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.


February 10, 2020

Microbial communities are known to be indispensable for our planet. But surprisingly little is known about how they function. Researchers at the aquatic research institute Eawag are now shedding a little light on this subject: A new method enables them to observe the interaction between microorganisms.

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February 4, 2020

Although use of the fungicide hexachlorobenzene has been banned since 2004, this compound is chemically stable – and accumulates in the polar regions where humpback whales replenish their fat reserves each year. Cell line studies conducted at Eawag have now shown that, while hexachlorobenzene does not have acute toxic effects, it can cause damage to DNA in humpback whale cells.

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Scientific publications

Mayr, M. J.; Zimmermann, M.; Guggenheim, C.; Brand, A.; Bürgmann, H. (2019) Niche partitioning of methane-oxidizing bacteria along the oxygen–methane counter gradient of stratified lakes, ISME Journal, doi:10.1038/s41396-019-0515-8, Institutional Repository
Wang, S.; Zhu, G.; Zhuang, L.; Li, Y.; Liu, L.; Lavik, G.; Berg, M.; Liu, S.; Long, X.-E.; Guo, J.; Jetten, M. S. M.; Kuypers, M. M. M.; Li, F.; Schwark, L.; Yin, C. (2019) Anaerobic ammonium oxidation is a major N-sink in aquifer systems around the world, ISME Journal, doi:10.1038/s41396-019-0513-x, Institutional Repository
Mohammed, G. H.; Colombo, R.; Middleton, E. M.; Rascher, U.; van der Tol, C.; Nedbal, L.; Goulas, Y.; Pérez-Priego, O.; Damm, A.; Meroni, M.; Joiner, J.; Cogliati, S.; Verhoef, W.; Malenovský, Z.; Gastellu-Etchegorry, J.-P.; Miller, J. R.; Guanter, L.; Moreno, J.; Moya, I.; Berry, J. A.; Frankenberg, C.; Zarco-Tejada, P. J. (2019) Remote sensing of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) in vegetation: 50 years of progress, Remote Sensing of Environment, 231, 111177 (39 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.rse.2019.04.030, Institutional Repository
Müller, E.; von Gunten, U.; Bouchet, S.; Droz, B.; Winkel, L. H. E. (2019) Hypobromous acid as an unaccounted sink for marine dimethyl sulfide?, Environmental Science and Technology, 53(22), 13146-13157, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b04310, Institutional Repository
Ossola, R.; Tolu, J.; Clerc, B.; Erickson, P. R.; Winkel, L. H. E.; McNeill, K. (2019) Photochemical production of sulfate and methanesulfonic acid from dissolved organic sulfur, Environmental Science and Technology, 53, 13191-13200, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b04721, 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]

Schneeweiss, A.; Junghans, M.; Segner, H.; Stadtlander, T.; Werner, I. (2019) Ökotoxikologische Risiken von PSM für Fische. Eine Literaturstudie ermittelt Risiken von PSM und priorisiert die relevantesten Stoffe, Aqua & Gas, 99(11), 74-80, Institutional Repository
Schneeweiss, A.; Werner, I.; Segner, H.; Stadtlander, T. (2019) Ökotoxikologische Wirkungen von PSM auf Fische. Eine Literaturstudie untersucht mögliche Auswirkungen von priorisierten PSM, Aqua & Gas, 99(11), 82-91, Institutional Repository
Baracchini, T.; Bärenzung, K.; Bouffard, D.; Wüest, A. (2019) Le Lac de Zurich en ligne. Prévisions hydrodynamiques 3D en temps-réel sur, Aqua & Gas, 99(12), 24-29, 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