Department Environmental Chemistry

Pharmaceutical Fate

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. We also aim to link molecular transformation to changes in toxicity. A current joint project with Prof. Dr. Kris McNeill (ETH Zurich) is titled Electron Transfer Properties of Photoexcited Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM, funded by SNSF, April-2015 to 2018).  

Caroline Davis uses steady-state as well as laser-flash photolysis and high-resolution mass spectrometry to mechanistically elucidate reaction pathways, in particular with triplet excited DOM.

Our recent work in on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs demonstrates, that the dual roles of DOM, acting as oxidant and antioxidant, are significantly influencing the photochemical fate of these drugs.


Davis, C. A.; Erickson, P. R.; McNeill, K.; Janssen, E. M. L. (2017) Environmental photochemistry of fenamate NSAIDs and their radical intermediates, Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts, 19(5), 656-665, doi:10.1039/C7EM00079K, Institutional Repository