All our research projects deal with the topic of sustainable water use and the relevant living organisms of that environment. Therefore we are contributing to one of the university's priorities namely that of sustainability and energy research as mentioned in the university's 2014 strategy.
We are exploring questions regarding aquatic ecology, fish biology and ecotoxicology. In particular, we focus on the combined actions of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on fish. Several research projects also focus either on very small or large aquatic organisms (such as micro-crustaceans, whales and dolphins). Our research examines changes in species composition due to biological invasions of non-native fish in Switzerland as well as the prevalence and the effect of hormonally active substances, microplastic particles, habitat and temperature changes.
In search of a holistic picture, we analyse the impacts of the above mentioned factors on all levels of the biological hierarchy: from genes through to expression, ultrastructure and histology to population studies and biodiversity analysis.
In cooporation with other institutes, further studies in the areas of sustainable water usage and energy consumption are under way.
Interdisciplinary approaches are key to environmental issues
More than one scientific discipline is necessary in order to analyse present states, uncover the causes of undesirable changes and develop solutions. Social and societal aspects need to be taken in to account; judicial and economic questions need to be answered. Correspondingly, we approach environmental projects in concert with experts from other sciences and tightly coordinate and collaborate with local authorities. Our thematic and methodological focus lies in the development of system knowledge. Through collaboration we also contribute to target and transformation knowledge.