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

Fuhrimann, S.; Winkler, M. S.; Staudacher, P.; Weiss, F. T.; Stamm, C.; Eggen, R. I.; Lindh, C. H.; Menezes-Filho, J. A.; Baker, J. M.; Ramírez-Muñoz, F.; Gutiérrez-Vargas, R.; Mora, A. M. (2019) Exposure to pesticides and health effects on farm owners and workers from conventional and organic agricultural farms in Costa Rica: protocol for a cross-sectional study, JMIR Research Protocols, 8(1), e10914 (13 pp.), doi:10.2196/10914, Institutional Repository
Daouk, S.; Doppler, T.; Wittmer, I.; Junghans, M.; Coster, M.; Stamm, C. (2019) Pesticides dans les eaux de surface. Mesures de réduction et monitoring - synthèse des apprentissages liés aux projets «Phytos 62A», Aqua & Gas, 99(1), 66-73, Institutional Repository
Burdon, F. J.; Munz, N. A.; Reyes, M.; Focks, A.; Joss, A.; Räsänen, K.; Altermatt, F.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Stamm, C. (2019) Agriculture versus wastewater pollution as drivers of macroinvertebrate community structure in streams, Science of the Total Environment, 659, 1256-1265, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.372, Institutional Repository
Janssen, E. M. -L. (2019) Cyanobacterial peptides beyond microcystins – a review on co-occurrence, toxicity, and challenges for risk assessment, Water Research, 151, 488-499, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2018.12.048, Institutional Repository

Current open positions at Uchem


Greifensee monitoring Photo: Elisabeth Janssen
Greifensee monitoring Photo: Elisabeth Janssen

07 January 2019,
Cyanobacterial bloom events produce hundreds of cyanopeptides beyond the class of well-known microcystins. The question arises, whether the other cyanopeptides are in fact of no human and ecological concern or whether these compounds merely received (too) little attention thus far. The key challenge for a comprehensive risk assessment remains the large structural diversity of these metabolites and the lack of reference standards. [more]

Surprising discovery of pollutants in gammarids

December 3, 2018
Amphipods in Swiss waters are exposed to insecticides, pharmaceutical residues and other trace substances, and accumulate these in their bodies. However, when water-treatment plants are upgraded, practically no trace substances are found in these organisms according to a new study carried out by Eawag researchers.. [more]

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