Applied ecotoxicology: joint professorship for the School of Life Sciences FHNW and Eawag

Miriam Langer

Miriam Langer

The constantly growing number of new substances, materials and technologies are opening up new possibilities. However, their impact on the environment is often an unknown quantity and has to be carefully investigated before they are placed on the market. In order to support this process, the School of Life Sciences FHNW and Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, have created a joint professorship. The incumbent professor, Miriam Langer, will take up her post on 1st September in the new FHNW campus in Muttenz.

The School of Life Sciences FHNW and Eawag have collaborated on numerous occasions in the past on applied projects. When a replacement was being sought for Professor Karl Fent - a pioneer of aquatic ecotoxicology in Switzerland, and founder of the research unit at the FHNW, the two institutions recognized the synergistic potentials, and so the idea for a joint professorship in applied ecotoxicology was born.

With this move to cooperate in the education of specialists in the field of ecotoxicology, it is hoped that the needs of the Swiss job market, and in particular of the chemical industry, will be met, and that Swiss companies can be supported in practical ways. The ultimate aim is that of collaboration and practical exchanges between universities and Eawag. The aim is to support applied research on ecotoxological topics through joint projects, thus enabling more research to be put to practical use.

Miriam Langer appointed Professor of Ecotoxicology

Dr Miriam Langer has been appointed to the new joint professorship position, which she will take up on 1st September on the newly-opened FHNW campus in Muttenz. Miriam Langer studied biology at the University of Tübingen, and completed her doctorate in the field of ecotoxicology. After a brief period in private sector industry, her focus has been on applied research in the Ecotox Centre at Eawag-EPFL since 2015. As part of the NAWA SPEZ projects, she has been involved in the ecotoxicological monitoring of plant protection agents in small watercourses in Switzerland.

"At the School of Life Sciences FHNW, my research focus will be on the application of ecotoxicological biotests" says Mariam Langer. She adds: "At the moment, I am particularly interested in the deployment of online biomonitoring systems for waste water monitoring". These systems use organisms or molecules as sensors, and provide fast and continuous information on pollution.