PD Dr. Martin Elsner
Wissenschaftler/ Gruppenleiter

Phone: +49 89 3187-2565
Building/Room: 25/ 003

Head of the Research Unit: Environmental Organic Isotope Chemistry

Curriculum vitae 

  • since 2017: Full Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Water Chemistry, and Director of the Institute of Hydrochemistry at the Technical University (TUM
  • since 2014: Head of Research Unit “Environmental Organic Isotope Chemistry” at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Groundwater Ecology
  • since 2013: ERC Consolidator Grant “MicroDegrade”
  • since 2011: Tenured Independent Group Leader at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Groundwater Ecology
  • 2006-2010: Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader at Helmholtz Zentrum München - National Research Centre of Environmental Health, Institute of Groundwater Ecology, München (Germany)
  • 2004-2005: DFG Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Prof. Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Dept. of Geology, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2003: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Group of Prof. Dr. René Schwarzenbach at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG)
  • 1998-2002: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences (Swiss National Science Foundation Scholarship) at ETH Zürich and EAWAG, Switzerland; Supervison: Prof. Dr. René Schwarzenbach, Prof. Dr. Stefan Haderlein, Dr. Werner Angst; Thesis Title: “Reductive Dehalogenation of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons by Surface-Bound Fe(II) – Kinetic and Mechanistic Aspects”
  • 1995-1998: Diploma in Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich ( Switzerland)
  • 1994/95: Visiting and Exchange Student at the University of Sussex in the Department of Chemistry, Brighton ( U.K.)
  • 1992-1994: Vordiplom in chemistry at the Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg i.Br. ( Germany)1992: Abitur (A-level equivalent) at Christianeum, Hamburg ( Germany)
  • born in 1972 

 Publications - Peer Reviewed Articles

A. H. Meyer, A. Dybala-Defratyka, P.J. Alaimo, I. Gernonimo, A.D. Sanchez, C.J. Cramer, M. Elsner, Cytochrome P450-catalyzed dealkylation of atrazine by Rhodococcus sp. strain NI86/21 involves hydrogen atom transfer rather than single electron transfer. Dalton Transactions. 2014, 43, 12175-12186. 

K. Fenner, S. Canonica, L. P. Wackett, M. Elsner, Evaluating Pesticide Degradation in the Environment: Blind Spots and Emerging Opportunities. Science, 2013. DOI: 10.1126/science.1236281

S. Qiu, D. Eckert, O. A. Cirpka, M. Huenniger, P. Knappett, P. Maloszewski, R. Meckenstock, C. Griebler, and M. Elsner, Direct experimental evidence of non-first-order degradation kinetics and sorption-induced isotopic fractionation in a mesoscale aquifer: 13C/12C analysis of a transient toluene pulse. Environmental Science and Technology. 2013. DOI: 10.1021/es304877h

S. Qiu, D. Eckert, O. A. Cirpka, M. Huenniger, P. Knappett, P. Maloszewski, R. Meckenstock, C. Griebler, and M. Elsner, Model Complexity Needed for Quantitative Analysis of High Resolution Isotope and Concentration Data from a Toluene-Pulse Experiment. Environmental Science and Technology. 2013. DOI: 10.1021/es304879dS.

S. Cretnik, K. A. Thoreson, A. Bernstein, K. Ebert, D. Buchner, C. Laskov, S. Haderlein, O. Shouakar-Stash, S. Kliegmann, K. McNeil, M. Elsner, Reductive Dechlorination of TCE by Chemical Model Systems in Comparison to Dehalogenating Bacteria: Insights from Dual Element Isotope Analysis (13C/12C, 37Cl/35Cl). Environmental Science and Technology. 2013. DOI: 10.1021/es400107n 

A.H. Meyer, M. Elsner, 13C/12C and 15N/14N Isotope Anlysis To Characterize Degradation of Atrazine: Evidence from Parent and Daughter Compound Values. Environmental Science & Technology. 2013. DOI: 10.1021/es305242q

