Benoît Ferrari takes over as director ad interim of the Ecotox Centre
Benoît Ferrari has been appointed interim director of the Ecotox Centre, located at EPFL and Dübendorf. He is an expert in sediment ecotoxicology. He entered into office on September 1st 2019. The current director, Inge Werner, will remain at the Ecotox Centre on a part-time basis until 2021.
“I’m honoured to assume this role ad interim to ensure a smooth transition. This is a new exiting challenge for me and I hope that - with the help of all my colleagues - I will be able to continue the extraordinary work that Inge did as director of the Ecotox Centre”. Benoît Ferrari has just been appointed interim director of the Ecotoxic Centre, based at EPFL and Dübendorf. He officially entered into office on September 1st.
Etienne Vermeirssen, Group Leader of the aquatic ecotoxicology group in Dübendorf, will continue as deputy director. The current director, Inge Werner, will still be working at the Ecotox Centre with a 40% workload until August 2021 and is looking forward to this new phase in her life. "It will allow me to spend more time with my husband, who returned to live in California some time ago, and to continue to work with this great group of scientists at the Ecotox Centre on topics that are close to my heart.”
From Lorraine to EPFL
After studying biology and biochemistry at the University of Lorraine (Metz, F), Benoît Ferrari worked on the ecotoxicity of solid waste in his dissertation. Subsequently, as a researcher at the National Research Institute for Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), formely Cemagref, in Lyon, he assessed the environmental risk of pharmaceuticals in aquatic ecosystems.
As a senior assistant at the University of Geneva, he contributed to set up the ecotoxicological laboratory at the Institute F.-A. Forel where he established a research program integrating laboratory and field-oriented approaches combining geochemical and ecotoxicological tools. He returned then in France to work at Irstea as a scientist assessing the quality of ecosystems, including the use of active biomonitoring systems. He joined the Ecotox Centre in 2013 as the group leader of the sediment and soil ecotoxicology group of the Ecotox Centre branch at EPFL.
Assessing sediment quality
Benoît's own field of research is the ecotoxicity of sediments. In recent years, Benoît has helped to develop innovative systems for assessing sediment quality, such as the E-board, a system using chironomid larvae that can be applied directly in rivers or lakes. He contributed also to promote eDNA approaches for monitoring the quality of sediment and helped in the elaboration of a concept for evaluating soil quality.