Carolin Völker

Carolin Völker
Institute for Social-Ecological Research | ISOE · Water Infrastructure and Risk Analyses

PhD

About

44
Publications
31,988
Reads
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1,860
Citations
Citations since 2017
30 Research Items
1756 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
April 2016 - present
Institute for Social-Ecological Research
Position
  • Group Leader
June 2014 - present
Institute for Social-Ecological Research
Position
  • Research Associate
October 2010 - May 2014
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
October 2004 - September 2009

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Full-text available
The flood event in July 2021 in the uplands of the Eifel-Ardennes mountains in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands and their foreland was caused by heavy rainfall and resulted in one of the largest flood disasters in Western Europe for decades. Due to climate change, it can be assumed that such events will become more frequent in future. Even thou...
Article
Plastic pollution through small particles, so-called microplastics, is acknowledged as an environmental problem of global dimension by both politicians, and the public. An increasing number of environmental studies investigate the exposure and effects of microplastics. Although there are many open questions, current scientific evidence does not con...
Chapter
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Stellt Plastik ein Risiko für unsere Umwelt dar? Wie finden wir einen besseren Umgang mit einem Material, das so viele Bereiche unseres Alltags durchdrungen hat? Mit diesen und weiteren Fragen beschäftigt sich die inter- und transdisziplinär arbeitenden Nachwuchsgruppe „PlastX – Plastik in der Umwelt als systemisches Risiko“. Der Be...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic products contain complex mixtures of extractable chemicals that can be toxic. However, humans and wildlife will only be exposed to plastic chemicals that are released under realistic conditions. Thus, we investigated the toxicological and chemical profiles leaching into water from 24 everyday plastic products covering eight polymer types. W...
Article
Full-text available
Plastikmüll ist ein zentrales Umweltproblem des 21. Jahrhunderts. Ein Großteil dieses Mülls stammt aus lediglich kurzzeitig genutzten Ein­wegverpackungen. Lebensmittelhersteller und Lebensmittelhandel stehen vor der Herausforde­rung, eine nachhaltige Gestaltung, Nutzung und Reduktion von Kunststoffverpackungen voran­zutreiben. Drei Überlegungen sin...
Article
Microplastic pollution has sparked interest from researchers, public, industries and regulators, due to reports of extensive microplastics presence in the environment, household dust, drinking water, and food that indicate chronic exposure to organisms within ecosystems and in human living spaces. While exposure to microplastics is evident, negativ...
Article
Full-text available
Polymers shape human life but they also have been identified as pollutants in the oceans due to their long lifetime and low degradability. Recently, various researchers have studied the impact of (micro)plastics on marine life, biodiversity, and potential toxicity. Even if the consequences are still heavily discussed, prevention of unnecessary wast...
Article
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Marine plastic pollution is a worldwide problem. However, a world without plastics and polymers is unthinkable for most of us. In article number 2001121, Ge‐Xia Wang, Jun‐Hui Ji, Frederik R. Wurm, and co‐workers describe strategies to develop marine‐degradable plastics (mainly polyesters and special types of polymer blends), which will help to prod...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Seit 2016 untersucht die Forschungsgruppe PlastX unter der Leitung des ISOE – Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung die gesellschaftliche Rolle von Plastik und die damit verbundenen Umweltauswirkungen. Das vorliegende Dokument gibt einen Überblick über die Ergebnisse dieser Forschungsarbeiten und fasst sie in Form von Kernbotschaften zusam-men,...
Article
Full-text available
Plastics contain a complex mixture of known and unknown chemicals; some of which can be toxic. Bioplastics and plant-based materials are marketed as sustainable alternative to conventional plastics. However, little is known with regard to the chemicals they contain and the safety of these compounds. Thus, we extracted 43 everyday bio-based and/or b...