J. Farlin, L. Drouet, T. Galle, D. Pittois, M. Bayerle, Ch. Braun, P. Maloszewski, J. Vanderborght, M. Elsner, A. Kies, Delineation of spring recharge areas in a fractured sandstone aquifer based on pesticide mass balance; Hydrogeology Journal (2013), accepted

K. Schreglmann, M. Hoeche, S. Steinbeiss, S. Reinnicke, M. Elsner, Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis of Atrazine and dethylatrazine at Sub-µg/L Concentrations in Groundwater; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, (2013) DOI 10.1007/s00216-012-6616-0

S. Spahr, S. Huntscha, J. Bolotin, M. P. Maier, M. Elsner, J. Hollender, T. B. Hofstetter, Compound-specic isotope analysis of benzotriazole and its derivatives; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2013) DOI 10.1007/s00216-012-6526-1

J. Farlin, T. Gallé, M. Bayerle, D. Pittois, C. Braun, H. El Khabbaz, M. Elsner, P. Maloszewski, Predicting Pesticide Attenuation in a Fractured Aquifer Using Lumped-Parameter Models; Ground Water (2013),

C. Audí-Miró, S. Cretnik, N. Otero, J. Palau, O. Shouakar-Stash, A. Soler, M. Elsner, Cl and C isotope analysis to assess the effectiveness of chlorinated ethene degradation by zero-valent iron: Evidence from dual element and product isotope values; Applied Geochemistry; 27 (2012),

J. Klaus, E. Zehe, M. Elsner, C. Külls, J. J. McDonnell, Macropore flow of old water revisited: experimental insights from a tile-drained hillslope; Hydrology and Earth System Sciences; 17 (2013), 103-118.DOI:10.5194/hess-17-103-2013

N. Milosevic, S. Qiu, M. Elsner, F. Einsiedl, M.P. Maier, H.K.V. Bensch, H.J. Albrechtsen, P.L. Bjerg, Combined isotope and enantiomer analysis to assess the fate of phenoxy acids in a heterogeneous geologic setting at an old landfill; Water Research, 47 (2013), 637-649.

M. Elsner, M. A. Jochmann, T. B. Hofstetter, D. Hunkeler, A. Bernstein, T. C. Schmidt, A. Schimmelmann, Current challenges in compound-specific stable isotope analysis of environmental organic contaminants, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 403 (2012), 2471–2491.

S. Reinnicke, D. Juchelka, S. Steinbeiss, A. Meyer, A. Hilkert, M. Elsner, Gas chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) of recalcitrant target compounds: performance of different combustion reactors and strategies for standardization, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 26 (2012), 1053–1060.

S. Reinnicke, A. Simonsen, S. R. Sørensen, J. Aamand, M. Elsner, C and N Isotope Fractionation during Biodegradation of the Pesticide Metabolite 2,6-Dichlorobenzamide (BAM): Potential for Environmental Assessments, Environmental Science & Technology, 46 (2012), 1447–1454.

A. Bernstein, O. Shouakar-Stash, K. Ebert, C. Laskov, D. Hunkeler, S. Jeannottat, K. Sakaguchi-Söder, J. Laaks, M. A. Jochmann, S. Cretnik, J. Jager, S. B. Haderlein, T. C. Schmidt, R. Aravena, M. Elsner, Compound-Specific Chlorine Isotope Analysis: A Comparison of Gas Chromatography/Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry and Gas Chromatography/Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry Methods in an Interlaboratory Study, Analytical Chemistry, 83 (2011), 7624–7634.

F. D. Bergmann, N. M. F. H. Abu Laban, A. H. Meyer, M. Elsner, R. U. Meckenstock, Dual (C, H) Isotope Fractionation in Anaerobic Low Molecular Weight (Poly)aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Degradation: Potential for Field Studies and Mechanistic Implications, Environmental Science & Technology, 45 (2011), 6947–6953.

