Dr. Stefan Osterwalder
Assistant / Postdoc
Philosophisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Departement Umweltwissenschaften
FG Alewell

Assistant / Postdoc

Bernoullistrasse 30/32
4056 Basel

Tel. +41 61 207 04 83

Research interest

My research interests include the atmospheric chemistry, transport and biogeochemistry of trace gases, in particular mercury (Hg), and the quantification of their surface-atmosphere exchange using micrometeorological methods. My primary research covers a range of issues relevant to terrestrial and marine Hg cycling, from innovating new flux measurement systems (REA, Eddy Mercury), and leading comprehensive field campaigns to analysis of high-resolution data and process modeling. Within the framework of my latest studies at IGE, University Grenoble Alpes, France (SNF Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship), I have addressed Arctic Hg pollution by investigating Hg deposition and re-emission between the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere.


Ph.D. in Geosciences. Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SLU Umeå, Sweden and Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland. Thesis title: “Land-atmosphere exchange of elemental mercury: New insights using a novel relaxed eddy accumulation system and enclosure techniques”. Advisors: Prof. Christine Alewell, Prof. Kevin Bishop, Prof. Mats B. Nilsson. External reviewer: Prof. Mae S. Gustin. Defense date: 17.05.2016. Mark: Summa cum laude

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Environmental Geosciences. University of Basel. Field: Environmental Sciences and Meteorology

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Geosciences. University of Basel. Field: Pedology, Meteorology, Geology and Hydrology

Matura. Kantonsschule Wohlen. Field: Latin, Geography

Employment information

01/2019 - 03/2021
Postdoctoral researcher,Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE), Université Grenoble Alpes, France. Arctic mercury pollution: understanding ocean-atmosphere exchange of mercury (SNF Postdoctoral Fellowship).

11/2017 - 12/2018
Research scientist,Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland. Sino-Swiss Science and Technology Cooperation with SKLEG, Guiyang China and University of Basel grant for excellent early career researchers.

10/2016 - 10/2017
Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SLU Umeå, Sweden: Investigating the role of the ocean and boreal forests in the global mercury cycle.

05/2016 - 09/2016
Project leader, Canton Valais, Sion and Arcadis Schweiz AG, Schlieren: Air quality monitoring during remediation of mercury contaminated soils and measurements of atmospheric Hg concentrations over the Gamsenried landfill.

03/2011 - 10/2011
Research assistant, SLU Uppsala, Sweden: Development of Hg measurement techniques.

Ballabio, C., Jiskra, M., Osterwalder, S., Borrelli, P., Montanarella, L. and Panagos, P. (2021) “A spatial assessment of mercury content in the European Union topsoil”, Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier, 769, p. 144755. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144755.   edoc
Huang, J.-H., Shetaya, W. H. and Osterwalder, S. (2020) “Determination of (Bio)-available mercury in soils: A review”, Environmental Pollution. Elsevier, 263(Part B), p. 114323. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114323.   edoc
Bishop, K., Shanley, J. B., Riscassi, A., de Wit, H. A., Eklöf, K., Meng, B., Mitchell, C., Osterwalder, S., Schuster, P. F., Webster, J. and Zhu, W. (2020) “Recent advances in understanding and measurement of mercury in the environment: Terrestrial Hg cycling”, Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier, 721, p. 137647. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137647.   edoc