Article
https://www.spektrum.de/inhaltsverzeichnis/deutschland-im-klimawandel-spektrum-der-wissenschaft-9-2020/1673312
Article
Full-text available
Given the ubiquitous presence of microplastics in aquatic environments, an evaluation of their toxicity is essential. Microplastics are a heterogeneous set of materials that differ not only in particle properties, like size and shape, but also in chemical composition, including polymers, additives and side products. Thus far, it remains unknown whe...
Article
Full-text available
Sozial-ökologische Transformationen können nur gelingen, wenn wir sie als gemeinsame Gestaltungsaufgabe verstehen. Doch wie kann gemeinsames Handeln gefördert werden, wenn die Vorstellungen von einem „guten Leben“ so unterschiedlich sind? Die hier vorgestellten Gestaltungsprinzipien sollen transdisziplinärer Nachhaltigkeitsforschung Orientierung ge...
Article
Full-text available
Social-ecological transformations can only succeed if we understand them as a joint task of shaping the future. But how can joint action be fostered when ideas of the "good life" differ so much? The principles of shaping presented here aim to provide orientation for transdisciplinary sustainability research in order to find answers to complex quest...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Der vorliegende Bericht dokumentiert die Ergebnisse einer sozial-ökologischen Exkursion nach Norddeutschland, die im Juni 2019 im Rahmen einer Lehrveranstaltung des ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung mit Studierenden aus unterschiedlichen natur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Disziplinen der Goethe Universität Frankfurt stattfand. Im Fo...
Article
PET‐Getränkeflaschen sind ein allgegenwärtiger Teil der modernen Alltagskultur. Sie haben die globale Trinkwasserversorgung verändert und das moderne Trinkverhalten geprägt. Gleichzeitig kommen Einwegflaschen aus Plastik durch die zunehmend sichtbaren Umweltfolgen auch immer stärker in Kritik. Der Artikel diskutiert den die komplexe Thematik der Wa...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Die vorliegende Konfliktanalyse ist ein Produkt aus dem BMBF-Forschungsprojekt „NiddaMan – Entwicklung eines nachhaltigen Wasserressourcen-Managements am Beispiel des Einzugsgebiets der Nidda“. Ein Teilaspekt des NiddaMan-Projektes befasste sich mit den gesellschaftlichen Ansprüchen an das Nidda-Einzugsgebiet sowie der Analyse von damit verbundenen...
Article
Full-text available
Plastics are known sources of chemical exposure and few, prominent plastic-associated chemicals, such as bisphenol A and phthalates, have been thoroughly studied. However, a comprehensive characterization of the complex chemical mixtures present in plastics is missing. In this study, we benchmark plastic consumer products, covering eight major poly...
Article
Von einem natürlichen Mittelgebirgsfluss über erste Nutzungen durch Mühlen über den kompletten technischen Umbau im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert bis zur langsamen Renaturierung in der Gegenwart – die Nidda ist ein Paradebeispiel für die Behandlung von Flüssen in den vergangenen Jahrhunderten und Jahrzehnten. Die Geschichte des Flusses reicht von der „Be...
Article
Full-text available
The public is concerned about plastic pollution, while clear‐cut scientific evidence for an environmental risk of microplastics is absent. This contrast between incomplete scientific knowledge and public risk perception is an interesting case for investigating how “environmental risk” is transformed in science communication. This study examines how...
Article
Full-text available
While transdisciplinarity offers a way to tackle complex social-ecological challenges, transdisciplinary research is a challenging task in itself. The integration of research methods across academic disciplines, the collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and the need to balance societal and disciplinary academic impacts pose many diff...
Article
Full-text available
We are living in a plastic age. For most of us, life without polymers and plastics is unthinkable. However, in recent years the littering of plastics and the problems related to their persistence in the environment have become a major focus in both research and the news. Biodegradable polymers like poly(lactic acid) are seen as a suitable alternati...
Article
We are living in a plastic age. For most of us, life without polymers and plastics is unthinkable. However, in recent years the littering of plastics and the problems related to their persistence in the environment have become a major focus in both research and the news. Biodegradable polymers like poly(lactic acid) are seen as a suitable alternati...
