status, 111 p, Institutional Repository

Current open positions at Uchem:


Homing in on pyrethroids

November 4, 2019
The measurement of trace concentrations of pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides – now possible thanks to a newly developed analytical method – shows that these compounds can pose a greater threat to aquatic organisms than all other pesticides. read more

Chlorothalonil transformation products - Visit of Kassensturz  more info (only in German language available)

Cyanobacteria in Swiss Media

Elisabeth Janssen's research project 'Cyanobacteria im Greifensee' at SRF1, Puls  clip: Blaualgen – Im See schlummert die Gefahr

Selected and representative research projects

Comprehensive monitoring of organic trace substances in surface waters is time-consuming and costly. The NAWA SPEZ project delivers data and analyses on the status of water pollution.
Predicting environment-specific biotransformation of chemical contaminants
The screening of aquatic systems for known and unknown polar and semi-polar organic micropollutants relies heavily on analytical chemistry, foremost high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) coupled to liquid chromatography (LC)....
Pilot scale advanced treatment of wastewater with granular activated carbon (GAC) and combined with ozonation (O3/GAC) at WWTP Glarnerland