Student Research Projects

The Ecotox Centre offers students the possibility of serving internships or working on bachelor or master projects on practice-relevant topics from applied ecotoxicology for a duration of 3 to 6 months. Four jobs are available in Dübendorf and Lausanne for these projects. Currently possible topics are listed below. If you are interested, please send the following information and documents to Brigitte Bracken.

  • Date and duration
  • Preferred topic
  • CV
  • References

Possible Topics

Internship: Evaluation and further development of the algal photosystem II inhibition test for an ISO standardisation.
Possible from September 2022 for up to 6 months (only for students)
The algae photosystem II inhibition test is a combined test system for assessing water quality. The test is performed with unicellular green algae of the species Raphidocelis subcapitata and includes two endpoints: Inhibition of photosynthetic activity and inhibition of growth rate. The test is simple and inexpensive, and its applicability and suitability for water quality assessment has been demonstrated in a number of studies. To further support the inclusion of the test in a regulatory context, we are seeking international standardisation (ISO) of the test.
In the course of the internship, different measuring devices are to be compared and the settings optimised, building on previous results, in order to enable good comparability of the results between several laboratories. Furthermore, the test will be carried out with selected substances to assess their toxicity. These results will be used to derive effect-based thresholds for the two test endpoints.
Responsible for the project: Cornelia Kienle (

Bachelor Project: Technical aspects of water analysis
At the Ecotox Centre several bioanalytical methods for the monitoring of water quality are applied. In these bioassays, either native water samples (without sample preparation) or concentrated water samples are tested for their toxicity. To improve the analysis, the following questions should be examined:
What is the best extraction method? Can we accumulate all toxic substances in a water sample with the same mechanism of action?
How long can chemical substances be detected in water samples?
Responsible for the project: Etiënne Vermeirssen (


Brigitte Bracken
Brigitte Bracken Send mail Tel. +41 (0) 58 765 5562