News archive

August 30, 2019

Amphipods are among the most important invertebrate organisms in water. They have central ecological functions, for example as food for fish or in the degradation of leaves. Nevertheless, surprisingly little is known about these animals, which are between a few millimetres and a few centimetres in size. And despite very different requirements, the species are hardly differentiated in water monitoring.

Read more
July 25, 2019

Phosphate supplies are limited and found in only a few countries. Mining and transport of this nutrient are costly. It is therefore becoming increasingly important that phosphorus be recovered and reused regionally, and Switzerland, with a functioning phosphorus recycling economy, can lead the way.

Read more
July 8, 2019

Without phosphorus there would be no life; however, the mineable quantities are limited. The element was first described 350 years ago. This week, some 200 experts are meeting in Zurich to discuss the future of phosphorus.

Read more
July 3, 2019

When animals migrate into an ecosystem, the ecosystem turns into a temporary land of milk and honey for predators. But novel findings from a recent study on local fish migration patterns in northern Europe indicate that even when animals migrate out of an ecosystem, their absence has an effect on food webs.

Read more
June 3, 2019

Since the last ice age, stickleback have managed to emerge from the sea to colonise many freshwater waterbodies. Genetic analysis by Eawag researchers and colleagues from the University of Bern and the National Institute of Genetics in Shizuoka, Japan, now demonstrate that they achieved this thanks to additional copies of a metabolism gene.

Read more
May 29, 2019

Climate change will also have an effect on the surface waters and aquatic ecosystems of Switzerland. The extent of this effect has now been examined by Eawag researchers in a synthesis report commissioned by FOEN. All in all, it will be possible to maintain the high quality of Swiss waters through management and adaptation, however, this will entail higher costs, say the authors of the report.

Read more
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
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
April 17, 2019

By systematically collecting samples from Switzerland’s rivers, “Progetto Fiumi” has documented more than forty species of fish. In addition, within the various species, the Eawag research group has found a rich diversity that had not been fully assessed before. The project thus provides a basis for the protection of this genetic and ecological diversity.

Read more
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