Department Environmental Toxicology

Main Focus

One of today’s great environmental challenges is the protection of our waters and their resident organisms from chemical, physical and biological stress of toxicological concern. Our mission therefore is to understand the response of freshwater organisms to these challenges faced alone or in combination in their environment. We seek to discover the molecular mechanisms responsible for toxicity in aquatic organisms, explore adaptive and toxicological response pathways upon exposure to stressors, and study the ensuing consequences for populations and ecosystems. With the aim to decipher transferable concepts and knowledge, from one chemical or species to another or from lab to field, we take a systems toxicology approach where organism outcomes are considered as part of biological response networks from molecules to adverse outcome combined with mathematical models.  

We are passionate about environmental protection, putting the results of our research into practical use. Examples of these efforts are the development of methods and tools to identify and lower toxicological risks and of strategies to reduce the need for animal testing in environmental hazard assessment; and we engage in discussions with environmental protection agencies, industry and the public.

Our department is divided into five research groups and 6 main foci:

  1. Particle Ecotoxicology
  2. Computational Ecotoxicology
  3. Alternatives to Animal Testing
  4. Community Ecotoxicology
  5. Behavioral Ecotoxicology
  6. Enabling Technologies



Prof. Dr. Kristin Schirmer Head of department Tel. +41 58 765 5266 Send Mail