From January 2002 till April 2006 I worked as PhD-student in Laura Sigg`s group within the Department of Environmental Toxicology (former AQU group) at EAWAG.
My thesis dealt with bioaccumulation of heavy metals (cadmium, zinc, manganese) in Scenedesmus vacuolatus, a freshwater algae. I investigated the influence of different parameters (concentration of metals, influence of ligands - such as FA, DGA, and NTA) on algal growth and bioavailability. I also investigated metal speciation in different growth media to relate speciation to uptake and accumulation in Scenedesmus vacuolatus. My work was framed within the European Union project BIOSPEC, which evaluated different analytical methods to implement a biosensor for routine metal measurements. Several project partners worked together for this project.
I studied Agrarbiologie at the University of Hohenheim from 1995 to 2001, where I majored in plant ecology, plant nutrition, physiology, and plant production. For my diploma work I worked on a commercial Mango farm for four month and investigated the carotene contents in different mango varieties (all yummy!), and assessed the relation between fruit diseases and potassium contents of the fruits. The farm is part of the Merensky foundation. I had a really great time there and got to know lots of very nice people and went out hiking quite a bit.