Institut für Evolution und Ökologie

Dr. Mona Schweizer


Room: 019, basement floor, Auf der Morgenstelle 5

(+49) 07071-29-78818

fax: (+49) 07071-29-35299
send a mail mona.schweizer [at]

Aim of the study

Rivers are the aquatic veins traversing country, filled with our most valuable resource – water. But usually more economical aspects prevail, when we think of services river systems provide. One aspect is the discharge and transport of effluents. Germany has high standards concerning wastewater treatment, but still many substances (pharmaceuticals, artificial sweeteners, etc.) remain partly or unfiltered in the river water. So, the question arises which substances are to be detected, at what concentrations, and the main focus for a biologist, how do those substances influence the ecosystem and biodiversity of the river system.

Thus, my PhD studies are embedded in the NiddaMan project which is dealing with the effects of anthropogenic pollution on the Nidda river system in Southern Hesse. Beyond the pure ecological assessment of the Nidda, a further goal of this comprehensive project is to develop management tools that are generally applicable to similar influenced river systems.

In the context of the NiddaMan project, my work is focusing on ecotoxicological effects in fish.
Therefor, fish are actively and passively monitored and tested for cytotoxic (histology), genotoxic (micronucleus test) and embryotoxic (fish embryo test with Danio rerio) potentials, the induction of cytochrome P450 (CyPIA1) activity and of vitellogenin in male fish as indicator for endocrine effective substances.
The results of my studies will contribute to the evaluation of consequences anthropogenic pollution has on river ecosystems, especially on fish health.