Dr. Zacharias Steinmetz

Environmental Scientist at RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau, iES Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences.


I combine environmental chemistry, analytics, ecotoxicology, and soil science to unravel the complexities of anthropogenic pollutants in the environment, scrutinizing their fate and effects from source to sink.

My research focuses on the impact of agriculture on land and water.

main research interests

  • Investigating the sources, sinks, and pathways of plastics and other anthropogenic pollutants in agroecosystems
  • Developing novel methods for characterizing and quantifying synthetic polymers in heterogeneous matrices, for example, using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) in combination with advanced data science applications
  • Elucidating the indirect effects of anthropogenic pollutants on ecosystem functions using biomarkers.

selected publications


  1. AChem
    Microplastic Spectral Classification Needs an Open Source Community: Open Specy to the Rescue!
    Win Cowger, Zacharias Steinmetz, Andrew Gray, Keenan Munno, Jennifer Lynch, Hannah Hapich, Sebastian Primpke, Hannah De Frond, Chelsea Rochman, and Orestis Herodotou
    Analytical Chemistry 93(21), 7543–7548, 2021


    Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short-term agronomic benefits for long-term soil degradation?
    Zacharias Steinmetz, Claudia Wollmann, Miriam Schaefer, Christian Buchmann, Jan David, Josephine Tröger, Katherine Muñoz, Oliver Frör, and Gabriele E. Schaumann
    Science of The Total Environment 550, 690–705, 2016