M. Elsner and T. B. Hofstetter, Current Perspectives on the Mechanisms of Chlorohydrocarbon Degradation in Subsurface Environments: Insight from Kinetics, Product Formation, Probe Molecules, and Isotope Fractionation. Chapter 19, pp 407-439 in “Aquatic Redox Chemistry”, (2011), ACS Symposium Series, Volume 1071

M. Elsner, Stable Isotope Fractionation to Investigate Natural Transformation Mechanisms of Organic Contaminants: Principles, Prospects and Limitations, Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 12 (2010), 2005-2031

M. Elsner, G. Lacrampe Couloume, S.A. Mancini, L. Burns and B. Sherwood Lollar, Carbon Isotope Analysis to Evaluate Nanoscale Fe(0) Treatment at a Chlorohydrocarbon Contaminated Site, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, 30 (2010), 79–95.

H. Penning, A. H. Meyer, S. R. Sørensen, J. Aamand, M. Elsner, C, N, and H isotope fractionation of the herbicide isoproturon reflects different microbial transformation pathways, Environmental Science & Technology, 44 (2010), 2372–2378.

S. Reinnicke, A. Bernstein, M. Elsner, Small and Reproducible Isotope Effects during Methylation with Trimethylsulfonium Hydroxide (TMSH): A Convenient Derivatization Method for Isotope Analysis of Negatively Charged Molecules, Analytical Chemistry, 82 (2010), 2013-2019.

J.R. McKelvie, M. Elsner, A. J. Simpson, B. Sherwood Lollar, M. J. Simpson, Quantitative site-specific 2H NMR investigation of MTBE: Potential for assessing contaminant sources and fate, Environmental Science & Technology, 44 (2010), 1062–1068.

A.H. Meyer, H. Penning, M. Elsner, C and N isotope fractionation suggests identical mechanisms of microbial atrazine transformation despite involvement of different enzymes (AtzA and TrzN), Environmental Science & Technology, 43 (2009), 8079-8085

D. Hunkeler, B. VanBreukelen, M. Elsner, Modeling Chlorine Isotope Trends during Sequential Transformation of Chlorinated Ethenes, Environmental Science & Technology, 43 (2009), 6750-6756

J.R. McKelvie, M.R. Hyman, M. Elsner, C. Smith, D.M. Aslett, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, B. Sherwood Lollar, Isotopic Fractionation of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether Suggests Different Initial Reaction Mechanisms during Aerobic Biodegradation, Environmental Science & Technology, 43 (2009), 2793–2799

S.A. Mancini, C.E. Devine, M. Elsner, M.E. Nandi, A.C. Ulrich, E.A. Edwards, B. Sherwood Lollar, Isotopic Evidence Suggests Different Initial Reaction Mechanisms for Anaerobic Benzene Biodegradation, Environmental Science & Technology, 42 (2008), 8290–8296

H. Penning, C.J. Cramer, M. Elsner, Rate-dependent carbon and nitrogen kinetic isotope fractionation in hydrolysis of isoproturon, Environmental Science & Technology, 42 (2008), 7764-7771

A.H. Meyer, H. Penning, H. Lowag, M. Elsner, Precise and Accurate Compound Specific Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis of Atrazine: Critical Role of Combustion Oven Conditions, Environmental Science & Technology, 42 (2008), 7757-776

M. Elsner, M. Chartrand, N. VanStone, G. Lacrampe Couloume, B. Sherwood Lollar, Identifying Abiotic Chlorinated Ethene Degradation: Characteristic Isotope Patterns in Reaction Products with Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron, Environmental Science & Technology, 42 (2008), 5963–5970

M. Elsner and D. Hunkeler, Evaluating Chlorine Isotope Effects from Isotope Ratios and Mass Spectra of Polychlorinated Molecules, Analytical Chemistry, 80 (2008), 4731-4740N.

VanStone, M. Elsner, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, S. Mabury and B. Sherwood Lollar, Potential for Identifying Abiotic Chloroalkane Degradation Mechanisms using Carbon Isotopic Fractionation, Environmental Science & Technology, 41 (2007), 126-132

H. Penning and M. Elsner, Intramolecular Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis by Quantitative Dry Fragmentation of the Phenylurea Herbicide Isoproturon in a Combined Injector/Capillary Reactor prior to GC Separation, Analytical Chemistry, 79 (2007), 8399-8405

M. Elsner, J. McKelvie, G. Lacrampe Couloume and B. Sherwood Lollar, Insight into Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Stable Isotope Fractionation from Abiotic Reference Experiments, Environmental Science & Technology, 41 (2007), pp. 5693-5700.

