Department Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry of Biomolecules

The research group Bio-&-Macromolecules investigates the stability and fate processes of biomolecules and macromolecular pollutants in aquatic systems. We aim to connect molecular transformation reactions to changes in the functionality of these large compounds. Therefore, we incorporate molecular biology tools into our environmental chemistry research.

We investigate the transformation mechanisms of extracellular biomolecules, their monomeric building blocks as well as macromolecular pollutants in aquatic systems. Here, we establish transformation rates and product formation in controlled and simulated natural systems to determine the compound’s mobility (e.g., partitioning behavior) and stability (e.g., biotic and photochemical reactivity). From there, we aim to connect molecular changes in the three-dimensional structure to changes of the compound’s function (e.g., toxicity, inhibition, catalysis). Our work requires to further develop state-of-the art analytical chemistry in combination with molecular tools, including techniques from proteomics and enzymology.


PD Dr. Elisabeth Janssen Deputy head of department (she/her) Tel. +41 58 765 5428 Send Mail

Team members

Dr. Oliver Brandenberg Scientist Tel. +41 58 765 6463 Send Mail
Anne Dax Research collaborator Tel. Send Mail
Daniela Martins Internship Guest Tel. +41 58 765 5706 Send Mail
Juliana Oliveira PhD student Tel. +41 58 765 5280 Send Mail
Dr. Valentin Rougé Postdoctoral scientist (he/him) Tel. +41 58 765 5799 Send Mail
Xuejian Wang PhD student Tel. +41 58 765 5584 Send Mail

Current projects

Cyano-metabolites from source to tap
Genetic and Metabolic diversity of toxic cyanobacteria in Swiss Alps...
Why do toxic cyanobacteria bloom? A gene to ecosystem approach...
Comprehensive, open access database of > 2000 secondary metabolites from cyanobacteria...
«Extracellular enzymes drive element cycling and degrade pollutants and transform themselves in surface waters»...
Our research on fate of pharmaceuticals is motivated by investigating transformation pathways and kinetics to better understand the lifetime of such biologically active compounds in our freshwater Systems...
«Analytical and environmental chemistry of toxins and bioactive metabolites from cyanobacteria»