- M.S. (Diploma) in Chemistry. University Berne/Switzerland (2002)
- Ph.D. (Dr.Sc. ETH Zurich); Environmental Chemistry. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich/Switzerland (2008)
I am interested to understand microbial and abiotic processes that determine the Fate of Organic Compounds in Coastal and Open Ocean Environments. Specifically, I focus on two areas:
(1) Fate of Oil in the Environment. Oil consists of thousands of compounds with a large range of physical properties, biodegradability, and toxicity. I study how abiotic and microbial processes change the composition of oil in the environment. Thereby I focus on oil spills (2010 Deepwater Horizon, 1989 Exxon Valdez) as well as on natural oil seeps
(2) Industrial and Naturally Produced Halogenated Compounds. Many chlorinated and brominated compounds are high-volume industrial compounds, such as solvents, pesticides, and flame retardants. In recent decades, it has been realized that micro- and macro-algae as well as fungi can also produce similar compounds in large quantities. I study the formation and microbial degradation of industrial and natural halogenated compounds.
To address my research questions, I use comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography(GCxGC) as well as compound-specific Stable Isotopes (carbon and halogen).