M. Elsner, D.M. Cwiertny, A.L. Roberts and B. Sherwood Lollar, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane Reactions with OH-, Cr(II), Granular Iron, and a Copper-Iron Bimetal: Insights from Product Formation and Associated Carbon Isotope Fractionation, Environmental Science & Technology, 41 (2007), pp. 4111-4117.

S.A. Mancini, S.K. Hirschorn, M. Elsner, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, B.E. Sleep, E.A. Edwards and B. Sherwood Lollar, Effects of Trace Element Concentration on Enzyme Controlled Stable Isotope Fractionation during Aerobic Biodegradation of Toluene, Environmental Science & Technology, 40 (2006), pp. 7675-7681.

M. Elsner, G. Lacrampe Couloume and B. Sherwood Lollar, Freezing to Preserve Groundwater Samples and Improve Headspace Quantification Limits of Water-Soluble Organic Contaminants for Carbon Isotope Analysis, Analytical Chemistry, 78 (2006), pp. 7528-7534.

M. Elsner, L. Zwank, D. Hunkeler and R. P. Schwarzenbach, A new concept linking observable stable isotope fractionation to transformation pathways of organic pollutants, Environmental Science & Technology, 39 (2005), pp. 6896-6916.

L. Zwank, M. Elsner, A. Aeberhard, S. B. Haderlein and R. P. Schwarzenbach, Carbon isotope fractionation in the reductive dehalogenation of carbon tetrachloride at iron (hydr)oxide and iron sulfide minerals, Environmental Science & Technology, 39 (2005), pp. 5634-5641.

L. Zwank, M. Berg, M. Elsner, T. C. Schmidt, R. P. Schwarzenbach and S. B. Haderlein, A new evaluation scheme for two-dimensional isotope analysis to decipher biodegradation processes: application to groundwater contamination by MTBE, Environmental Science & Technology, 39 (2005) pp. 1018-1029.

M. G. Chartrand, A. Waller, T. E. Mattes, M. Elsner, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, J. M. Gossett, E. A. Edwards and B. Sherwood Lollar, Carbon isotopic fractionation during aerobic vinyl chloride biodegradation, Environmental Science & Technology, 39 (2005) pp. 1064-1070.

S. K. Hirschorn, M. J. Dinglasan, M. Elsner, S. A. Mancini, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, E. A. Edwards and B. S. Lollar, Pathway dependent isotopic fractionation during aerobic biodegradation of 1,2-dichloroethane, Environmental Science & Technology, 38 (2004), pp. 4775 – 4781.

M. Elsner, S. B. Haderlein, T. Kellerhals, S. Luzi, L. Zwank, W. Angst and R. P. Schwarzenbach, Mechanism and products of surface-mediated reductive dehalogenation of carbon tetrachloride by Fe(II) on goethite, Environmental Science & Technology, 38 (2004), pp. 2058-2066.

M. Elsner, R. P. Schwarzenbach and S. B. Haderlein, Reactivity of Fe(II)-bearing minerals toward reductive transformation of organic contaminants, Environmental Science & Technology, 38 (2004), pp. 799-807.

T. C. Schmidt, L. Zwank, M. Elsner, M. Berg, R. U. Meckenstock and S. B. Haderlein, Compound-specific stable isotope analysis of organic contaminants in natural environments: a critical review of the state of the art, prospects, and future challenges, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 378 (2004), pp. 283-300.

Book Chapters

D. Hunkeler and M. Elsner, Principles and Mechanisms of Isotope Fractionation. Book chapter in “Environmental Isotopes in Biodegradation and Bioremediation”, edited by C.M. Aelion, P. Höhener, D. Hunkeler and R. Aravena (2010). CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, ISBN 978-1-56670-661-2