Chapter
Full-text available
The diagnosis that we are living in a world risk society formulated by Ulrich Beck 20 years ago (Beck, Kölner Z Soziol Sozialpsychol 36:119–147, 1996) has lost nothing of its power, especially against the background of the Anthropocene debate. “Global risks” have been identified which are caused by human activities, technology, and modernization pr...
Article
Full-text available
Der nordpazifische „Müllstrudel“ aus Plastikpartikeln gilt als eines der drängendsten Umweltprobleme. Auch wenn noch nicht gesichert ist, wie schädlich Mikroplastik für den Menschen ist, gibt es ausreichend Argumente, etwas gegen die Vermüllung der Ozeane zu tun.
Article
Full-text available
Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, current research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches do not sufficiently cover these inter...
Chapter
Full-text available
Within the framework of a discourse field analysis the debate on possible conflicts of objectives between the application of verterinay medications and environmental protection was analysed. . Accompanying the discourse field analysis expert interviews were conducted in order to clarify open or contradictory aspects. Differences to the debate on th...
Article
Der Einsatz neuer Techniken führt dazu, dass sich im konventionellen System bewährte Konstellationen von Akteuren sowie deren Aufgaben und Motivationen verändern. Diese kann ein Kooperationsmanagement zweckmäßig gestalten. Am Beispiel des HAMBURG WATER Cycle (HWC) und seiner erstmaligen Umsetzung wurde untersucht, wie das Handeln der beteiligten Ak...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Plastic is an ambivalent material. It has become the ubiquitous material with multiple functional properties and a broad variety of applications like in packaging – the largest application – , building and construction, automotive, electronics or in the agriculture sector. Plastic is considered the workhorse of modern economy (WEF 2016). Its produc...
Article
New technologies lead to a change of the motivations and functions of different actors as well as their constellations. A cooperation management allows to shape them. For the example of the HAMBURG WATER Cycle (HWC) and its first implementation it was investigated how the acting of the involved actors might be coordinated in such a way, that the op...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Innovative Water Infrastructures and their Implementation on a Local Level: On the Necessity of Integrated Cooperation and Innovation Management Innovative water infrastructures like the novel sanitary systems that have been developed are promising efficiency gains. Their application does not only mean the use of new technologies but it also means...
Article
Kleine Teilchen, große Nebenwirkung? – Über das Risiko von Silber-Nanopartikeln für aquatische Ökosysteme Meldungen über Nanosilber im Abwasser sorgen seit einigen Jahren für Schlagzeilen. Seine antibakterielle Wirkung soll helfen, Wunden zu desinfizieren und die Haltbarkeit von Kosmetika zu verlängern oder − mittels Beschichtung des Verpackungsma...
Article
Full-text available
A range of studies has addressed possible environmental impacts of nanosilver, but most focused on acute effects in few species. Moreover, it remains unclear if toxic effects are particle-specific or mediated by released silver ions. We investigated chronic effects of nanosilver and soluble silver (AgNO3) on the freshwater bivalve Sphaerium corneum...
Article
Full-text available
Ecotoxicological studies have shown that nanosilver is among the most toxic nanomaterials to aquatic organisms. However, research has so far focused on the determination of acute effects. Combined effects of nanosilver with other substances have not yet been studied in aquatic organisms. The present study aimed to investigate the chronic toxicity o...
Article
Full-text available
The antibacterial properties of nanosilver have led to a versatile application spectrum including medical purposes and personal care products. However, the increasing use of nanosilver has raised concerns about its environmental impacts. Long-term exposure studies with aquatic invertebrates are essential to assess possible adverse effects on aquati...
Article
Full-text available
Novel physicochemical and biological properties have led to a versatile spectrum of applications for nanosized silver particles. Silver nanoparticles are applied primarily for their antimicrobial effects, and a variety of commercially available products have emerged. To better predict and prevent possible environmental impacts from silver nanoparti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nanoscaled titanium dioxide (nTiO2) is one of the most frequently used nanomaterials. Because of its photocatalytic properties, nTiO2 is applied in numerous products including personal care products and wall paints. Increasing production volumes and a manifold field of applications illustrate the potential of nTiO2 as an environmental contaminant....
