Department Environmental Microbiology

Environmental Microbiology

Our research focuses on microbial life and activities in the environment. We strive to understand the basic rules and principles that govern the functioning of microbes and microbial communities, and then apply those principles to solve pressing applied problems.

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Selected Publications

Pathogens and Human Health: Article about the infection risks from using contaminated water for handwashing to inform the need for monitoring microbial quality of handwashing water. Article

Microbial Systems Ecology: Article about bacterial evolution: bacterial genes are organized in a modular way, and over evolutionary times bacteria keep or lose whole modules. Article

Drinking Water Microbiology: A paper showing the influence of pipe material composition with respect to biofilm quantity and composition, with specific focus on flexible shower hoses.

Microbial Community Assembly: Article about the perspective about bridging the gap between synthetic and environmental microbial ecology. How can we integrate reductionist and holistic microbial ecology research? Article

Umik Seminars


March 10, 2020

In the project "LeCo - "Legionella control in buildings", a number of research groups have joined to tackle the legionella issue in a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary research project. Project leader Frederik Hammes explains why this is so important.

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Research Projects

Inhalation of legionella bacteria – which thrive in warm water – can cause illness: in a new project, an Eawag-led multidisciplinary research team is investigating how the risks associated with these bacteria can best be managed.
Exploration of the impact of water chlorination on fecal carriage of antimicrobial resistant bacteria amongst a cohort of Bangladeshi children
In order to better understand natural processes and also to be able to better control the activities of microbial communities in technical systems such as wastewater treatment plants, we need to understand how microbial communities work.
Biofilms on materials in contact with potable water can be manipulated due to their dependencies on material composition.