News Portal

November 26, 2021

In the latest episode of the Papers to Practice Podcast, Dorothee Spuhler talks with Charles Niwagaba about his published article on the microbe-associated health risks involved in using faecal sludge in Ugandan agriculture. This is the second part of the podcast series, which she started with Laura Kohler.

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November 25, 2021

Eawag intends to further develop artificial intelligence methods to enable their increasing use in water research. One current application is the monitoring of plankton communities in lakes. With the help of machine learning methods, it has been possible to implement an automatic classification of the microorganisms.   

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November 23, 2021

Researchers Christoph Vorburger and Florian Altermatt talk about the importance and state of aquatic biodiversity in Switzerland and Eawag’s commitment to conserving natural biodiversity.

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November 22, 2021

ETH Zurich has awarded the Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize to environmental engineer Elisa Calamita for her doctoral thesis “Modelling the effects of large dams on water quality in tropical rivers.” The price honours outstanding dissertations and master theses from ETH Zurich in the field of water protection and hydrology.

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November 19, 2021

Rising temperatures, invasive species and other factors have changed the composition of species in Lake Constance over the last century. Researchers are trying to understand how this could have happened and what it means for the lake.

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November 18, 2021

A flood causes stress for organisms living in a watercourse. Their survival depends on factors such as whether there are refuge habitats to which they can retreat. Researchers at VAW and Eawag studied how river widening as part of restoration measures improves potential refugia availability. They showed that refugia provision and thereby the protection of biodiversity depends crucially on the supply of bedload.

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November 17, 2021

The separation toilet save! has won the Design Award Switzerland 2021. This is also a milestone for Tove Larsen. She is a member of the Eawag Directorate and has been researching for almost 30 years how the nutrients in wastewater can be recovered in a useful way. In this interview on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2021, she explains how crucial our handling of wastewater is for climate change and for achieving the SDGs sustainability goals.

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November 17, 2021

Together with a team of researchers and designers, Kai Udert has designed a toilet system that makes it possible to recycle nutrients from wastewater on-site. As a result, valuable nutrients can be recovered and used as fertilisers so that they no longer end up in lakes and oceans where they do a lot of damage. Now he wants to make the system ready for market together with industry partners.

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November 16, 2021

Researchers Juliane Hollender, Bernhard Truffer and Urs von Gunten from the aquatic research institute Eawag are among the "highly cited researchers 2021".

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November 12, 2021

A new EU project is building bridges between experts from academia and industry in the field of urban drainage. The aim of the project is primarily to make local research infrastructure available to partners throughout the EU – including Eawag's urban water observatory (UWO) in Fehraltorf.

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November 9, 2021

This year’s Global Science Film Festival (GSFF) will be taking place in Zurich and Bern between 19th and 28th November. Alongside the full-length and short films by international film makers, shorts by Swiss scientists are also showcased at the event. Five researchers from Eawag are taking part in the festival with their respective submissions.

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November 8, 2021

A new special publication is dedicated to the American scientist Jim Morgan, whose work in the field of aquatic chemistry also left its mark on Eawag.

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November 4, 2021

Changing temperatures and varying winds over the seasons cause great fluctuations in Lake Geneva. The LéXPLORE research platform monitored the movement of water within the lake for a year to learn more about how natural factors influence the lake’s mixing. The resulting analysis now paints a fuller picture of mixing in large lakes, which had previously only been studied over shorter time periods.

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November 3, 2021

Like many land plants, seagrasses live in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and Eawag now show that seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea lives in symbiosis with bacteria that reside in their roots and provide the nitrogen necessary for growth. Such symbioses were previously only known from land plants. The study was published in the journal Nature.

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November 2, 2021

Our lakes, rivers and streams are teeming with the smallest creatures, plants and bacteria that are barely visible to the naked eye, if at all. An underwater camera makes it possible to observe and identify the species of these creatures in real time.

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October 29, 2021

Whether a hydroelectric power plant is built, a pesticide is banned or a moor is placed under protection – a wide variety of political decisions have an impact on biodiversity. But does biodiversity play any role at all in such decisions? Researchers at Eawag and WSL have investigated this question and examined Swiss policy over the past 20 years.

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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.

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October 18, 2021

The environmental chemist Barbara F. Günthardt and the two environmental engineers Matthew Moy de Vitry and Marius Neamtu are awarded the ETH Medal for their doctoral theses. Plant toxins, urban flooding and complicated flows were the topics. Congratulations!

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October 14, 2021

Heatwaves and heavy local rainfall will increase with climate change, pushing traditional urban drainage systems to their limits. These problems can be addressed using the blue-green infrastructure approach. With careful planning, solutions of this kind can also increase biodiversity and improve the quality of urban life.

