Department Environmental Toxicology

How do aquatic organisms respond to stress?

We investigate how freshwater organisms respond to chemical exposure and other stressors in their environment. In particular, we explore adaptive and toxicological response pathways and develop conceptual and computational models to support knowledge-based risk assessment.

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Fish are being increasingly exposed to endocrine disrupters

(Photo: iStock)
The ingestion of microplastics could play a significant role in exposing aquatic organisms to progesterone.

October 26, 2021,
Microplastics, owing to their chemical properties, can carry micropollutants into a fish’s digestive system where they are subsequently released through the action of its gastric and intestinal fluids. Scientists of EPFL and Eawag, working in association with other research institutes, have studied this process by looking specifically at progesterone – often pointed to as an endocrine disrupter. read more

Kristin Schirmer is awarded EPFL students’ prize

Photo: Eawag, Peter Penicka
Kristin Schirmer interview

October 2, 2021,
At the EPFL’s “Magistrale” graduation ceremony this year, Kristin Schirmer was recognised for her teaching work at the institution. In this interview she explains what this work means to her. To the interview

11. World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences

Barbara at her acceptance speech at the virtual award ceremony

September 08, 2021,
Barbara Jozef is the winner of the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, receiving two awards with her ground-breaking research on developing a serum-free medium for routine culture of fish cell lines: the ESTIV best poster award AND the ECOPA young researcher award both went to Barbara. Congrats on this amazing achievements!

The WC11 Award Ceremony can be rewatched here.

Recreating biology in computer language

Photo: Eawag, Colette vom Berg
Zebrafish embryo on day 1. Red: nervous system; blue: eye, yellow: yolk sac

August 17, 2021,
Toxic substances in the environment can harm the nervous system of fish embryos. Now, researchers at Eawag have developed a computer model that helps to better understand how the damage occurs. read more

Latest publications

Masset, T.; Ferrari, B. J. D.; Oldham, D.; Dudefoi, W.; Minghetti, M.; Schirmer, K.; Bergmann, A.; Vermeirssen, E.; Breider, F. (2021) In vitro digestion of tire particles in a fish model (Oncorhynchus mykiss): solubilization kinetics of heavy metals and effects of food coingestion, Environmental Science and Technology, doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c04385, Institutional Repository
Rossi, F.; Carles, L.; Donnadieu, F.; Batisson, I.; Artigas, J. (2021) Glyphosate-degrading behavior of five bacterial strains isolated from stream biofilms, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 420, 126651 (11 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126651, Institutional Repository
Könemann, S.; Meyer, S.; Betz, A.; Županič, A.; vom Berg, C. (2021) Sub-lethal peak exposure to insecticides triggers olfaction-mediated avoidance in zebrafish larvae, Environmental Science and Technology, 55(17), 11835-11847, doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c01792, Institutional Repository
Carles, L.; Wullschleger, S.; Joss, A.; Eggen, R. I. L.; Schirmer, K.; Schuwirth, N.; Stamm, C.; Tlili, A. (2021) Impact of wastewater on the microbial diversity of periphyton and its tolerance to micropollutants in an engineered flow-through channel system, Water Research, 203, 117486 (14 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117486, Institutional Repository