Conference Paper
Photocatalytically active titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) are widely used for several commodities like personal care products, clothing, wall paint, glaze and food. They enter surface waters by direct or indirect release and may pose an environmental risk. Knowledge on the environmental behavior and toxicity of nanoparticles in aquatic syste...
Article
Full-text available
Die Zukunftserwartungen an die Nanotechnologie sind hoch. Sie hat vielfältige Anwendungen, gilt als umweltverträglich, energiesparend und ressourcenschonend. Doch mit der wachsenden Nutzung "nanohaltiger" Produkte wächst die Sorge um einen erhöhtenEintrag in die Umwelt. Da die meisten Produkte erst kurze Zeit im Umlauf sind, herrscht Unklarheit übe...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
When it comes to the use of veterinary and human pharmaceuticals there is an unwanted side effect: the pharmaceutical substance is not entirely degraded but excreted and thus emitted into the environment via the wastewater. The research project describes and analyses the resulting conflicts of objectives between health protection and environmental protection. The findings will then be presented in an expertise.
Project
The junior research group PlastX, led by ISOE, is examining the societal role of plastic and the associated environmental impacts. Within this framework, the team of social and natural scientists is attempting to find out how plastic might be used more sustainably. The group of junior researchers is taking an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research approach and is viewing the issue from a socio-ecological risk perspective. This complex environmental problem is characterised by the interconnected risks associated with the material plastic through its manufacturing, use and disposal. Many actors in various constellations are involved in this, who can both cause risks as well as be impacted by them. In addition, there is uncertainty about the direct and indirect impact of plastics on health and the environment. Because of these characteristics, the subject is conceptually conceived of as a systemic risk. The overall objective of the project is to conceptually enlarge the theoretical understanding of systemic risks in socio-ecological supply systems, using plastics as an example, to highlight integrative and practical solutions for dealing with the systemic risks of plastics based on the activity fields prevention, alternatives and management. The problem will be analysed in the following areas: - Packaging and sustainable consumption (prevention of and alternatives to packaging materials) - Microplastics in bodies of running water - Plastic waste in international Waters Project-Websitde: www.plastx.org Background: Plastic is an ambivalent material: On the one hand, because of its versatile properties and wide range of applications, plastic has revolutionized countless areas of everyday life within the last decades. On the other hand, the manufacturing, use and disposal of plastic is linked to global environmental problems and risks which impact various systems. In particular, the accumulation of plastic waste in the natural environment is a serious encroachment upon various ecosystems which, due to the extended decomposition time of most plastics, will bear witness to human dominance during this era for hundreds of years. The term “plastic” covers a wide range of various different synthetic polymers, which are manufactured on a global scale of about 311 million tonnes per annum. The majority of plastics produced is needed for packaging applications. On the disposal side, plastics are either recycled, incinerated, or dumped in landfills in many countries. Every year, about 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste reach the seas and oceans via rivers because they have not been disposed of properly. When plastic waste decomposes, smaller fragments of plastic (microplastics) are created which accumulate in the environment; in addition, microplastic particles can enter the environment directly due to their use, e.g. in cosmetic products. It has been shown that plastic particles are ingested by various aquatic organisms. There is major uncertainty about potential damage to the ecosystem which could also impact human health and the food chain. Plastic-associated chemicals (additives such as plasticisers, but also adsorbed pollutants), which can have damaging effects on the health of humans and animals, are also under scrutiny. Research partners: Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Department of Aquatic Ecotoxicology Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research (MPI), Department of Physical Chemistry of Polymers Practice partners: Partners of the junior research group come from the fields of environmental consultancy, development cooperation, food retailing, nature conservation, consumer protection, as well as water and waste management.