Understand and manage ecosystems

Why does one species of toad live in ponds, while another prefers shingle banks? How does the flora and fauna in a mountain stream change when the glacier has melted away? And how do invasive species affect their new habitat? It is only by answering questions such as these that entire ecosystems can be understood and, to some extent, managed.


December 12, 2019

Pesticides in sediments cause adverse effects on benthic organisms. This was shown by a monitoring study conducted by the Ecotox Centre and Eawag on five streams in agricultural areas. Crustaceans were particularly affected. Concentrations of several insecticides, including chlorpyrifos and the pyrethroid cypermethrin, exceeded effect thresholds, indicating impaired sediment quality.

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December 5, 2019

The lakes of East Africa are home to a surprising number of different cichlid species. This level of biodiversity has developed partly due to hybrids that managed to take over new ecological niches in their habitats, according to recent research carried out by scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Eawag, and the University of Bern.

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Scientific publications

Schaffner, L. R.; Govaert, L.; De Meester, L.; Ellner, S. P.; Fairchild, E.; Miner, B. E.; Rudstam, L. G.; Spaak, P.; Hairston, N. G. J. (2019) Consumer-resource dynamics is an eco-evolutionary process in a natural plankton community, Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(9), 1351-1358, doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0960-9, Institutional Repository
Dakos, V.; Matthews, B.; Hendry, A. P.; Levine, J.; Loeuille, N.; Norberg, J.; Nosil, P.; Scheffer, M.; De Meester, L. (2019) Ecosystem tipping points in an evolving world, Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(3), 355-362, doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0797-2, Institutional Repository
Hayden, B.; Harrod, C.; Thomas, S. M.; Eloranta, A. P.; Myllykangas, J. -P.; Siwertsson, A.; Præbel, K.; Knudsen, R.; Amundsen, P. -A.; Kahilainen, K. K. (2019) From clear lakes to murky waters – tracing the functional response of high-latitude lake communities to concurrent 'greening' and 'browning', Ecology Letters, 22(5), 807-816, doi:10.1111/ele.13238, Institutional Repository
Minghetti, M.; Schirmer, K. (2019) Interference of silver nanoparticles with essential metal homeostasis in a novel enterohepatic fish in vitro system, Environmental Science: Nano, 1777-1790, doi:10.1039/C9EN00310J, Institutional Repository
Drieschner, C.; Könemann, S.; Renaud, P.; Schirmer, K. (2019) Fish-gut-on-chip: development of a microfluidic bioreactor to study the role of the fish intestine in vitro, Lab on a Chip, 19(19), 3268-3276, doi:10.1039/C9LC00415G, Institutional Repository
To the library

Publications for practitioners

Factsheet: Frequently asked questions on road salt [pdf, available in German and French]

Factsheet: Invasive species spread by recreational boats transported overland [pdf, available in German and French]

Factsheet: River Corridors [pdf, available in German and French]

Factsheet: Facts about phosphorus in Lake Brienz [pdf, available in German and French]

Factsheet: Water power and ecology [pdf, available in German and French]

Ecotox Centre Info sheet: Microplastics in the environment [pdf, available in German and French]

FIBER Brochure: Small Watercourses: Ecological Function and importance for fishes [pdf, available in German and French]

FIBER Brochure: River revitalisation: Focus on fish [pdf, available in German and French]

Benateau, S.; Gaudard, A.; Stamm, C.; Altermatt, F. (2019) Climate change and freshwater ecosystems. Impacts on water quality and ecological status, 111 p, Institutional Repository


Prof. Dr. Rik Eggen
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • micropollutants
  • surface water
Prof. Dr. Jukka Jokela
  • algae
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • fish
  • genetics
  • plankton
  • proteomics
Dr. Hans Peter Kohler
  • micropollutants
  • organic pollutants
  • drinking water
Dr. Blake Matthews
  • biodiversity
  • plankton
  • evolution
  • Ecosystems
Prof. Dr. Carsten Schubert
  • isotopes
  • surface water
Prof. Dr. Ole Seehausen
  • fish
  • genetics
  • ecology
  • evolution
PD Dr. Piet Spaak
  • plankton
  • sediments
Dr. Colette vom Berg
  • fish
  • molecular ecotoxicology
Prof. Dr. Alfred Johny Wüest
  • aquatic ecology
  • water quality
  • Lake management
Dr. Marco Baity Jesi
  • modeling
  • Computational methods
  • machine learning
  • data science