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.