Roman Ashauer is a scientist at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. After studying Geoökologie and Environmental Sciences at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and Trent University, Canada he joined the EcoChemistry team at the University of York, UK, where he received his PhD in 2007. In 2007 Roman Ashauer joined the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Eawag and won the SETAC-CEFIC Innovative Science Award.
Roman Ashauer develops ecotoxicological effect models, with a focus on toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models. With his research he wants to achieve a better understanding of toxic effects on aquatic organisms and create better tools for risk assessment of chemicals. The research consists of mathematical modelling and ecotoxicological experiments with organic xenobiotic compounds and freshwater invertebrates. Ultimately he hopes to help find some of the general principles that determine the effects of chemicals in nature. Key questions are:
- What makes different chemicals more or less toxic?
- Why do biological species and individuals differ in their sensitivities?
- How do effects of chemicals propagate from lower to higher levels of biological organisation?
Models are key tool to answer these questions and capture the essential knowledge of a scientific field. Roman Ashauer also maintains the website www.ecotoxmodels.org, where more information about his research can be found.
When he is not in the lab or at the computer, Roman Ashauer enjoys rock climbing in and around the Alps as well as travelling and reading science fiction or autobiographies.