Department Environmental Toxicology

Linking gene expression regulation by chemicals in aquatic biofilms with functional and structural alterations

In order to comprehend and in the future be able to predict impacts of chemicals on aquatic biofilm communities, such as periphyton or sediment-associated biofilms, there is a need to identify by which molecular mechanisms chemicals impact the microorganisms within the community and how the community responds. However, due to the high complexity of aquatic biofilms, such mechanisms and cellular events underlying functional and structural responses of the community to chemical pressure are still largely unknown.

We aim in this research (1) to examine cellular processes in aquatic biofilms at the transcriptome level (i.e., regulation of gene expression), upon exposure to sublethal concentrations of pesticides and heavy metals, and (2) to link these processes to community functional and structural alterations. This will allow identifying toxicity and adaptive pathways that are activated to maintain homeostasis and resistance to toxic stress and linking a molecular initiating event to an outcome on functions of the community.


Dr. Ahmed TliliGroup LeaderTel. +41 58 765 5330Send Mail

Team members

Dr. Olga LamprechtPostdoctoral ScientistTel. +41 58 765 6887Send Mail
Bettina WagnerLab TechnicianTel. +41 58 765 5342Send Mail

In collaboration with:

  • Benoit Ferrari - Ecotox Centre, Lausanne
  • Stéphane Pesce - Irstea, Lyon-France


Eawag Discretionary Fund