Department of Ecological Chemistry. Graphic: Collage

Department of Ecological Chemistry


The environmental behaviour of chemicals is determined by key parameters that depend on both the molecular structure of the compounds and the properties of the environmental compartments.

The goal of the Department of Ecological Chemistry is to unravel systematic relationships between the molecular structure of compounds and their fate in the environment including in biological systems, and to develop methods for predicting their environmental behaviour and risk.

The Department's activities focus on two major areas, Environmental Chemodynamics and Molecular Toxicology, covering both experimental and theoretical work. The latter concerns in particular qualitative and quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) that are developed and used to predict the physical and chemical properties and potential toxicological effects of chemical compounds through the analysis of their molecular structures.

Environmental chemodynamics covers experimental and theoretical analysis of the environmentally relevant properties of compounds that govern their distribution over abiotic compartments, their bioaccumulation and their degradation processes (photolysis, hydrolysis, biodegradation). Molecular toxicology starts with the consideration that the primary molecular action of hazardous biological effects can often be traced back to simple chemical reactions.