News Portal

Failed to load

Various species are threatened with extinction (Photo: Eawag, K. Stäheli)
May 22, 2019

In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity (IPBES) IPBES warns of the massive consequences of biodiversity loss. Florian Altermatt explains in a video interview why aquatic communities are particularly affected. Read more

Marie-Eve Monchamp and her team taking sediment cores in Hallwilersee. (Eawag)
May 14, 2019

Cyanobacteria were among the first organisms to produce oxygen, which meant they were a significant milestone in the evolution of plants and animals. Countless species of cyanobacteria inhabit almost all habitats around the world. For her doctorate at Eawag, Marie-Eve Monchamp analysed sediment cores from ten different lakes around the fringes of the Alps, thus gaining an insight into the communities of cyanobacteria living over the past 100 years. Read more

Collection of samples on the Eschelisbach, Thurgau (Photo: Eawag Esther Michel)
April 2, 2019

Two studies by Eawag and the Ecotox Centre have once again shown that surface waters in agricultural catchment areas are heavily contaminated with plant protection products. Concentrations of individual substances persisting for several months pose a risk of chronic toxicity and, for extended periods, exceed the levels at which a risk of acute toxicity exists for aquatic plants and organisms. In most of the samples, 30 or more different active ingredients were detected. Studies of stream biodiversity and bioassays confirmed the threat posed by these mixtures of substances. Read more

Planktothrix rubescens in Lake Hallwil (Photo: Sabine Flury, Eawag)
March 26, 2019

Freshwater lakes are teeming with blue-green algae that produce a heady cocktail of substances. Little is known as yet about the health risks associated with these substances, although a review of the literature by Eawag scientist Elisabeth Janssen has now revealed some potentially harmful effects. Read more

The parasitic tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus has targeted this three-spined stickleback. (Photo: Nina Hafer-Hahmann)
March 19, 2019

In order to move from one host to another, certain parasites change their behaviour. The more effectively a parasite can manipulate its host, the greater its evolutionary advantage. It therefore passes on its characteristics to its descendants, as a new Eawag study has shown. Read more

Rainbow trout (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
March 14, 2019

A new device developed at Eawag now allows Scientists to determine whether, and to what extent, fragrances in the environment are absorbed in fish without using animals. This is possible thanks to the use of a mirror-polished stainless steel chamber and a permeable membrane with a layer of intestinal fish cells. Read more

Pesticides from agriculture finish up in water bodies and harm microorganisms. (Photo: Eawag)
March 4, 2019

A new study by an interdisciplinary team from Eawag has shown that substances from agriculture affect living organisms in rivers and streams to a greater extent than treated wastewater, which has less impact on the species composition of microorganisms.  Read more

A water intake in the Borge d’Arolla (Photo: Chrystelle Gabbud)
February 28, 2019

Aquatic organisms are adapted to harsh conditions at high altitudes and are tolerant of a certain level of disturbances. However, according to a study conducted in the canton of Valais, frequent flushing of water intakes leads to a dramatic decline in populations of macroinvertebrates, such as insects or worms. Read more

Clear or turbid? Shallow lakes can suddenly reach their tipping point. (Photo: International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD – Experimental Lakes Area ELA, Canada)
February 26, 2019

When ecosystems tip abruptly out of balance, this can be catastrophic for humans and for biodiversity. Astonishingly little is known about the role of evolution in such processes. A research team including Eawag scientists has now published approaches to investigating such complex questions in the journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution”. Read more

The "LéXPLORE" platform on Lake Geneva (Photo: Natacha Pasche)
February 20, 2019

As of this week, “LéXPLORE”, a 100 metre research platform, is afloat on Lake Geneva. On board are countless radiosondes and sensors which should enable researchers at Eawag, EPFL and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva to gain a better understanding of the ecological processes at work in Lake Geneva as well as the interactions between the water and the atmosphere. Read more

The research station on the Jungfraujoch, where researchers collected rainwater every week for two years. (Image: flickr)
February 11, 2019

Selenium is a difficult mineral to research, as it has a complex chemistry and is only found in the environment in the tiniest amounts. However, scientists at Eawag and ETH Zurich have now developed new methods of chemical analysis that, when combined with atmospheric models, allow assumptions to be made for the first time on the origins of selenium. Read more

A restored reach of the Emme in the Bernese Oberland (Photo: Markus Bolliger, Shutterstock)
February 8, 2019

In the coming decades, many rivers in Switzerland are to be restored to a natural state. To identify those river reaches where restoration would be ecologically most valuable, Eawag scientists have developed a new assessment procedure. Read more