Dr. Ivonne Nijenhuis

Contact / Address:


Phone + 49 (0) 341 235 1356

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstrasse 15
04318 Leipzig

Dr. Ivonne Nijenhuis

Curriculum Vitae

2004 -
Senior Scientist, Department Isotope Biogeochemistry
2010-2015 Coordinator European Union FP7 'People' programme Initial Training Network CSI:ENVIRONMENT
2002 -
Post-Doctoral Scientist EU Marie Curie Host Development fellowship (BIOISOTOPE) European expert in Anaerobic Microbiology, UFZ-Leipzig
2002 Ph.D. in Microbiology; Cornell University, USA
1996 M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences; Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands

Research areas

My research in the Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry focuses on the anaerobic biotransformation of halogenated organic contaminants and the application of stable isotope concepts. Currently, biotransformation of the chlorinated and brominated ethenes and ethanes but also halogenated pesticides, e.g. hexachlorocyclohexane, and pharmaceuticals, e.g. diclofenac are investigated at different scales, from laboratory enzyme assays and cultures to model scale wetland and in situ at contaminated field sites. My research involves enrichment and isolation approaches for investigation of novel microorganisms capable of biotransformation of the halogenated organic contaminants as well as the development and application of compound-specific stable isotope (C, Cl, Br, H) fractionation of these contaminants as a tool to analyse reactions and biotransformation in situ.

Current projects

Early 2011 the DFG Forschergruppe "FOR1530 'Anaerobic Dehalogenation: Organisms, Biochemistry and (Eco-) Physiology'" started linking research groups in Jena, Halle and Leipzig. Within this project, I am in charge of sub-project 05: 'Characterisation of microbial dehalogenation using compound specific stable isotope analysis'.

Completed projects

Within the European Union FP7 project "GENESIS" we investigated how biogeochemical processes affect natural attenuation of chlorinated benzenes and are focusing on the microbial community involved in contaminant biotransformation.

From 2010-2015, I am coordinated the European Union FP7 'People' programme Initial Training Network "CSI:ENVIRONMENT". In this project, 10 Partners and 4 Associated Partners from 9 European countries will work on 'Isotope forensics meets biogeochemistry - linking sources and sinks of organic contaminants by compound specific isotope investigation'.

2012-2014, Joint German-Israeli Water Technology Programme “Development of innovative tools for the assessment of in situ biodegradation of organobromine contaminant in groundwater” – INTIME. In this 3 year project we will investigate the application of CSIA for assessment of the natural attenuation of brominated groundwater contaminants.

Publications (in co-operation with the UFZ)