The latest news from Eawag

Changing habitats increases risks for lake trout. (Photo: Michel Roggo)
The risky life of a lake trout
April 22, 2024

Lake trout migrate between different habitats many times over their lives. This helps them grow larger and have more offspring than sedentary trout. However, it also exposes them to dangers – both natural risks and from human intervention in their habitats. To be able to protect them better, researchers from Eawag are investigating the variety and ecological differences of lake trout as part of a nationwide research project in Switzerland.

Photo: Eawag, Peter Penicka
Innosuisse visits Eawag and Empa
April 16, 2024

Last Thursday, Eawag Director Martin Ackermann and Empa Director Tanja Zimmermann welcomed Innosuisse to the joint campus in Dübendorf. The Swiss Innovation Agency supports several projects, some of which our researchers presented.

The Himalayan Balsam is a widespread invasive species in Switzerland that can also affect neighbouring aquatic ecosystems. (Photo: Florian Altermatt, Eawag)
Impacts of invasive species transcend ecosystem ...
April 4, 2024

Invasive species influence biodiversity across larger spatial extents than previously thought. In a recently published study, researchers from Eawag and the University of Zurich show that the impacts of invasive species extend far beyond the ecosystems they invade and that three mechanisms are primarily responsible for this. These findings are of great importance for the management of ecosystems.

Revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance: ...
April 3, 2024

Eawag and the Ecotox Centre welcome a total revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance (PPPO). However, the two institutes are calling for improvements on important points, such as the adoption of EU authorisations or the precautionary principle. The ordinance must ensure that other regulations such as the Water Protection or the Environmental Protection Act are not undermined.

on the left: Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez (Photo: Andres Valencia); right: João P. Leitão (Photo: zvg)
Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez and João P. Leitão become ...
March 25, 2024

As of April 1, 2024, Eawag will have two new adjunct professors among its researchers: Joaquín Jiménez-Martínez and João P. Leitão have been appointed by the ETH Board at the request of ETH Zurich, both in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering.

Frozen wastewater samples for analysis for SARS-CoV-2 virus material. (Photo: Keystone, Gaetan Bally)
Eawag welcomes revision of the Epidemics Act
March 22, 2024

Eawag welcomes the planned revision of the Epidemics Act as part of the public consultation process. The amendments will improve cooperation between all stakeholders in order to protect the population even better against transmissible diseases and antibiotic resistance. The opinion of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology particularly emphasises the holistic approach, which includes human, animal and environmental health.

The two new Swiss postage stamps, which will be available in May, depict endangered species from Lake Thun and the River Doubs. (Image: Post CH Netz AG)
Endangered underwater world in postage stamp format
March 21, 2024

Two new Swiss postage stamps, created with the support of Eawag, focus attention on the endangered biodiversity in Swiss water bodies.

View from Varen Church of the Pfynwald floodplain with the Rhone (looking downstream), gravel banks and dry gravel terraces with a pine forest. (Photo: Jan Ryser/FOEN)
The impact of climate change on life in freshwater and ...
March 14, 2024

Communities in water and on land are responding similarly to climate change. One surprising exception may be the plankton.

Environmental engineer Lena Mutzner installs a passive sampler in an overflow basin to find out how many micropollutants are entering the water. (Photo: Christian Grund / 13Photo)
Cutting-edge research underground
March 11, 2024

In Fehraltorf in Zurich Oberland, Eawag and the ETH Zurich have set up a globally unique field laboratory for wastewater research.

Barriers such as the Müllerschwelle weir in the River Zulg in Steffisburg hinder or prevent fish migration. The Water Protection Act stipulates that such barriers must be rehabilitated and made passable for fish. In September 2023, the commune of Steffisburg began rehabilitation work on the Müllerschwelle weir to improve the connectivity along the River Zulg.  (Photo: Commune of Steffisburg, Mark van Egmond).
Improving fish migration with new concepts
March 7, 2024

Which barriers need to be removed for the greatest benefit of migratory fish? Where do the measures make the most sense and how do the costs relate to the benefits?

The mobile mass spectrometer MS2field – deployed here at a wastewater treatment plant – permits automated measurement of contaminants at extremely low concentrations with high temporal resolution. (Photo: Eawag)
More targeted treatment of industrial wastewater thanks ...
March 5, 2024

The development of Swiss wastewater treatment is ongoing. Eawag studies now show that there is also potential for improvement in the case of emissions from chemical and pharmaceutical plants – both at wastewater treatment plants and within industrial facilities.

Leading global decision makers from politics and practice came together to discuss urgent questions about the environment and air quality at the Climate and Clean Air Conference, which took place in Nairobi from 21 to 23 February 2024 within the framework of the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly. (Photo: CCAC)
Eawag joins the UNEP’s Climate and Clean Air Coalition
February 29, 2024

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is including Eawag as a non-state partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

The President of the Dübendorf Municipal Council, Patrick Schärli, unveils the plaque with which the SCNAT Academies of Sciences honour Eawag as a Chemical Landmark, a place where the history of chemistry has been and continues to be written. Eawag Director Martin Ackermann on the right, SCNAT President Philippe Moreillon on the left. (Photo: Andres Jordi, SCNAT)
Eawag has been singled out for the Chemical Landmark ...
February 27, 2024

The Swiss Academy of Sciences has honoured the water research institute in Dübendorf as a significant historic site for chemistry. Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, revolutionised chemistry under its director, Werner Stumm, through its launching of environmental chemistry. It has contributed significantly to a better understanding of complex processes in nature and to clean bodies of water in Switzerland.

Urs von Gunten has always combined research with practice. (© Alain Herzog / 2024 EPFL)
Urs von Gunten, the unsung hero of water treatment
February 16, 2024

For a scientist who’s won numerous international honors for his research, Urs von Gunten, a professor at EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), is disarmingly modest. Urs von Gunten will retire in one year: Time to look back at his career.

Eawag staff members Brian Sinnet, Michael Plüss and Pascal Rünzi preparing a thermistor measurement chain that measures temperature, pressure and turbidity in glacial lakes. (Photo: Tobias Ryser)
The Eawag Postdoctoral Fellowship
February 13, 2024

The Eawag postdoctoral fellowship position aims at offering outstanding young scientists with exciting research ideas the possibility for a two year research position at Eawag. The application deadline is April 11, 2024.

On a boat and a platform in Lake Rotsee, the Eawag research group carried out extensive measurements on the transport of gases in lake water (Photo: Tomy Doda, Eawag).
How gases travel laterally through a lake
January 25, 2024

At night or during cold winter days, lake water cools faster near the shore than in the middle of the lake. This creates a current that connects the shallow shore region with the deeper part of the lake. An international team led by Eawag researchers were able to show for the first time that this horizontal circulation transports gases such as oxygen and methane.

Eawag Director Martin Ackermann and Empa Director Tanja Zimmermann (Photo: Marion Nitsch, Empa)
The CO2-binding society as a goal
January 22, 2024

Empa Director Tanja Zimmermann and Eawag Director Martin Ackermann want to provide answers to the current climate crisis with new initiatives and ambitious goals.

Eawag researchers Christa McArdell and Marc Böhler explain how ozone removes micropollutants in wastewater. (Photo: Eawag, Claudia Carle)
Eawag presents one of its success stories on the ...
January 18, 2024

To coincide with the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the ETH Domain invited 50 dignitaries from the political, research and business spheres, to Davos and presented highlights from its current research. Eawag demonstrated how its work has successfully paved the way for advanced wastewater treatment.