I’m Urban Wünsch, a researcher working on all things dissolved in water. I am driven by a desire to disentangle the composition of complex environmental samples to understand the fate of organic substances in water.

Did I loose you there? Imagine a nice cup of black tea. We instinctively know that the darker our tea, the more intense the flavor. We actually figured out the chemistry of tea a long time ago. But would you drink water from a river if it had the same intense color? Probably not, right?

So the question is: If river water is that colored, should we actually be worried, or are the substances harmless? Where did they come from? Do they persist in the environment? Which substances cause this color? How can we remove them to obtain clean, color- and odorless drinking water?

While these questions seem quite simple, the number of organic compounds in any water sample is so large that common analysis techniques are often overwhelmed with the complexity of a water sample. My reseach focusses on using statistical models to disentangle the fingerprints of organic matter from different sources.

For the scientists visiting this page:

I am a postdoctoral researcher focussed on the elucidation of the relationship between optical and chemical properties of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM). I use analytical techniques such as:

  • Fluorescence emission-excitation matrix (EEM) spectroscopy
  • Absorbance spectroscopy
  • High Performance Size Exclusion Chromatography (HPSEC)
  • Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS)

In conjunction with these analytical techniques, I focus on the data analysis using multivariate statistical models (chemometrics) such as:

  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA)
  • Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC & PARAFAC2)
  • N-way partial least squares (N-PLS)
  • Advanced Coupled Matrix and Tensor Factorization (ACMTF)

I am very passionate about Open Science. In the past, I’ve developed an Open Source Software toolbox and hosted open Webinars to disseminate our research.