Prof. Dr. Christine Achten

Prof. Dr. Christine Achten

Institute of Geology and Palaeontology – Applied Geology
University of Münster
Corrensstr. 24
D-48149 Münster
phone: +49 251 83-36170
fax: +49 251 83-33933

born 1969

  • Brief Biography

    Since 2009 Professor of Applied Geology at the Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, University of Münster, Germany
    2005 – 2009 University Assistant and head of the organic environmental laboratory at the Department of Environmental Geosciences (Prof. Dr. T. Hofmann), University of Vienna, Austria
    2002 – 2004 Project leader at engineering consultants Altenbockum & Partner, Aachen, Germany
    2002 Ph.D. Thesis: Methyl-tert-butyl ether in the aquatic environment (analytical method development, monitoring and modelling)
    1997 – 2002 Research Assistant and head of the organic geochemical laboratory at the Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (Prof. Dr. W. Püttmann), University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    1999 – 2000 Freelancer at the engineering consultants ARCADIS Consult GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany
    1996 – 1997 Assistant at the engineering consultants GEOBIT Ingenieur-Gesellschaft mbH, Aachen, Germany
    1995 – 1996 Assistant at the engineering consultants Olzem, Aachen, Germany
    1990 – 1997 Study of Geology (Diploma) at the University of Bonn and RWTH Aachen University, Germany
    1989 – 1990 One year stay abroad: Language courses at Cambridge University, Great Britain
  • Research Interests

    Research focuses on the analysis, occurrence, behaviour, fate and effects of known and unknown organic environmental pollutants in water and soil or sediment. Working fields are trace analysis of unpolar and polar chemical substances, bioavailability and environmental forensics of polycyclic aromatic compounds, degradation processes with regard to natural attenuation at field scale and non-target-analysis as a tool for the identification of unknown pollutants.

  • Reviewer Activity

    Environmental Science & Technology, Chemosphere, Environmental Geology, Journal of Coal Geology, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Fuel Processing Technology, Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, Water Research, Analytical Methods

  • Memberships

    Waterchemical Society of Germany, German Chemical Society (GDCH), German Society of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, International Society of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (ISPAC), Ingenieurtechnischer Verband Altlasten (ITVA)

  • Teaching

    • Organic pollutants in the environment
    • Behaviour and remediation of environmental pollutants
    • Organic environmental laboratory course
    • Hydrochemistry
    • Hydrochemical laboratory course
    • Environmental chemical analysis
    • Project management
    • Investigative methods of geological engineering

    Supervision of Ph.D., Master and Bachelor students



  • Hindersmann B, Achten C. . ‘Accelerated benzene polycarboxylic acid analysis by liquid chromatography-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry for the determination of petrogenic and pyrogenic carbon.’ Journal of Chromatography A 1510: 57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2017.06.058.
  • Große Brinkhaus S, Thiäner J B, Achten C. . ‘Ultra-high sensitive PAH analysis of certified reference materials and environmental samples by GC-APLI-MS.’ Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 409: 2801-2812. doi: DOI 10.1007/s00216-017-0224-y.
  • Xiao H, Brinkmann M, Thalmann B, Schiwy A, Große Brinkhaus S, Achten C, Eichbaum K, Gembé C, Seiler T-B, Hollert, H. . ‘Towards Streamlined Identification of Dioxin-like Compounds in Environmental Samples through Integration of Suspension Bioassay.’ Environmental Science and Technology 51: 3382-3390. doi: DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b06003.
  • Thiäner J B, Achten, C. . ‘Liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure laser ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-APLI-MS) analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with 6-8 rings in the environment.’ Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 409: 1737-1747. doi: DOI 10.1007/s00216-016-0121-9.

  • Stader C., Deventer M.J., Klemm O., Achten C. . ‘Turbulent transport of particle-bound PAHs: A feasibility study combining GC-APLI-MS and eddy covariance.’ Atmospheric Pollution Research 7: 603-610. doi:

  • Hafner C, Gartiser S, Garcia-Käufer M, Schiwy S, Hercher C, Meyer W, Achten C, Larsson M, Engwall M, Keiter S, Hollert H. . ‘Investigations on sediment toxicity of German rivers applying a standardized bioassay battery.’ Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22: 16358-16370. doi: DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-4482-y.
  • Achten C., Andersson J. . ‘Overview of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PAC).’ Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 35: 1-10.
  • Andersson J., Achten C. . ‘Time To Say Goodbye to the 16 EPA PAHs? Toward an up-to-date use of PACs for environmental purposes.’ Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 35: 330-354.
  • Achten C., Beer F., Stader C., Brinkhaus S. . ‘Wood-Specific Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Patterns in Soot Using Gas Chromatography-Atmospheric Pressure Laser Ionization-Mass Spectrometry (GC-APLI-MS).’ Environmental Forensics 16, No. 1: 42-50. doi: 10.1080/15275922.2014.991004.
  • Hafner C., Gartiser S., Garcia-Käufer M., Schiwy S., Hercher C., Meyer W., Achten C., Larsson M., Engwall M., Keiter S., Hollert H. . ‘Investigations on sediment toxicity of German rivers applying a standardized bioassay battery.’ Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22, No. 21: 16358-16370. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-4482-y.
  • Meyer W., Kons S., Achten C. . ‘Impact of reference geosorbents on oral bioaccessibility of PAH in a human in vitro digestive tract model.’ Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22, No. 7: 5164-5170. doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-3804-9.

  • Meyer W., Seiler T.B., Reininghaus M., Schwarzbauer J., Püttmann W., Hollert H., Achten C. . ‘Polar polycyclic aromatic compounds from different coal types show varying mutagenic poten-tial, EROD induction and bioavailability depending on coal rank.’ Science of the Total Environment 494: 320-328.
  • Meyer W., Seiler T.B., Christ A., Redelstein R., Püttmann W., Hollert H., Achten C. . ‘Mutagenicity, dioxin-like activity and bioaccumulation of alkylated picene and chrysene deriva-tives in a German lignite.’ Science of the Total Environment 497-498: 634-641.

  • Stader C., Beer F.T., Achten C. . ‘Environmental PAH analysis by gas chromatography - atmospheric pressure laser ionization - time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (GC-APLI-MS).’ Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 405: 7041-7052. doi: DOI 10.1007/s00216-013-7183-8.
  • Gitter S., Reinke D., Achten C. . Untersuchung von Pestiziden und Arzneimitteln in Oberflächen- und Grundwasser der Rieselfelder in Münster (Westfalen) , No. 2012. Münster, .
  • Meyer W., Seiler T.B., Reininghaus M., Schwarzbauer J., Püttmann W., Hollert H., Achten C. . ‘Limited waterborne acute toxicity of native polycyclic aromatic compounds from coals of different types compared to their total hazard potential.’ Environmental Science and Technology 47, No. 20: 11766-11775. doi: 10.1021/es401609n.

  • Achten C., Andersson J. . ‘Guest Editorial: The 23rd International Symposium on Polycycic Aromatic Compounds - ISPAC 23.’ Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 32: 93-94. doi: 10.1080/10406638.2012.674331.
  • Andersson J., Achten C. . ‘Biography of Dr. Jocelyne Hellou.’ Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 32: 95-96. doi: 10.1080/10406638.2012.676482.

  • Laumann S., Micic V., Kruge M.A., Achten C., Sachsenhofer R.F., Schwarzbauer J., Hofmann T. . ‘Variations in concentrations and compositions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coals related to the coal rank and origin.’ Environmental Pollution 159: 2690-2697.
  • Nagel A., Strauss H., Stephan M., Achten C. . „Nachweis von Natural Attenuation mittels Isotopenuntersuchungen an einem ehemaligen Kokereistandort.“ Grundwasser 16: 235-245. doi: DOI 10.1007/s00767-011-0174-9.
  • Achten C., Cheng S., Straub K.L., Hofmann T. . ‘The lack of microbial degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from coal-rich soils.’ Environmental Pollution 159: 623-629.

  • Achten C., Hofmann T. . „Umweltrelevanz von natürlichen polyzyklischen aromatischen Kohlenwasserstoffen aus Steinkohlen - eine Übersicht.“ Grundwasser 15: 5-18.

  • Achten C., Hofmann T. . ‘Native polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in coals - A hardly recognized source of environmental contamination.’ Science of the Total Environment 407: 2461-2473.

  • Achten C., Yang Y., Pies C., Ternes T., Hofmann T. . ‘Environmental impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coal particles on sediment quality.’ In Coal Mining: Research, Technology and Safety, edited by Fosdyke Gerald B., 0-0.: Nova Science Publishers Inc.
  • Yang Y., Ligouis B., Pies C., Achten C., Hofmann T. . ‘Identification of carbonaceous geosorbents for PAHs by organic petrography in river floodplain soils.’ Chemosphere 71: 2158-2167.

  • Achten C. . „Aktuelles zum Thema MTBE - Konsequenzen für zukünftige Altlastensanierungen.“ Altlastenspektrum 2: 85-90.

  • Achten C., Altenbockum M. . „Natürliche Immobilisierung von Schwermetallen im Grundwasser auch bei niedrigen pH-Werten - NA bei anorganischen Stoffen?Altlastenspektrum 1: 5-12.

  • Achten C., Kolb A., Püttmann W. . ‘Occurence of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in riverbank filtered water and drinking water produced by riverbank filtration.’ Environmental Science and Technology 36: 3663-3670.
  • Achten C., Kolb A., Seel P., Gihr R., Püttmann W. . ‘Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in river and waste water in Germany.’ Environmental Science and Technology 36: 3652-3661.
  • Achten C., Püttmann W., Klasmeier J. . ‘Compartment modeling of MTBE in the generic environment and estimations of the aquatic input in Germany using the EQC model.’ Journal of Environmental Monitoring 1: 22-25.

  • Achten C., Kolb A., Püttmann W. . ‘Methyl tert-buyl ether (MTBE) in urban and rural precipitation in Germany.’ Atmospheric Environment 35/36: 6337-6345.
  • Achten C., Püttmann W. . ‘Method for determination of methyl tert-butyl ether in gasoline by gas chromatography.’ Journal of Chromatography A 910: 377-383.
  • Achten C., Kolb A., Püttmann W. . ‘Sensitive Method for Determination of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in water by use of headspace-SPME/GC-MS.’ Fresenius Journal of Analytical Chemistry 371, No. 4: 519-525.

  • Achten C., Püttmann W. . ‘Determination of methyl tert-butyl ether in suface water by use of solid-phase microextraction.’ Environmental Science and Technology 34: 1359-1364.