Dr. Sarah Pati - Research Interests

The overall goal of my research is to improve assessment of the fate and impact of organic contaminants in aqueous environments by studying their microbial and abiotic transformation processes. Organic contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides, are ubiquitously present at low concentrations in rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Because of their potential for adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems, it is important to assess not only which chemicals are present in a given system, but also if and how these contaminants degrade.

As an integral part of my research, I use stable isotope analysis to study transformation mechanisms of organic contaminants, which ultimately helps predicting the rate of removal of organic contaminants in the environment and the formation of transformation products of concern. In my current project, I investigate the stable isotope fractionation of dissolved oxygen associated with oxygen consumption during organic contaminant transformations and other biogeochemical processes.

Education and Professional Experience

  • Nov 2019 - present: Research Associate and Ambizione Fellow, Department of Environmental Sciences, Biogeochemistry Group, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • 2016 – 2019: Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 2011 – 2015: PhD Candidate, Department Environmental Chemistry, Eawag, Switzerland. Thesis: “Enzymatic dioxygenation of nitro- and aminoaromatic compounds: Kinetic isotope effects and reaction mechanisms”
  • 2008 – 2010: MSc in Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2005 – 2008: BSc in Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Sarah Pati

Dr. Sarah Pati