Environmental Chemistry Laboratory LCE

A steady supply of clean water is crucial to human health and the protection of our natural environment. In the face of a rapidly growing world population and the resulting pressure on our water resources, maintaining adequate water quality and reserves is becoming increasingly difficult. While advances in water treatment have led to improved water quality in over the past decades, known and emerging contaminants continue to challenge the water supply. As a result, there exists a tremendous need for new and effective methods for water treatment.

The mission of LCE is to understand the fundamental principles and processes that lead to improved water quality in natural and engineered systems. More specifically, we are interested in understanding two of the most pertinent water quality issues, namely viral pathogens and organic micropollutants. While these two topics may seem unrelated at first glance, the processes leading to virus disinfection and micropollutant degradation are in fact remarkably similar. For example, the effects of sunlight are of great importance for the environmental fate of both viruses and chemical contaminants. Furthermore, the same oxidants (e.g., ozone) are used in engineered systems to disinfect viruses and degrade micropollutants. Micropollutant degradation and virus inactivation thus bear a great conceptual similarity.

Our long-term goal is to use the knowledge gained from our research to improve existing water treatment systems, and develop novel, more effective methods, if possible at a low cost.

The complex nature of our research topics requires that we use a combination of (photo-) chemical, molecular biological and modeling tools. We thus are an interdisciplinary group that involves researchers with a background in chemistry, biology or environmental science and engineering


Environmental Engineering Seminar Series

EESS talk on "The World Environment Situation Room"

2019-09-24 12:15:00 13:00:00

With: Dr Pascal Peduzzi, Science Division, United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), is the director of GRID-Geneva, a team of 20 scientists who are transforming data into information to support decisions making processes. He holds a PhD and a MSc in Environmental Sciences, with specialization in remote sensing and GIS. He is coordinating the implementation of the World Environment Situation Room, a data platform for monitoring the state of Earth Environment. As a part-time professor at the University of Geneva, Pascal teaches courses on environmental sciences, modelling disaster risk as well as on Sustainable Development. His main areas of research are links between Global Environment Change and Risk. He was one of the selected lead authors for the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events, was leading research on Global Risk Analysis for UN Environment, UNISDR and UNDP. He is also interested in computation of planetary boundaries, especially to bring this as a tool for monitoring country progresses. One of his specific interest Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (EcoDRR). Pascal Peduzzi is also involved in identifying Emerging Environmental Issues, as the initiator of the Environment Alert Bulletin, co-coordinator of the UN Environment Foresight report on Emerging Issues. He is the author of various scientific publications and provided numerous conferences to governments, media and the general public to raise awareness on the consequences of human impacts on the environment.
Place and room: GR C0 01
Category: Conferences - Seminars

EESS talk on "The metaorganism frontier - we are not alone"

2019-11-26 12:15:00 13:00:00

With: Dr Christian R Voolstra, Professor of Genetics of Adaptation in Aquatic Systems,Dpt of Biology, University of Konstanz, DE. His research area is environmental genomics with a focus on acclimation and adaptation of marine invertebrates. In particular, Dr. Voolstra studies coral metaorganism function combining ecological, environmental, microbial, and molecular approaches. Corals are metaorganisms composed of the coral host, intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts, and associated microbiota. Together these so-called coral holobionts form the keystone species of reef ecosystems. Dr. Voolstra’s most recent research has particularly advanced knowledge of how the bacterial microbiome contributes to coral animal host acclimation and adaptation. Dr. Voolstra has published over 150 peer-reviewed research papers, various book chapters, and holds patents related to bioactive lead structures from marine organisms. Dr. Voolstra is a Scientific Coordinator of the Tara Pacific consortium and a steering committee member of the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA). Dr. Voolstra received his PhD at the Institute for Genetics in Cologne, Germany in 2006 and was a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Merced from 2007-2009. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Marine Science at KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center in 2009, and in 2015 was promoted to Associate Professor. From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Voolstra served as the Associate Director of the Red Sea Research Center at KAUST. In 2019, Dr. Voolstra became Professor of Genetics of Adaptation in Aquatic Systems at the University of Konstanz, Germany.
Place and room: GR C0 01
Category: Conferences - Seminars

Complete agenda of events