Prof. Dr. Aurea C. Chiaia-Hernández R.

Assistant Professor / Head of cLab

Paläolimnologie / Organische Mikroverunreinigungen

+41 31 684 55 18
Universität Bern
Geographisches Institut
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern


Research topics

  • Organic trace analytics (identification of suspect and non-target screening by LC-HRMS)
  • Fate and behavior of organic contaminants in natural systems
  • Historical records of organic contaminant deposition using sediment analysis (The Anthropocene)
  • Temporal and spatial distribution of contaminant in lake sediments
  • Long-term persistence of pesticides in agricultural soil
  • Environmental contaminants and their effect in microbial communities

I have integrated two disciplines, environmental chemistry, and paleolimnology. By linking these two research areas, I have developed novel analytical methods and apply multiproxy-workflows to detect and identify a wide range of organic contaminants in natural archives in the last 100 years. The approaches are being applied to study compounds that could not be detected in the past and to understand depositional systems to provide context to soil and sediment records. Some of my specific aims have been to characterize the Anthropocene and understand the transport, resuspension, transformation, and deposition of organic contaminants using different environmental compartments and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS). Furthermore, my research has extended to investigate the occurrence, fate, and environmental impact of plant protection products (organic pesticides) in soil and sediment and their effect on microbial communities.

Lake sediment coring