Ecologist Florian Altermatt was appointed Associate Professor for Aquatic Ecology by the University Board on 27 August. Florian has been working in Eawag’s Department of Aquatic Ecology for over seven years as Group Head, and was awarded an SNF Research Professorship at the University of Zurich in 2014. Prior to that, he completed a postdoc at the UC Davis in California, having earned his PhD from the University of Basel. It is hoped that the newly created professorship will help to further promote synergies between Eawag and the University of Zurich.
Florian Altermatt’s research focusses on biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems. With the help of mathematical models, laboratory experiments and natural river networks, he and his team are, for example, investigating how terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems influence one another. His research group is also developing and testing methods of gathering data on biodiversity in rivers using DNA traces.
The goal for Altermatt in his new professorship is clear: “I want to drive biodiversity research forward in the aquatic sphere”, he says. This is even more urgent now than it ever was, as waterbodies are coming under ever-increasing pressure as a result of climate change, invasive species, pesticides and other agricultural inputs. Alongside the research activities however, Altermatt also plans to strengthen teaching in this field – and he is walking the talk: For the first time this coming autumn semester, he will has been heading uprunning the newly-formed field course “Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring