News Detail

Three new members of the Directorate

March 13, 2023 | Simone Kral

Martin Ackermann has been head of Eawag since January. At his request, the ETH Board has now appointed three new members to the Directorate. Lenny Winkel, Florian Altermatt and Christian Stamm, who now becomes deputy director.

“To work in the Directorate, Eawag needs researchers who have great expertise in an area that is of central importance to Eawag and who are willing to devote some of their time and energy to serving the institute,” says Martin Ackermann, describing the most important selection criteria. “The members of the Directorate are committed to further developing Eawag in the context of rapidly evolving framework conditions and are interested in active exchange within the ETH Domain and its stakeholders,” Ackermann continues.

The new deputy director is Christian Stamm

Christian Stamm is deputy head of Eawag’s Environmental Chemistry department. After studying biology at the University of Zurich (UZH), Christian Stamm left academic research and worked for three years in a private ecological centre and as a freelancer. He then completed his doctorate in the field of soil physics at the ETH Zurich (ETHZ), after which he simultaneously held a senior post in soil physics for several years and managed the Centro Stefano Franscini conference centre at the ETHZ. Since 2002, he has been active at Eawag with his research with a disciplinary focus on agriculture and water quality and related inter- and transdisciplinary activities. Important elements of his research are the development and management of interdisciplinary projects in the two sectors of agriculture/water/food and urban water management/water/ecology. Christian Stamm thus brings broad experience and a high level of understanding for inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, as a member of the Directorate, he will work on stakeholder relations and the design of the interfaces between research, politics and practice.

The ETH Board has appointed Florian Altermatt and Lenny Winkel as additional members of the Directorate

Florian Altermatt is a biodiversity scientist with a focus on aquatic ecology. He studied biology at the University of Basel and completed his doctorate there in 2007. He then worked in the private sector and completed a postdoc at the University of California, Davis. Florian Altermatt joined Eawag in 2011 and established a research group on biodiversity and spatial dynamics in the Aquatic Ecology department. In 2014, in addition to his group leader position at Eawag, he was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation professorship at the UZH. Since 2018, he has been an associate professor of aquatic ecology at the UZH. Among other things, he serves as co-director of the Blue-Green Biodiversity Initiative of Eawag and WSL and is president of the SCNAT Biodiversity Forum. In his research, he investigates the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems, their monitoring with the help of environmental DNA, and the effects of global changes on the condition and function of these ecosystems. He is active in large research associations and national and international committees, and is specifically involved in the dialogue between science, society and politics. As a member of the Directorate, Florian Altermatt would like to focus on biodiversity-relevant issues. Biodiversity in aquatic systems is disproportionately endangered both throughout Switzerland and globally, and specific research and practical efforts are therefore needed to reverse this trend.

Lenny Winkel is associate professor of inorganic environmental geochemistry at ETHZ and head of the Eawag research group Inorganic Environmental Geochemistry. She studied geology at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) and received her PhD from the Paul Scherrer Institute and the ETHZ in 2006. She then worked as a postdoc at Eawag on a project to predict large-scale groundwater contamination with the pollutant arsenic using geospatial modelling approaches. After further postdoctoral research placements in France, the UK and Greece as part of an EU-funded project, Lenny Winkel received a National Science Foundation professorship in 2011 for her project on the global biogeochemical cycle of the trace element selenium. Lenny Winkel investigates the effects of climate change on biogeochemical cycles and establishes a link between these effects and human nutrition and health. As a member of the Eawag Directorate, Lenny Winkel will bring this interdisciplinary vision of linking processes and impacts to the development of strategies for addressing major environmental challenges in Switzerland and globally.

Rik Eggen remains in the Eawag Directorate

Rik Eggen steps down as deputy director. He has been deputy director of Eawag since 2007 and has played a central role both within the research institute and in contact with stakeholders. To ensure that he can continue to contribute his knowledge and his excellent networking, he will remain a member of the Directorate until his retirement at the end of 2023.

Christian Zurbrügg and Jukka Jokela left the Directorate at the end of February. Both will continue to work for Eawag. We would like to thank Christian Zurbrügg and Jukka Jokela for their long-standing and far from self-evident commitment to the staff and the goals of Eawag.

Cover picture: The new members of the Eawag Directorate (from left): Christian Stamm (Deputy Director), Florian Altermatt and Lenny Winkel (Photos: Eawag, Raoul Schaffner/Peter Penicka)