Our society is facing major challenges that are closely interlinked with the way we live in and interact with the environment. While advances in science and technology have dramatically improved our quality of life, these advances have led to a great variety of unforeseen consequences.
Water plays a central role in our lives and as such is a particularly precious resource. However, population growth and increasing industrialization have also made water a very scarce resource, especially in parts of the world where water consumption is the highest.
Our research focuses on the impacts of anthropogenic activities on water quality with the primary focus on the occurrence, fate and effects of organic chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides and industrial chemicals.
While drinking water represent an important exposure pathway, substantial intake of anthropogenic chemicals can also be expected from the food we eat and air we breathe. Our research is thus also focusing on the identification of anthropogenic chemicals in these media using both target and non-target mass spectrometry approaches. Ultimately, our goal is to help establish the link between chemical exposures and adverse health outcomes.
More specifically, our research focuses on these research areas:
- Detection and occurrence of new trace organic contaminants in the urban water cycle
- Identification of chemical exposures via water, air and food
- Fate and transformation of trace organic contaminants in the natural and built environment
- Development of new screening methodologies to assess the toxicity of anthropogenic chemicals and their transformation products
- Biological effects of organic contaminants and their transformation products at the molecular level