Costa Rica: A tropical e(coto)xperience – Part 2

In this series of posts, Carsten Brühl reports about his current trip to Costa Rica. Part 2 is all about his host Clemens Ruepert who is an experienced environmental analytical chemist at the Regional Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances of the National University of Costa Rica.

Clemens taking water samples in the Laguna Madre de Dios where pesticides from upstream banana plantations are found (photo by C. Brühl)

Today I want to introduce my host Clemens Ruepert. Clemens, originally Dutch, has been in Costa Rica for almost 25 years now, working as environmental analytical chemist for the “Instituto Regional de Estudios en Sustancias Toxicas (IRET)” of Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. He knows pesticides by heart and is able to recover residues from all kind of matrices allowing the quantification of exposure pathways. Moreover, he is involved in research projects related to effects of contaminants on aquatic ecosystems and on human health taking into account the specific conditions of a tropical, less developed region of the world.

Clemens’ work focuses on the implementation of analytic methods for determining pesticides and other organic contaminants with modern analytical techniques of GC-MS and LC-MSMS, modern sampling techniques, the determination of the behaviour and overall fate of these substances in environmental compartments in a tropical setting, but also the assessment of exposure of contaminants to human beings. Have a look at all his activities here.

With his work and the related activities, Clemens tries to contribute to a more sustainable society and the protection of ecosystems for future generations.