News archive

October 30, 2019

What developments do urban water researchers and professionals see as important – or worthy of scepticism? A pioneering horizon scan conducted by Eawag scientists indicates that, for this community, digitalisation is a particular concern – in a positive and negative sense. In this interview, Frank Blumensaat, an environmental engineer at ETH Zurich and Eawag, discusses the opportunities and risks it creates in the urban water field.

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October 23, 2019

One of the most popular drugs in Central and Southern Europe is cocaine, according to the new European drugs report. In Eastern Europe however, it’s methamphetamine — more commonly known as crystal meth — that is the drug of choice.

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October 16, 2019

In aquatic ecosystems, both mussels and macrophytes increase water clarity and generally help to prevent excessive algal growth. However, according to a study carried out at Eawag’s experimental pond facility, these stabilizing effects can be disrupted when the co‑occurrence of species gives rise to complex interactions.

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October 8, 2019

Daphnia can adapt rapidly to changing environmental conditions. This was shown by a study carried out by scientists from Eawag and Cornell University in Oneida Lake (NY, US). This adaptation influences daphnia population density, thus affecting the entire lake food web.

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October 4, 2019

Besides research and consultancy, teaching is the third major aspect of Eawag’s work. Around 140 master’s students are supervised every year at the Institute, some of whom are directly involved in research projects. This integration of teaching and learning, along with the flat hierarchies and Eawag’s interdisciplinary culture together create a unique environment that is greatly valued by students and supervisors alike, and which results again and again in outstanding master’s dissertations.

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October 2, 2019

Rapid changes in the genome of two closely interlinked species cannot be explained only by processes such as evolutionary pressure. Equally important is the role played by ecological processes, for example the dynamics of population size. This has been shown for the first time experimentally by an international team of researchers under the direction of Eawag and the University of Konstanz with an alga and a virus. The study will be published today in the magazine Science Advances.

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September 27, 2019

River sediment normally acts as a sink for hormones that are dissolved in the water. However, if they are disturbed, for instance when flooding occurs, these substances can end up back in the water column – with potentially negative consequences for the whole ecosystem.

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September 23, 2019

New species can evolve rapidly after adapting to new niches, a process called ecological speciation. But mutations are rare, so how is such rapid ecological speciation possible? Recently evolved lake and stream ecotypes of stickleback from Lake Constance reveal an unexpected answer.

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September 17, 2019

Implementation of the Montreal Protocol has successfully prevented depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer and associated increases in levels of UV-B radiation at the Earth’s surface. But many questions remain to be answered – for example, how does climate change affect the exposure of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to UV radiation? This is one of the questions discussed in a review article, co-authored by former Eawag scientist Barbara Sulzberger, which was recently published in Nature Sustainability.

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September 10, 2019

Treating community wastewater takes a lot of energy. Eawag is currently supporting a project that not only presents an alternative to conventional treatment processes but is also designed to enabled increased throughput within a smaller amount of space.

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