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October 12, 2021

Europe has relatively low biodiversity compared to most other continents because many species became extinct during the ice ages. In subterranean ecosystems, however, which were shielded from climatic turbulences, a great diversity of ancient species were able to survive. This is the conclusion of a study on the amphipod genus Niphargus.

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October 5, 2021

Evolution plays a crucial role in ecosystem tipping points, as shown in two recently published studies by Eawag researchers. If this influence is taken into account, ecosystem collapses can be better predicted in the future. At the same time, the studies reveal how the risk of ecosystem collapse can be reduced and the chances of recovery increased.

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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.

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September 30, 2021

Although the consequences of climate change are becoming more and more visible and tangible, the transition to climate-friendly energy systems is only proceeding slowly. In a field experiment, Eawag and the University of Groningen (NL) investigated what kind of measures could be used to better promote innovations such as heat pumps.

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September 28, 2021

Eawag scientist and EPFL professor Urs von Gunten is to receive the prestigious ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology. His research on oxidative processes in water has led to practical applications and improvements in both drinking water and wastewater treatment.

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September 23, 2021

The "gene scissors" CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to precisely modify genes in order to study their function in an organism. A researcher at Eawag has now succeeded for the first time in establishing the gene scissors for a fish cell line of rainbow trout. This means that, as of now, genetically modified cell lines can be produced. These allow alternatives to ecotoxicological tests on living animals.

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September 17, 2021

The chaotic behaviour of vortices is one of the things that makes weather forecasting so difficult. Researchers at ETH Zurich, Eawag and WSL, together with international partners, have now developed a novel experimental method that enables more accurate analyses of the movement and energy of turbulence in fluids with much less effort.

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September 16, 2021

It is well known that Legionella bacteria can contaminate drinking water systems in buildings. A case study published in Aqua & Gas by Eawag and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts now shows how they can be controlled by different temperature strategies.

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September 15, 2021

Making decisions about what sanitation infrastructure to implement in emergency and humanitarian crises is challenging. Research on how to support this decision-making has led to the online platform: emersan-compendium.org.

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September 9, 2021

An Eawag study has shown that it makes good sense to recover domestic energy, for example from warm shower water. The study refutes concerns that this form of heat utilisation could have a negative impact on waste water treatment plants. In fact, utilising the energy closer to its source reduces energy losses in the waste-water system.

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September 3, 2021

Less than four months after the groundbreaking ceremony, the foundation for the co-operate research campus of Empa and Eawag was laid today. At the ceremony in Dübendorf, representatives of all partners filled a time capsule with contemporary items in the presence of around 50 guests, thus giving the starting signal for co-operate.

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August 31, 2021

In official circles, he is known as Prof. Dr. Alfred Wüest. But his fellow researchers and colleagues, simply call him Johny. When he came to Eawag in 1983, no one imagined the formative influence Johny Wüest would have on the research institute, but above all on the many people who have worked with him over the years.

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August 26, 2021

There has been a floating laboratory on Lake Geneva called LéXPLORE since 2019. Natacha Tofield-Pasche, limnologist at EPFL and project leader of LéXPLORE, and Damien Bouffard, researcher at Eawag and member of the LéXPLORE steering committee, tell us what is being studied there and why this research platform is unique.

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August 19, 2021

We at Eawag are particularly proud of the international composition of our employees. Dübendorf and Kastanienbaum are home to researchers, technicians, administrators and apprentices from over 40 different nations.

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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.

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August 12, 2021

Decisions in water management are often associated with large uncertainties. Quantifying and communicating these uncertainties is crucial for science to support transparent decision-making in society.

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August 10, 2021

Sam Derrer has been Head of Vocational Training at Eawag for ten years, so he knows just how varied the apprenticeships are, and how trainees here are both supported and stretched.

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August 6, 2021

It was long assumed that cyanobacteria were mainly responsible for fixing nitrogen on early Earth, thus making nitrogen available to the biosphere. In a paper published today in “Nature Communications”, a team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland now shows that purple sulfur bacteria could have contributed substantially to nitrogen fixation.

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August 5, 2021

Blue-green algae and other phytoplankton are very important for the proper functioning of aquatic ecosystems. When they accumulate in high quantities, however, they can be harmful to people and animals because some blue-green algae species produce toxic chemicals. For this reason, the aquatic research institute Eawag is currently working on methods to improve the prediction of bloom events.

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August 2, 2021

Salmonella infections can result in a broad spectrum of illnesses. According to the latest research findings, one reason why some cases are harmless while others are very severe lies in the intestinal flora.

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July 1, 2021

On July 1, Benoit Ferrari will permanently take over as director of the Ecotox Centre, which he has already led ad interim for the past two years. He will be supported by Etienne Vermeirssen, group leader of Aquatic Ecotoxicology, as deputy director.

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