Christoph Aeppli, PhD

Senior Research Scientist
Marine Chemist
Phone: +1 (207) 315-2567, ext. 317

For media inquiries, please contact


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)

Research Interests

I am an environmental chemist and study the fate of organic chemicals in aquatic environments. Particularly, I have expertise on the fate and effects of oil residues that occur after oil spills, as well as of halogenated contaminants, including forever chemicals (PFAS). I investigate microbial and abiotic processes that determine the fate of compounds, and study their impacts on aquatic organisms. To answer my research questions, I perform experiments, use and develop advanced analytical techniques, employ toxicity assay, and estimate physico-chemical properties and toxicity using quantum chemical computational tools.

Select Publications

For a complete list, please see my Google Scholar or the ORCID profile

Fate and Effects of Petroleum Hydrocarbons

  • Aeppli C, Mitchell DA, Keyes P, Beirne EC, McFarlin KM, Roman-Hubers AT, Rusyn I, Prince RC, Zhao L, Parkerton TF, Nedwed T (2022). Oil irradiation experiments document changes in oil properties, molecular composition and dispersant effectiveness associated with oil photooxidation. Environ Sci Technol. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c06149
  • Katz SD, Chen H, Fields DM, Beirne EC, Keyes P, Drozd GT, Aeppli C (2022). Changes in chemical composition and copepod toxicity during photo-oxidization of oil. Environ Sci Technol. 56:5552–5562. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c00251
  • Aeppli C (2022). Recent Advance in Understanding Photooxidation of Hydrocarbons after Oil Spills. Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 36, 100763. DOI: 10.1016/j.coche.2021.100763
  • Aeppli C, Swarthout RF, O’Neil GW, Katz SD, Nabi D, Ward CP, Nelson RK, Sharpless CM, Reddy CM (2018). How persistent and bioavailable are oxygenated Deepwater Horizon oil transformation products? Environ Sci Technol (52) 7250-7258. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01001
  • Aeppli C, Nelson RK, Radovic JR, Carmichael CA, Valentine DL, Reddy CM (2014). Recalcitrance and degradation of petroleum biomarkers upon abiotic and biotic natural weathering of Deepwater Horizon oil. Environ. Sci. Technol. (48) 6726-6734. DOI: 10.1021/es500825q
  • Aeppli C, Carmichael CA, Nelson RK, Lemkau KL, Graham WM, Redmond MC, Valentine DL, Reddy CM (2012). Oil weathering after the Deepwater Horizon disaster led to the formation of oxygenated residues. Environ. Sci. Technol. (46) 8799-8807. DOI: 10.1021/es3015138

Fate of Halogenated Pollutants

  • DiMento BP, Tusei CL, Aeppli C (2022). Photochemical degradation of short-chain chlorinated paraffins in aqueous solution by hydrated electrons and hydroxyl radicals. Chemosphere. In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.134732
  • St-Gelais AT, Aeppli C, Burnell C, Costa-Pierce BA (2017). Non-dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyl indicator congeners in Northwest Atlantic spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Mar. Pollut. Bull., 120 (1–2), 414-421. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.001
  • Aeppli C, Bastviken D, Andersson P, Gustafsson Ö (2013). Chlorine isotope effects and composition of naturally produced organochlorines from chloroperoxidases, flavin-dependent halogenases, and in forest soil. Environ. Sci. Technol. (47) 6864-6871. DOI: 10.1021/es3037669
  • Aeppli C., Holmstrand H, Andersson P, Gustafsson Ö (2010). Direct compound-specific stable chlorine isotope analysis of organic compounds with quadrupole GC/MS using standard isotope bracketing. Anal. Chem. (82) 420–426.DOI: 10.1021/ac902445f
  • Aeppli C, Hofstetter TB, Amaral HIF, Kipfer R, Schwarzenbach RP, Berg M (2010). Quantifying in situ transformation rates of chlorinated ethenes by combining compound-specific stable isotope analysis, groundwater dating, and carbon isotope mass balances. Environ. Sci. Technol. (44) 3705-3711. DOI: 10.1021/es903895b
  • Aeppli C, Berg M, Cirpka OA, Holliger C, Schwarzenbach RP, Hofstetter TB (2009). Influence of mass-transfer limitations on carbon isotope fractionation during microbial dechlorination of trichloroethene. Environ. Sci. Technol. (43) 8813–8820. DOI: 10.1021/es901481b

Book Chapters

  • Aeppli C (2022). Photooxidation of Crude Oil: Formation, Characterization, and Fate of Oil Photoproducts in the Environment. In: Chemistry of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products; Fingas M. (Ed), Chapter 11, Walter de Gruyter GmbH. In press
  • Nelson RK, Aeppli C, Arey JS, Chen H, de Oliveira A, Eiserbeck C, Frysinger GS, Gaines RB, Grice K, Gros J, Hall GJ, Koolen HHF, Lemkau KL, McKenna A, Reddy CM, Rodgers RP, Swarthout RF, Valentine DL, White HK (2016). Applications of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) in studying the source, transport, and fate of petroleum hydrocarbons in the environment. In Standard Handbook of Oil Spill Environmental Forensics, Stout, S A and Z Wang (Eds), Chapter 8, pp. 339-448, Elsevier.

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