RWTH Aachen University

Contact: Thomas Preuss


The Institute for Environmental Reearch at RWTH Aachen, the largest German teaching and research university group in the fields of ecochemistry and ecotoxicology, consists of three professors, one Humboldt fellow, three senior scientists, three post doctoral fellows, about 30 PhD students, 15 diploma/bachelor/master students and four technical assistants. We investigate the fate of environmental pollutants in soil and aquatic systems and assess their ecological and ecotoxicological effects on terrestrial and aquatic communities.

Our group investigates the transformation of chemicals in soil, water and in organisms, and their binding and release into water and soil. Regarding organisms we investigate the chemical, biochemical and genetic mechanisms of the uptake, transformation and immobilization of the chemicals in plants. We develop bioremediation techniques to reduce the concentration of problematic compounds in contaminated soils and water using plants.

Effect-monitoring in the laboratory or in more complex model systems (e.g., aquatic and terrestrial model ecosystems) is conducted to understand and assess the acute and mechanism-specific toxicity as well as chronic effects, using in vitro assays, selected test species, laboratory populations, and communities in indoor and outdoor model ecosystems.

Mechanistic/deterministic models are used to estimate exposition and effects as well as risk characterization itself. Simulation models are applied to reproduce and predict concentration effects on populations and ecosystems, individual based models to extrapolate concentration dependent shifts in life data to populations and multi-species systems.

The institute has a high international reputation with more than 200 papers in the above fields (ISI-Web > 150), cooperation projects with industries, authorities and partner universities and is represented in national and international panels (SETAC, EFSA, advisory groups).

Teaching covers all aspects of the described research areas. Our institute was recently successful in a public call by the chemical industry to establish a new master program in ecotoxicology which will start in 2010.

The institute is well equipped for ecological, ecotoxicological and chemical research. Most standard ecotoxicological biotests are conducted at the institute and chemical analysis can be conducted using e.g. GC/MS &  HPLC as well as radioactive methods.

For further information visit our homepage.

CREAM projects hosted by RWTH Aachen: