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)




    • Hindersmann B, Förster A, Achten C. . ‘Novel and specific identification of PAH in urban soils: Alk-PAH-BPCA index and "V"-shape distribution pattern.’ Environmental Pollution 257: 113594.
    • Oberleitner O, Schulz W, Bergmann A, Achten C. . ‘Impact of seasonality, redox conditions, travel distances and initial concentrations on micropollutant removal during riverbank filtration at four sites.’ Chemosphere 250: 126255.
    • Dohmann JF, Thiäner JB, Achten C. . ‘Ultrasensitive detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coastal and harbor water using GC-APLI-MS.’ Marine Pollution Bulletin 149: 110547-1-110547-7. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110547.
    • Leider A, Richter-Brockmann S, Nettersheim BJ, Achten C, Hallmann C. . ‘Low-femtogram sensitivity analysis of polyaromatic hydrocarbons using GC-APLI-TOF mass spectrometry: Extending the target window for aromatic steroids in early Proterozoic rocks.’ Organic Geochemistry 129: 77-87. doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2019.01.015.
    • Richter-Brockmann S, Dettbarn G, Jessel S, John A, Seidel A, Achten C. . ‘GC-APLI-MS as a powerful tool for the analysis of BaP-tetraol in human urine.’ Journal of Chromatography B 1100-1101: 1-5. doi:
    • Richter-Brockmann S, Dettbarn G, Jessel S, John A, Seidel A, Achten C. . ‘Ultra-high sensitive analysis of 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene in human urine using GC-APLI-MS.’ Journal of Chromatography B 1118-1119: 187-193.
    • Thiäner JB, Nett L, Zhou S, Preibisch Y, Hollert H, Achten C. . ‘Identification of 7-9 ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coals and petrol coke using High performance liquid chromatography – Diode array detection coupled to Atmospheric pressure laser ionization – Mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-APLI-MS).’ Environmental Pollution 252: 723-732.
    • Hindersmann B, Achten C. . ‘Urban soils impacted by tailings from coal mining: PAH source identification by 59 PAHs, BPCA and alkylated PAHs.’ Environmental Pollution 242: 1217-1225. doi:
    • Karzcewski Karsten, Göbel Patricia, Meyer Elisabeth Irmgard. . ‘Do composition and diversity of bacterial communities and abiotic conditions of spring water reflect characteristics of groundwater ecosystems exposed to different agricultural activities?MicrobiologyOpen 2018. doi: DOI: 10.1002/mbo3.681.
    • Popadic D, Heßelbach K, Richter-Brockmann S, Kim G-J, Flemming S, Schmidt-Heck W, Häupl T, Bonin M, Dornhof R, Achten C, Günther S, Humar M, Merfort I. . ‘Gene expression profiling of human bronchial epithelial cells exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from biomass combustion.’ Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 347: 10-22. doi:
    • Richter-Brockmann S, Achten C. . ‘Analysis and toxicity of 59 PAH in petrogenic and pyrogenic environmental samples including dibenzopyrenes, 7H-benzo[c]fluorene, 5-methylchrysene and 1-methylpyrene.’ Chemosphere 200: 495-503. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.146.
    • Thiaener JB, Richter-Brockmann S, Achten C. . ‘Analysis of 6-and 7-ring PAH and other non-EPA PAH by atmospheric pressure laser ionization - mass spectrometry (APLI-MS) in environmental certified reference materials NIST 1941b, NIST 1649b, BAM CC013a and IRMM BCR 535.’ Journal of Chromatography A 1581: 91-99. doi:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Bürgel, B., Burkhardt, M., Düster, L., Fitz, M., Fröhlich, R., Fuchs, S., Göbel, P., Hillenbrand, T., Nehls, T., Schiedek, T., Starke, P., Uhl, M., Welker, A. . „Diffuse Stoffeinträge in Gewässer aus Siedlungs- und Verkehrsflächen.“ In DVGW-Information, herausgegeben von DVGW e.V., 26.
    • 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:
    • Achten C., Andersson J. . ‘Overview of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PAC).’ Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 35: 1-10.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Coldewey, W.G., Göbel, P. . Hydrogeologische Gelände- und Kartiermethoden.: Springer Spektrum.
    • Große Brinkhaus S, Achten C. . „GC-APLI-MS - Eine sensitive und selektive Methode zur Analytik von 57 PAK in Umweltproben.“ Wasserforum, Sonderpublikation zum 11. Langenauer Wasserforum 11/2015: 28-29.
    • 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.
    • Große Brinkhaus S., Bornhorst J., Chakraborty S., Wehe C., Niehaus R., Reifschneider O., Aschner M., Karst U. . ‘Elemental bioimaging of manganese uptake in C. elegans.’ Metallomics 6, No. 3: 617-621. doi: 10.1039/c3mt00334e.
    • Göbel, P., Meßer, J. . „Quellen in Westfalen.“ Geographisch-landeskundlicher Atlas von Westfalen 17. Liefg.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Gitter S., Reinke D., Achten C. . Untersuchung von Pestiziden und Arzneimitteln in Oberflächen- und Grundwasser der Rieselfelder in Münster (Westfalen) Jahresberichte der Biologischen Station "Rieselfelder Münster", No. 2012. Münster, .
    • Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Concept for near-natural storm water control in urban areas.’ Environmental Earth Science 70, No. 5: 1945-1950. doi: 10.1007/s12665-010-0852-4.
    • 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.
    • Schleusener, F., Kempe, S., Dirks, H., Rausch, R., Göbel, P. . „Die Erdfälle von Layla und Al-Kharj – Einblicke in die Karst-Hydrogeolgie des oberen Jura von Saudi-Arabien.“ Grundwasser 18, No. 4: 271-276. doi: 10.1007/s00767-013-0235-3.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Starke, P., Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Effects on evaporation rates from different water-permeable pavement designs.’ Water Science and Technology 63.11: 2619-2627.
    • Starke, P., Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Effects on evaporation rates from different water-permeable pavement designs.’ Water Science and Technology 63, No. 11: 2619-2627.
    • Starke, P., Wallmeyer, C., Rölver, S., Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Development of a new laboratory evaporation measurement device as decision support for evaporation-optimized building.’ Building and environment 46: 2552-2561. doi: doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2011.06.010.
    • Achten C., Hofmann T. . „Umweltrelevanz von natürlichen polyzyklischen aromatischen Kohlenwasserstoffen aus Steinkohlen - eine Übersicht.“ Grundwasser 15: 5-18.
    • Göbel, P. (Hrsg.): . Quellen im Münsterland – Beiträge zur Hydrogeologie, Wasserwirtschaft, Ökologie und Didaktik. Münster: LWL.
    • Göbel, P. . „Historische Entwicklung der geologischen, hydrogeologischen und ökologischen Untersuchungen in den Baumbergen (Kreis Coesfeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen).“ In Quellen im Münsterland – Beiträge zur Hydrogeologie, Wasserwirtschaft, Ökologie und Didaktik, herausgegeben von Göbel, P., 9-16. Münster: LWL.
    • Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Concept for near-natural storm water control in urban areas.’ Environmental Earth Science 2010.
    • Starke, P., Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Urban evaporation rates for water-permeable pavements.’ Water Science and Technology 62, No. 5: 1161-1169.
    • 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.
    • Banning, A., Coldewey, W.G. & Göbel, P. . ‘A procedure to identify natural arsenic sources, applied in an affected area in Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany.’ Environmental Geology 57, No. 4: 775-787.
    • Göbel, P. . „LearnLine – Webgestützte Lehr- und Lernplattform für Studierende.“ In Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre – Lehren und Lernen effizient gestalten, herausgegeben von Berendt, B. Voss, H.-P., Wildt, J., 11. Stuttgart: Raabe.
    • Göbel, P. . Naturangepasstes Regenwasser-Bewirtschaftungskonzept für urbane Räume Postdoctoral Thesis, Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Münster.
    • Göbel, P. & Coldewey, W.G. . „Spezielle hydrogeologische Untersuchungen im Einzugsbereich des Naturschutzgebietes „Heiliges Meer“ (Kreis Steinfurt / Nordrhein-Westfalen).“ In Abhandlungen aus dem Westfälischen Museum für Naturkunde, herausgegeben von Hendricks A., 15. Münster.
    • 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.
    • Göbel, P., Zimmermann, J., Klinger, C., Stubbe, H. & Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Recommended urban storm water infiltration devices for different types of run-off under varying hydrogeological conditions.’ Journal of Soils and Sediments 8, No. 4: 231-238.
    • 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.
    • Göbel, P. . „Quellen aus (hydro)geologischer Sicht.“ In Quellen – Ursprung des Lebens, herausgegeben von LWL-Archäologie für Westfalen, 48. Münster.
    • Göbel, P., Dierkes, C. & Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Storm water runoff concentration matrix for urban areas.’ Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 91, No. 1-2: 26-42.
    • Göbel, P., Dierkes, C., Kories, H., Meßer, J., Meißner, E. & Coldewey, W.G. . „Einfluss von Gründächern und Regenwassernutzungen auf Wasserhaushalt und Grundwasserstand in Siedlungen.“ Grundwasser 12, No. 3: 189-200.
    • Dierkes, C., Göbel, P., Lohmann, M., Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Development and investigation of a pollution control pit for treatment of stormwater from metal roofs and traffic areas.’ Water Science and Technology 54, No. 6-7: 291-296.
    • Göbel, P., Dierkes, C., Benze, W. & Coldewey, W.G. . „Underground infiltration system for treatment of stormwater from metal roofs - Investigation on laboratory rigs.“ Series on Groundwater 13: 669-674.
    • Zimmermann, J., Dierkes, C., Göbel, P., Klinger, C., Stubbe, H. & Coldewey, W.G. . ‘Metal concentration in soil and seepage water due to infiltration of roof runoff by long term nu-merical modelling.’ Water Science and Technology 51, No. 2: 11-19.
    • Achten C. . „Aktuelles zum Thema MTBE - Konsequenzen für zukünftige Altlastensanierungen.“ Altlastenspektrum 2: 85-90.
    • Coldewey, W.G. Göbel, P. & Güttler, U. . „Untersuchungen zur Bestimmung der Gebirgsdurchlässigkeit im Rahmen der Planung und Beurteilung von Deponiestandorten in festen und wechselfesten Gestein.“ DMT-Berichte aus Forschung und Entwicklung 154: 98.
    • Göbel, P., Fach, S., Kories, H., Geiger, W.F. & Coldewey, W.G. . „Naturnahe Regenwasserbewirtschaftung contra Grundwasserbewirtschaftung?Mitteilungen zur Ingieurgeologie und Hydrogeologie 89: 159-163.
    • Göbel, P., Stubbe, H., Weinert, M., Zimmermann, J., Fach, S., Dierkes, C., Kories, H., Meßer, J., Mertsc,h V., Geiger, W.F. & Coldewey, W. G. . ‘Near-natural stormwater management and its effects on the water budget and groundwater surface in urban areas taking account of the hydrogeological conditions.’ Journal of Hydrology 299: 267-283. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.08.013.
    • 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.
    • Coldewey, W.G., Göbel, P. & Meßer, J. . „Wasserhaushaltbilanzierung in NRW – Probleme und Lösungen.“ In Texte zu Umwelttechnik und Ökologie im Bauwesen, herausgegeben von Stolpe. H., 6. Bochum.
    • Göbel, P., Coldewey, W.G., Kories, H., Fach, S. & Geiger, W.F. . „Grenzen der Niederschlagsversickerung zur Verhinderung des Grundwasseranstiegs.“ In Schriftenreihe Siedlungswasserwirtschaft Bochum, herausgegeben von Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Lehrstuhls für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft und Umwelttechnik, 13. 44th Ed. Bochum.
    • 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., 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., Püttmann W. . ‘Determination of methyl tert-butyl ether in suface water by use of solid-phase microextraction.’ Environmental Science and Technology 34: 1359-1364.
    • Göbel, P. . „Erkundung kokereispezifischer Untergrundkontaminationen auf Altstandorten mit Hilfe ausgewählter ingenieurgeophysikalischer Methoden - Interpretation der Ergebnisse aus hydrogeologischer Sicht.“ DMT-Berichte aus Forschung und Entwicklung 70.
    • Göbel, P. . Erkundung kokereispezifischer Untergrundkontaminationen auf Altstandorten mit Hilfe ausgewählter ingenieurgeophysikalischer Methoden - Interpretation der Ergebnisse aus hydrogeologischer Sicht Doctoral Thesis, Technische Universität Clausthal. Clausthal.

    In Press

    • Oberleitner D, Stütz L, Schulz W, Bergmann A, Achten C. . ‘Seasonal performance assessment of four riverbank filtration sites by combined non-target and effect-directed analysis.’ Chemosphere nn.
  • 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